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Climate and inequality

Klimatkrisen är ojämlik och orättvis – de rikaste har störst ansvar

The climate crisis is unequal

At Oxfam, we know that climate change, poverty and inequality are linked. Extreme weather events, such as droughts, floods and cyclones, are becoming increasingly common, hitting those who are already most vulnerable the hardest. For example, people in poor countries are five times more likely to be displaced by extreme weather than those in rich countries. Warming also affects poor people's livelihoods, for example through reduced or no harvests.

At the same time, those who make the most money also emit by far the most carbon dioxide.

  • The richest 10% account for about half of all carbon emissions in the world
  • The poorest 50% account for less than 10% of emissions
  • The richest 1% emit twice as much as the poorest half

In recent decades, carbon emissions have increased dramatically and the remaining carbon budget has been eaten up at a rapid pace. These increased emissions have come mainly from increased consumption by the already well-off, not from people lifted out of poverty.

This combination is what is known as climate equality.


What we do

We work for a climate transition that is fair. A transition in which those who have contributed most to the crisis also take the greatest responsibility for solving it. We do this primarily by contributing cutting-edge research in the field and by influencing those with the power to change: our politicians, business leaders and other key players in our societies.

We also work directly with people affected by climate change. Together with partner organisations and activists, we are countering the effects of climate change on communities that are already affected. We work to lift up marginalised voices, such as indigenous peoples, farmers and women, so that they are heard in decision-making processes to cope with climate change.

For over a decade, Oxfam has been campaigning to raise awareness of the inequality of the climate crisis and calling on world leaders to take action. We are proud to be an organisation that works for the climate, for a planet we can all live on.


  • Conduct and publish well-researched on climate inequality
  • Supporting small-scale farmers to adopt farming practices adapted to a changing climate
  • Working to strengthen the international community's ambition and cooperation in complying with the Paris Agreement
  • Advocates alternative energy systems that move away from harmful fossil fuels to clean, sustainable energy that respects, protects and improves people's livelihoods
  • Advocates that governments implement policies that ensure that those who emit the most greenhouse gases are also those who must reduce their emissions the most
  • Influencing politicians to protect those most vulnerable to climate change

Our work on climate

Influencing to change

Every year we release fresh research that makes recommendations and calls for the world's governments and businesses to tackle the climate crisis in an equitable way. Our experts are thorough and meticulous, and our findings often receive attention from the media, politicians and other organisations.

Report archive
En man står med ryggen mot kameran o tittar ut i naturen. På mannens t-shirt är Oxfams logga tryckt och det står Oxfam.

Helping those affected

The poorest people and countries are also those most affected by the consequences of the climate crisis. We are on the ground in crises and disasters, helping with the most urgent issues. With our expertise in water and sanitation, we're there fast, making sure people can survive to rebuild their communities.

Our disaster work

Building for a sustainable future

Together with partner organisations, we are on the ground where climate change is already leaving its mark. For example, we are training farmers in farming methods suited to a changing climate, such as our collaboration with Axfood.

Read more

Latest news on climate

Research om klimatojämlikhet

Framsida till Oxfam-rapporten "Climate Finance Short-Changed".

Climate Finance Short-Changed


Framsida till Oxfam-rapporten "Carbon Billionaires".

Carbon Billionaires


Framsida till Oxfam-rapporten "Carbon Inequality in 2030".

Carbon Inequality In 2030


Framsida till Oxfam-rapporten "Svensk klimatojämlikhet".

Swedish climate equality