The politics of climate change: Charity begins at home

They issue warnings that say we humans must move forward quickly to ink a global deal and secure it in time to avoid a human catastrophe.

However watching and reading all this, what is even more alarming for the common man, are the politics of Climate Change. There seems to be more mudslinging and politics than any actual concern about what is going to happen to the planet among us humans, who inhabit it.

Rich countries poke fingers at the ‘developing countries’. They say it is the developing world which is going to destroy the planet with its unchecked greenhouse gas emissions, larger carbon footprints and deforestation besides hundreds of other wrong doings. It seems like all the causes of climate change seem to emanate out of the poorer countries’ skies, creating melting of glaciers, rising oceans levels, loss of species of flora /fauna and degradation of forests.

Developing countries say that’s untrue; the developed nations have a historical responsibility dating back to the previous decades during their development, for which they have to pay today. They state that international climate talks must ensure that a climate finance proposal — backed by the world’s biggest economies, meets the needs of the world’s most vulnerable countries. So the fight continues between the two sides and hopefully some resolution is amicably reached at.

However, there is one glaring point that throws up questions, in the midst of the issue. One wonders what the biggest charitable institutions in the world like Oxfam and World Wildlife Fund are screaming themselves hoarse about? They demand a proposal that would require all countries to contribute to a global fund, based on their past and current emissions of greenhouse gases and the size of their economy.

Oxfam says that this proposal remains dependent on individual countries being willing to deliver on their funding commitments — a risky strategy given that rich countries have been notoriously bad at delivering aid money they have promised developing countries. They say rich countries have largely created the climate crisis but it is poor countries that are being hit first and hardest, and who are least able to cope.

Neutral funding

For example Oxfam estimates that by 2015 the average number of people affected each year by climate-related disasters could increase by over 50 per cent to 375 million — nearly all of them in the developing world. Oxfam International’s senior climate advisor, Antonio Hill, said: “Its good news that the world’s richest countries are putting their weight behind a proposal for financing climate action in poor countries. However, poor countries need a guaranteed flow of funding that is not subject to the whims of national governments.”

The media carries pictures of Oxfam’s employees standing outside negotiations thinking of creative ways to point fingers at the developing world. They march around with placards and raise slogans, to what purpose?

The World Wild Life Fund (WWF) too has a Global Climate Initiative wing. They too have been in the news regarding what developing nations have to do to help their poorer brothers. “We need deep reduction targets by industrialised countries. WWF is asking developed countries to agree to an aggregate emissions reduction goal of at least 40 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020,” says Kim Carstensen  leader of WWF’s Global Climate Initiative.

What are these organisations which are basically western initiatives backing us poorer countries with such forceful requests? Don’t you smell something is out of pattern? Why and what is the desperate concern of these organisations to back us? As the saying goes, “money is the root of all evil”. So, will the share of funding grow proportionately for them if the developed nations are targeted and badgered to cough up more? This is certainly worth a thought, as one can see the politics of climate change goes far deeper than just cutting global green house emissions.

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