People in the Global South are suffering the most from the climate crisis – although they have hardly contributed to it themselves. According to Oxfam, this injustice is also the result of colonialism and slavery.
According to estimates by the development organization Oxfam, the seven rich industrial nations (G7) owe the poor countries around 13 trillion US dollars in development aid and support in the fight against climate change. But instead of fulfilling their obligations, the G7 countries and their banks are demanding debt repayments of 232 million US dollars a day from the global South, Oxfam criticized ahead of the G7 summit from Friday to Sunday in Hiroshima in Japan.
“Wealthy G7 countries like to present themselves as saviors, but they have a deadly double standard,” said Oxfam director Amitabh Behar. “It is the rich world that owes the Global South: the aid it promised decades ago but never provided. The staggering cost of climate damage caused by the reckless burning of fossil fuels.” Their wealth was also built on colonialism and slavery.
Oxfam said the G7 summit is taking place at a time when workers are seeing wage cuts and food prices are soaring. Hunger in the world is increasing. For the first time in 25 years, extreme wealth and extreme poverty increased simultaneously.
The G7 countries have broken their promise to give 100 billion US dollars a year to poorer countries to deal with climate change. Their carbon emissions are estimated to have caused $8.7 trillion in losses and damages in low- and middle-income countries. The rich countries had also promised as early as 1970 to give 0.7 percent of their economic output to development aid every year: 4.49 trillion US dollars had not materialized – more than half of the promise.
“That money could have made a difference,” Behar said. It could have paid for children’s schools, hospitals, life-saving medicines, access to water and better roads, agriculture and food security, and much more. “The G7 have to pay their debts,” said the Oxfam boss. “This isn’t about benevolence or charity – it’s a moral obligation.”
I have been working in the news industry for over 6 years, first as a reporter and now as an editor. I have covered politics extensively, and my work has appeared in major newspapers and online news outlets around the world. In addition to my writing, I also contribute regularly to 24 Hours World.