The 63 richest French people emit as much greenhouse gases as half of France

The financial assets of 63 French billionaires emit as much greenhouse gas as that of 50% of the French population. This is the finding of the report of two NGOs, Oxfam France and Greenpeace France, released on February 23.

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Studies by various environmental associations have until now calculated the emissions greenhouse gases generated by the style lifestyle of billionaires, in particular the use of yachts and private jets. The originality of Oxfam and Greenpeace study lies in the fact that all of the financial assets have been taken into account, i.e. their financing and participation in polluting companies in France and abroad. By taking all these parameters into account, the two NGOs calculated the footprint carbon list of the biggest French billionaires.

The top 3 carbon footprints in France

Recall that thecarbon footprint is the amount of greenhouse gases emitted by human activity. Measuring these greenhouse gases is important because these emissions act as a “lid” over the Earth’s atmosphere, a lid that prevents the heat to escape. The recent analysis by Oxfam France and Greenpeace France reveals that ” the financial wealth of 63 French billionaires emits as much greenhouse gas as that of 50% of French households. With at least 152 million tonnes of CO equivalent2 in one year, the financial assets of these 63 billionaires emit as much as Denmark, Finland and Sweden combined. Three French billionaires issue, through their financial assets, more than a fifth of French people”. Even more, the report points the finger at the Mulliez family (Auchan) which alone emits “ as much as 11% of French households, more than all the inhabitants of a region like New Aquitaine”. Apart from the Mulliez family, we also find Rodolphe Saadé (shipping operator) and Emmanuel Besiner (Lactalis) in the top 3 carbon footprints in France.

In order to encourage the wealthiest people in France to transform their economic model and decarbonize their companies, Greenpeace France and Oxfam France advocate the establishment of a climate wealth tax as soon as possible. Starting from the observation that ” carbon taxation weighs four times heavier in proportion to their income on the poorest 20% of households, compared to the wealthiest 20% of households”the two NGOs are calling for additional taxes: in addition to a climate ISF, they recommend introducing another tax on dividends for companies that do not respect the Paris Agreement.

The poorest people are already meeting the 2030 targets

According to’World Inequality organization and its 2022 reporton average, humans emit 6.6 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year. However, the 10% of the population who emit the most are responsible for nearly 50% of all emissions. Contrary to what one would be tempted to believe, it is not only a question of inequalities between rich countries and poor countries: these inequalities in greenhouse gas emissions are present between the different layers of the population. from the same country. In Europe, 50% of the population emits 5 tonnes per year, compared to 3 tonnes for East Asia, and 10 tonnes for North America! The poorest populations of the richest countries are already within the objectives of theUN 2030 Agenda, in terms of their greenhouse gas emissions, unlike wealthy people in wealthier countries. This is why NGOs are now calling for taxes and efforts targeted at the most polluting populations, and no longer at entire nations.

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