Research shows impact from lifestyles and investments of likes of Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates and Elon Musk
Twelve of the world’s wealthiest billionaires produce more greenhouse gas emissions from their yachts, private jets, mansions and financial investments than the annual energy emissions of 2m homes, research shared exclusively with the Guardian reveals.
The tycoons include the Amazon boss, Jeff Bezos, the Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, the tech billionaires Bill Gates, Larry Page and Michael Dell, the inventor and social media company owner Elon Musk and the Mexican business magnate Carlos Slim.
Analysis by Oxfam and US researchers of their luxury purchases, which include superyachts, private jets, cars, helicopters and palatial mansions, combined with the impact of their financial investments and shareholdings reveals that they account for almost 17m tonnes of CO2 and equivalent greenhouse gas emissions annually.
This is the same as the CO2 and equivalent emissions from powering 2.1m homes or the emissions from 4.6 coal-fired power plants over a year, according to conversion data from the US Environmental Protection Agency.
The true scale of the investment emissions of these individuals is not generally systematically calculated or reported. Oxfam analysts working with two US academics, Beatriz Barros and Richard Wilk, used publicly available data to calculate the greenhouse gas impacts.