Across the world then, Europe has the lowest levels of inequality with the top 10 per cent receiving 36 per cent of the income share and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is the least equal with the top 10 per cent there in receipt of 58 per cent of all income.
The report notes that both wealth and income inequalities have been increasing, albeit at different levels, almost worldwide since the 1980s and find that “inequality is not inevitable, it is a political choice.”  Inequality between countries has declined but inequalities within countries has increased with the gap between the average incomes of the top 10 per cent and the bottom 50 per cent almost doubling from 8.5 times to 15 times. The report notes that “This sharp rise in within country inequalities has meant that despite economic catch-up and strong growth in the emerging countries, the world remains particularly unequal today. It also means that inequalities within countries are now even greater than the significant inequalities observed between countries.”
Another notable from the Report is that wealth has been transferred from the public sphere to the private, as countries get richer, governments have become poorer. As
“the share of wealth held by public actors is close to zero or negative in rich countries, meaning that the totality of wealth is in private hands. This trend has been magnified by the Covid crisis, during which governments borrowed the equivalent of 10-20% of GDP, essentially from the private sector. The currently low wealth of governments has important implications for state capacities to tackle inequality in the future, as well as the key challenges of the 21st century such as climate change.”
Gender inequality still remains a major issue worldwide. This Report sets out the first estimates of the gender inequality in global earnings. In 1990, women’s share of total income from work was close to 30 per cent and is still less than 35 per cent currently. Gender equality would suggest that women should be earning closer to 50 per cent of all income from work. So whilst some progress has been made, it is slow and spread unevenly across the world with some women experiencing a reduction in income share.
Income and wealth inequalities are closely linked to climate change inequalities. The average emission person emits “6.6 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2) per capita, per year.” However, the top 10 per cent of emitters produce almost 50 per cent of all emissions as opposed to the 12 per cent emissions created by the bottom 50 per cent. Figure 2 shows that the split isn’t as simple as high income country versus low income country with high emitters in low income countries and low emitters in high income territories.
A just transition demands that climate action policies target heavy wealthy emitters, who can afford alternatives and ensure that carbon taxes do not disproportionately impact those who currently create lower emissions but can can least afford them.
Figure 2 : Per capita emissions across the world, 2019