Poorer countries across the Global South have contributed very little to global carbon emissions; yet bear the brunt of extreme climate breakdown. This year alone, flooding displaced 33 million people and submerged a third of Pakistan, while 55 million were people pushed into poverty and climate-induced famine by droughts in the horn of Africa. The effects of the climate crisis are hitting us all, but it is those least responsible for the crisis who are paying the heaviest price.
While wealthier nations carry on polluting and refuse to pay for the damage they have caused, the effects of climate breakdown are growing — as are the costs for adapting to a heated world. Communities across the Global South are calling for financing for loss and damage: compensation for what they have lost.
It is time the UK and other rich industrialised countries took responsibility for the climate crisis they did the most to cause – having produced 92% of historical excess global carbon emissions – by paying Global South countries climate reparations.
Climate reparations mean countries must stop further harm by rapidly cuting their carbon emissions, repair harm by providing technology and funding to support people around the world to adapt to the crisis, and pay loss and damage compensation to Global South countries for harm that cannot be repaired.
In his opening speech at COP27, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak talked the talk on the climate crisis. But for decades the UK government has been saying one thing and doing another. The UK government’s reliance on oil and gas is worsening climate breakdown while driving up energy bills at home – contributing to the cost-of-living scandal, with the poorest in the UK hit the hardest.
The UK government must hold the polluters to account. It must take responsibility for enabling fossil fuel companies to cement Britain’s role as a major contributor to the climate crisis. The UK government prefers to rely on oil and gas rather than transitioning the country to alternative clean energy sources, all while letting UK-based fossil fuel giants pay pennies in tax.
Paying climate reparations does not have to mean diverting money from UK public services. We have a choice between soaring fossil fuel company profits or putting the needs of people and planet first.
We demand justice, will you add your name to our call?