Naomi Klein: Rich Countries Should Pay Reparations for Climate Change

18 Nov 2009

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The upcoming Copenhagen Climate Conference is being positioned by the United Nations as the now or never event for the world to secure a global agreement on addressing climate change, as it urges countries from both the developed and developing world to "Seal the Deal."

Great emphasis is being placed on the urgency of resolving the crisis, as further delays on a global compact will spell certain disaster for countries of the South disproportionately affected by global warming.

Negotiations are focussed on the roles of the world's current polluters (the developed world) and the so-called polluters of the future (the emerging economies), which include South Africa, India, China and Brazil -- or as Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) put it, climate negotiations are between those "who have caused the crisis and those who are suffering the consequences."

In the clip above, activist author Naomi Klein speaks to Mike Papantonio of Go Left TV about an article she penned in Rolling Stone magazine under the title "Climate Rage," which highlights the importance of reparations for developing countries affected by climate change. 

According to Klein, the developed world (largely the G8), which comprises just 20% of the world’s population, has contributed 75% of the emissions that created the climate crisis.

Klein argues that the response to the climate crisis should be based on the principle of "the polluter pays."

She contends that the developed world owes a "debt" to the developing world for causing the climate crisis.

In her view, rich countries that have created the climate crisis have a responsibility to help poor countries adapt to the increasingly hostile global climate.

Thanks to many of the world’s current crises being caused by the North, including the global financial crisis, which was caused by America, Klein says that the world is going to see a different kind of environmental movement at Copenhagen -- one that is angrier.

"This isn't the green, fuzzy, crunchy environmental movement of the past. This is a movement about people - less about polar bears and more about people – that is really looking at climate change as a kind of slow war that has been raged by the rich against the poor," she argues.

For part two of the Klien interview on Go Left TV, please click here.

You can find this page online at http://sacsis.org.za/site/article/188.19.

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