Australia’s second-richest man, mining magnate Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest, is pouring $81 billion into the world’s largest hydrogen electrolyser in an effort to decarbonize Asia’s steel mills; but his iron ore production company, Fortescue Metals, emitted 2.2 million metric tons of carbon last year.
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos created a $10 billion fund for climate change in 2020, the same year his company emitted more than 60 million tons of carbon. Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates published a book last year called How to Avoid a Climate Disaster while maintaining an annual carbon footprint of 7493 tons, mostly from flying on private jets.
Are the green investments of the ultra-rich going to make an impact? Reporter Ian Neubauer explored this topic in the 6 May 2022 Al Jazeera article “A bit rich? Billionaires’ climate efforts draw scepticism, praise”.
“When it comes to climate change and carbon emissions, our research over the past 30 years shows the stark difference between the emissions caused by the super rich compared to poor individuals,” said SEI US Scientist Emily Ghosh, who studies the disparity of the carbon footprint between the planet’s rich, middle-class and poor. “So even though they are mostly responsible, they are the ones deciding the solution.”
Read more of Ghosh’s thoughts in the article.