Tracing billionaires' footsteps & their CO2 footprint

Tracing billionaires' footsteps & their carbon footprint

Microsoft Co-founder Bill Gates, Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos and Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

The rising level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has been a point of concern for decades now and curbing carbon footprint, the total amount of greehouse gases emitted by an individual, has been looked at as a way of combating the onslaught of the heat-trapping gases.

Like other things, there is a vast difference between the carbon footprint of a layman and the the financially well-off tier of the society. 

A calculation by The Conversation has listed 20 billionaires and the carbon footprit that resulted out of their activites in 2018 by using data to estimate the annual CO2 emissions of each house, aircraft, vehicle and yacht owned by these moguls. 

Surprisingly, only two of the top 10 richest persons, according to Forbes as on February 22, feature on the list of top 10 billionares with the largest carbon footprint. 

Who topped the list then?

Roman Abramovich, the oil and gas Russian tycoon with a net worth of $14.5 billon and 158th on the Forbes list, has emerged as the top polluter with 33,859 metric tons of CO2 emissions. To put things into perspective, US residents, including billionaires, emitted about 15 tons of carbon dioxide per person in the same year, said the report. The global footprint, on the other hand, stands at 5 tons per person on an average.

The report mentioned some of the ways through which the Chelsea Football Club's owner reached the unenviable number -- his superyatch 'Eclipse', custom-designed Boeing 767, private business jet Gulfstream G650, two helicopters and a submarine apart from the multiple houses that he owns across the globe.

The two billionaires in Forbes top 10 list -- Bernard Arnault ($158.4 billion - third richest) and Bill Gates ($124 billion - forth richest) --  have made a signifant and moderate dent respectively with their activites.  While the Microsoft co-founder's carbon emission was pegged at 7,493 metric tons, that of the French billionaire and Louis Vuitton CEO's was estimated closer to 10,000 metric tons.

Staying true to his cause, Tesla CEO Elon Musk ($182.2 billion), the second richest man in the world, stood at the 19th spot with about 2,084 tons in carbon footprint. 

The richest man alive, Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos ($189.3 billion), stood one level above Musk at number 18 with a total emission of around 2,224 tonns.

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox