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Jared Starr - University of Massachusetts Amherst. Amherst, MA, US

Jared Starr

Sustainability Scientist in the College of Natural Sciences | University of Massachusetts Amherst


Jared Starr's research analyzes how economic inequality shapes the distribution of environmental benefits and harms.

Expertise (4)

Economic Inequality

Environmental Conservation

Income Distribution

Global Economy


Jared Starr is a sustainability scientist whose research analyzes how economic inequality – particularly at the very top of the income distribution – shapes the distribution of environmental benefits and harms through the global economy.

His 2023 research which found that the wealthiest Americans — those whose income places them in the top 10% of earners — are responsible for 40% of the nation’s total greenhouse gas emissions, was widely reported in national and international media, including in the Washington Post,, CNN, the Guardian, MSNBC and NPR.

Starr is also a skilled video presenter through his YouTube channel that creatively explains his research.

Social Media






Jared Starr: Recycling: 3 years of research in 4 minutes Jared Starr: How much carbon pollution does it takes to create wealth for the richest Americans...a lot!


Education (3)

University of Massachusetts Amherst: Ph.D., Environmental Conservation

University of Massachusetts Amherst: M.A., Environmental Conservation

The George Washington University: B.A., Political Science

Select Media Coverage (5)

Elon Musk was once an environmental hero: is he still a rare green billionaire?

The Guardian  online


Research by Jared Starr, a sustainability scientist at the University of Massachusetts, found that America’s richest 10% of people were responsible for 40% of the country’s climate pollution. He said: “Musk is a complicated figure. On one hand he’s played a critical role in popularising EV and battery storage with Tesla, on the other he’s flying space tourists on missions that create a huge amount of pollution. Private jets also use a lot of fossil fuel, so he would himself be in the super-emitter category.”

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This study calculated the carbon emissions of getting rich



Just 15 days of income generation for the top 0.1 percent of wealthy households in the United States creates as much carbon pollution as the income earned by the poorest 10 percent of the population over the course of a lifetime.Investments increasingly play a major role in driving up the large carbon footprint of the highest-income households, said Jared Starr, a sustainability scientist at the University of Massachusetts Amherst lead author of the latest research.

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America’s richest 10% are responsible for 40% of its planet-heating pollution, new report finds

CNN  tv


Research by Jared Starr shows that Americans who are in the top 10% of earners are responsible for 40% of the country’s total greenhouse gas emissions. Starr said, "Because of this, carbon taxes based on consumption disproportionately affect people with the lowest incomes, while the wealthiest Americans are largely unaffected."

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Study reveals America's wealthiest 10% responsible for 40% of US greenhouse gas emissions

Phys.org  online


"But, consumption-based approaches to limiting greenhouse gas emissions are regressive. They disproportionately punish the poor while having little impact on the extremely wealthy, who tend to save and invest a large share of their income," says Jared Starr, a sustainability scientist at UMass Amherst and the lead author of the new study.

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Wealthier Americans Are Responsible For More Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Study Suggests

Forbes  online


Jared Starr, a sustainability scientist at University of Massachusetts Amherst and the lead author of the study, said researchers wanted to think of those emissions as being created to create value for shareholders, who they believe bear ultimate responsibility for those emissions.

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Select Publications (1)

A carbon tax on investment income could be more fair and make it less profitable to pollute – a new analysis shows why

The Conversation

2023 About 10 years ago, a very thick book written by a French economist became a surprising bestseller. It was called “Capital in the 21st Century.” In it, Thomas Piketty traces the history of income and wealth inequality over the past couple of hundred years. The book’s insights struck a chord with people who felt a growing sense of economic inequality but didn’t have the data to back it up. I was one of them. It made me wonder, how much carbon pollution is being generated to create wealth for a small group of extremely rich households? Two kids, 10 years and a Ph.D. later, I finally have some answers.

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