“Staggering” figures highlight scale of emissions inequality

Istock-830520036 (1)

The average Brit has already caused more emissions in 2020 than a Rwandan will in a year. 

6th January 2020 by Gavin Stuart 0 Comments

Carbon emissions caused by the average person in Britain in the first fortnight of 2020 will exceed those created by residents of seven African nations in an entire year, new research has revealed.

UK residents have already emitted more carbon than people living in Rwanda will over the next 12 months, according to the “staggering” figures from Oxfam Scotland.

By 12 January, the average person’s emissions will have overtaken the annual per capita emissions of a further six countries: Malawi, Ethiopia, Uganda, Madagascar, Guinea and Burkina Faso.

Oxfam is now calling on Boris Johnson to ensure that public concern about climate change is translated into action ahead of the UN Climate Summit in Glasgow later this year.

Polling carried out for the charity showed that almost two-thirds (61%) of people in Britain want the UK Government to do more to address the climate emergency. More than half (55%) said they worried about the impact of climate change, while 79% said they were likely action to reduce their carbon footprint.

Oxfam Scotland said that while the Climate Change (Scotland) Act set strengthened legal emission reduction targets, the Scottish Government must now redouble its efforts to make substantial progress by 2030.

The charity urged ministers to steps to protect the environment through new legislation such as the Circular Economy Bill, and to increase Scotland’s support to the world’s poorest people who are faced with increasingly severe climate impacts.

Jamie Livingstone, head of Oxfam Scotland, said: “The sheer scale of global inequality when it comes to carbon emissions is staggering.

“It’s a shock to realise that in just a few days our high-carbon lifestyles at home produce the same emissions as the annual footprint of people in some of the world’s poorest countries. We know that people are willing to do their bit towards tackling the climate crisis, but we need to see this commitment matched by action by political leaders at every level.

“Just as large numbers of people are committing to reducing their own personal carbon footprint, we need bold New Year’s resolutions from our political leaders to get us on track to meeting our ambitious emissions targets.

“As Glasgow gets ready to host global climate talks later this year, UK and Scottish ministers need to show that they are deadly serious about leading the fight against climate change.”