It’s the top 10 percents fault – and that’s you!

top 10Managed to get some time to read a bit more of the “Is sustainability still sustainable” book this weekend.

Chapter 3 talks about the interconnection of social boundaries and planetary boundaries – the need to create a fair and equitable life for all humanity within the limits of our one planet.

“Between the social foundation of human rights and the environmental ceiling of planetary boundaries lies a space that is both an environmentally safe and a socially just space for humanity.” Sustainability or / and sustainable development needs to respond and address the environmental and social space, not just the Corporate Social Responsibility version of ‘social’ but the true sense of social that includes the survival of all global citizens.

So while we are expanding our resource needs to beyond 3 planets we are also failing against the social foundations – 13 percent of the world’s population is undernourished, 19 percent have no access to electricity and 21 percent live in extreme income poverty.

We could deliver electricity to the 19% that don’t have it for as little as 1 percent increase on global CO2.

Ending extreme poverty for the 21% who live on less than $1.25 a day would require just 0.2 percent of current global income.

The author’s then ask themselves the question “what is the biggest source of stress on planetary boundaries today?”

“It is the excessive consumption levels of  roughly the wealthiest 10 percent of people in the world.”

So I wondered, what is the income cut off for the top 10%? What is the cut off for falling into this band of destroyers?

If you lived in Australia and get paid $20,000 a year after tax then you are in the worlds top 10% of income earners, in the US it would be $13,000 USD and in the UK it would be 9,500 GBP. Yep that’s it just $20k a year after tax! It’s not a elitist multi-millionaire club its us.

So if you are reading this post it is very likely that you are a top 10% earner that means you are responsible for 50% of the worlds carbon emissions – yep 10% of the worlds population is responsible for 50% of the worlds carbon emissions!

One Comment on “It’s the top 10 percents fault – and that’s you!

  1. Pingback: How to be sustainable – only use your Fair Earth-Share but what does that mean? « SIMON WILD

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