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    Wealthy Belgians generate more carbon dioxide than the poor

    The richest 10% of Belgians generate four times more CO2 than the poorest 10%. Credit: Belga

    The richest 10% of Belgians generate four times more CO2 than the poorest 10%, according to a new study quoted on Thursday by De Morgen newspaper.

    However, carbon dioxide emissions per euro spent are higher in the low-income group, according to the study, carried out by the University of Antwerp in collaboration with the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) and the National Planning Office.

    This is because the poorest Belgians spend a relatively higher portion of their income on basic necessities such as heating and electricity, which are particularly high CO2 emitters, and food. Close to half of the CO2 emissions from low-income households result from electricity consumption.

    The poorest Belgians generally spend less money on goods and services. They go less often to restaurants and spend less on clothing, household appliances or insurance, categories that are among the lowest generators of CO2.

    Governments need to take these observations into consideration when imposing any CO2 taxes, urged the researchers, whose study was based on a survey conducted among 6,000 households in 2014.

    Oscar Schneider
    The Brussels Times