BUTLER, Simon. Australian Green Left Weekly writer on Climate Debt: "Now, it’s the poor countries that are demanding repayment. And this time the motivation is not financial gain but survival"

Simon Butler is a writer for Australia’s Green Left Weekly, that has been praised thus by outstanding Australian journaliist John Pilger: “"Without Green Left Weekly, freedom of press and public truth-telling in Australia would be gravely ill.”  (see: http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/44060 ).

Simon Butler on Climate Debtor obligation to repay Climate Debt (2010): The “we’re all in this together” mantra is often used by the rich nations to avoid their full responsibility to curb emissions. It erases the differences between the villains and the victims, assuming big polluters have no more obligation than anyone else to clean up the mess they have created… But an alternative approach is winning support among climate campaigners worldwide. The concept of climate debt rests on the fact that no solution to climate change is possible unless it also guarantees justice and social equality. It asserts that the wasteful, energy-intensive development of the rich countries has deprived the poor countries of their share of “atmospheric space”. For over-using the Earth’s capacity to absorb greenhouse gases, the rich world is in debt to the poor world. It’s fitting that the notion of climate debt reverses the normal debt relationship between the First and Third worlds. For decades, rich world governments and banks have insisted poor countries repay high-interest loans on time, regardless of the dreadful social outcomes. When any country has defaulted on its repayments, powerful creditors such as the International Monetary Fund and World Bank step in with privatisation programs and other neoliberal measures. Such programs have benefited Western corporations, while worsening poverty for people in the global South. Now, it’s the poor countries that are demanding repayment. And this time the motivation is not financial gain but survival. It’s a big responsibility of climate activists in the global North to support this call.”  [1].

[1]. Simon Butler, “Climate debt: why we’re not all in this together”, Green Left Weekly, 9 May 2010: http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/44060 .

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