A wealth tax could be a way to not only address inequality, it’s also a way to reduce the damage done to the planet by greedy billionaires. Oxfam looked into the investments that the ultra rich hold and found that their investments alone do more damage to the planet than the entire nation of France. By introducing a wealth tax it would force the ultra wealthy to streamline their holdings and force them to think better about where they put their money. Let’s tax their obscene wealth and ban their private jets!
Researchers made the calculations by starting with a list of the 220 richest people in the world, according to the Bloomberg billionaire list from August 2022. They worked with a data provider to identify what percentage of each company was held by the billionaires and the scope 1 and 2 emissions of these corporations. The researchers used analysis by Bloomberg for detailed breakdowns of the sources of billionaire wealth to calculate what percentage of each company was owned by the billionaires. They excluded billionaires with less than a 10% share in a business. The research was limited because it was reliant on data that companies publish themselves, which is often not externally verified.
“Each of these billionaires would each have to circumnavigate the world almost 16m times in a private jet to create the same emissions,” the report said – adding that almost four million people would have to go vegan to offset the emissions of each of the billionaires.