Does Earning More Make you Greener?

A new study says the richest 20 per cent of Canadian households contribute almost twice — 1.8 times — the greenhouse-gas emissions of the country's lowest income-earners. The study by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives finds household carbon footprints increase with income and concludes that reduction policies must reflect that inequality. The report's author, economist Marc Lee, says the rich can reduce emissions — taking steps like cutting air travel and investing in home energy efficiency — more easily than low-income families, without affecting basic needs. At the same time, we need to rapidly increase our technological innovation for cars combined with strong legislation, similar to that of California, to change our transportation consumption patterns. If we can put a man on the moon, surely we can move to a near zero GHG emission car industry. (adapted from GeogNews No. 149, November 15,2011).