Carbon inequality is rising as rich people are slower to cut emissions

2AJPNDM Top view of family homes in typical residential neighbourhood in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Housing-related energy use is responsible for rising carbon inequality

R.M. Nunes/Alamy

The gap between the carbon footprints of the highest and lowest-income people is growing wider, despite carbon dioxide emissions falling overall in some countries.

“From an ethical perspective, if those that are already better off get a larger share of a limited resource [CO2 emissions], then that’s clearly unfair,” says Edgar Hertwich at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.

It is no surprise that richer people consume more, and so generally have larger carbon footprints. “The wealthier you get, the …

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