Rich Emitters

Fossil fuels, Transport

Rich emitters (0.1% in Britain) according to research by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) emit 22 times more from transport
than low earners, and 12 times more than average. This was just one of the finding of the IPPR report which looked at transport emissions by income, gender, location, ethnicity and age. The study broke down the transport emissions into international and domestic flights, private road transport and public transport and was reported in The Guardian on 29 May.

The data also found that income was directly linked to levels of mobility, with people earning more than £100,000 travelling on average at least double the distance each year compared with those on incomes under £30,000. On the other hand those in the most deprived 10% were responsible for by far the fewest emissions, though flying still makes up more than half of their total emissions. Location also played a significant (and obvious) part with people living in rural areas (like ours where public transport is inadequate and private transport is relied on)
tending to emit more than those in urban areas.

The research also found that:
 Men are more likely to be high emitters than women, travelling significantly further by
both car and plane
 People from more deprived neighbourhoods tend to travel significantly less and emit
less greenhouse gas than those from the least deprived
 People with a disability are likely to travel far less than those without (including by
plane), and their emissions are much lower as a result
 People from a non-white British ethnicity tend to travel less far and emit less
 Those aged 35 to 64 emit the most from private transport

The UK has made limited progress over the past three decades in reducing emissions from transport, which is now the country’s largest emitting sector. Stephen Frost, principal research fellow at IPPR, said: “By putting people at the heart of our approach to reducing Britain’s climate impacts we demonstrate both who is best placed to cut their emissions, such as rich emitters at the pace needed and how doing so can help tackle the underlying unfairness in who the transport system currently works for.

“Now is not the time to slow down our efforts to reach net zero, doing so just fuels existing transport inequalities. The next UK government must step up the pace by delivering a credible, fair and people-focussed plan for more sustainable travel.”

You can read the full report here.