The Global South has the power to force radical climate action

by | Jun 29, 2022 | World

During the past several years it has become clear that the international climate negotiations are failing to address the climate crisis. Existing policies have us on track for 3.2 degrees Celsius (5.76F) of heating this century – in other words, within the lifetime of the present generation. Scientists are clear that such a future will be characterised by severe suffering and dislocation.Western economies – and the corporations and elites that dominate them – are overwhelmingly responsible for this crisis. They have contributed more than 90 percent of the excess emissions that are driving climate breakdown.  Meanwhile, the impacts fall hardest on the countries of the Global South, which are already suffering the brunt of the heatwaves, droughts, floods, crop failures and human displacement. The climate crisis is playing out along colonial lines.
Political leaders and social movements in the Global South are aware of these facts. For years, they have been calling for more dramatic action from governments in the Global North, whose per capita emissions remain far higher than the rest of the world. But their pleas fall on deaf ears. None of the Western governments is on track to meet their fair share of the Paris agreement goals. Why? Because to achieve sufficiently rapid emissions reductions will require rich economies …

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