Amazon and Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos addresses the media about the New Shepard rocket booster and Crew Capsule mockup at the 33rd Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colorado, US, on April 5, 2017. | Isaiah Downing Reuters
Amazon and Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos addresses the media about the New Shepard rocket booster and Crew Capsule mockup at the 33rd Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colorado, US, on April 5, 2017. | Isaiah Downing Reuters

Emissions caused by space flight exceed those of a single poor person in a lifetime

By Xolile Mtembu Time of article published Nov 8, 2021

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Climate Policy Lead at Oxfam Nafkote Dabi criticised billionaire space flights, saying they will cause huge amounts of carbon emissions.

’’The emissions from a single billionaire space flight would exceed the lifetime emissions of someone in the poorest billion people on Earth,’’ said Dabi.

Dabi accused the super rich of having the ability to pollute without consequence.

’’A tiny elite appear to have a free pass to pollute. Their oversized missions are fuelling extreme weather around the world and jeopardising the international goal of limiting global heating.

“The emissions of the wealthiest 10% alone could send us beyond the agreed limit in the next nine years. This would have catastrophic results for some of the most vulnerable people on Earth who are already facing deadly storms.’’

Recently ,the billionaire space race came to a head with Virgin Galatic’s Richard Branson being the first to go to space, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos followed only 11 days later on his Blue Origin spacecraft.

A study published by Oxfam International based on research by the Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP) and the Stockholm Environment Institute has found that the carbon footprint of 1% of the Earth's population is set to be 30 times greater than the level compatible with the Paris Agreement of 1.5ºC.

Tim Gore, the head of the Low Carbon and Circular Economy programme at IEEP, said only the rich were to blame for not keeping to the 1.5ºC Paris goal.

"The global emissions gap to keep the 1.5ºC Paris goal alive is not the result of the consumption of the most of the world's people; it reflects instead the excessive emissions of just the richest citizens on the planet.

“To close the emissions gap by 2030, it is necessary for governments to target measures at their richest, highest emitter- the climate and inequality crisis should be tackled together," Tim Gore said.

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