Who will foot the bill for cleaning the Earth’s atmosphere? - ABDULLAH MURADOĞLU

Who will foot the bill for cleaning the Earth’s atmosphere?

A summit is being held in Glasgow, Scotland, to assess progress made so far in the fight against climate change. 

The summit, which begins today, will last 12 days. Again, promises and commitments will be made on paper. It has been like that for years.

Climate Change is the greatest existential threat facing humanity. Climate change is both a global and a planetary problem, as it threatens other living things. 

Undoubtedly, this problem can be solved through global coordination. However, the great powers responsible for the Climate Crisis want to make the whole world pay for the solution of catastrophe they brought on. In this crisis, as in financial crises, capitalists act with the logic of “privatizing profits, socializing losses.” The forces behind the climate crisis are the ones benefiting most from it.

The actors behind the Climate Crisis are mostly capitalist countries. However, it is significant that the poor countries that contributed the least to the carbon accumulation in our atmosphere were the ones that suffered the most from this crisis. 

Take for example, Africa, which is responsible for less than four percent of the world's greenhouse gas emissions, will be the continent worst-hit by Climate Change in the short term.

According to meteorological studies, the glaciers of Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Rwenzori in Uganda and Mount Kenya in Kenya are expected to melt in the next 20-30 years. 

The glaciers of the mountains in question play a role in stabilizing the climate of Africa. A two-degree increase in global warming would be catastrophic for Africa. The continent will get warmer. You can imagine how hard this heat increase will make life in Africa, whose population exceeds 1.2 billion. 

Africa, which is home to 54 countries, is estimated to double its population in 30 years. Meanwhile, the continent also boasts the most youthful population in the world.

Capitalist countries are largely subverting the adverse effects of climate change by shipping a significant portion of their industries to countries such as China, Vietnam, India and Bangladesh. They both get cheap labor and dump their pollution onto other countries. Thus, they hit two birds with one stone. How smart are they? Wealthy Europeans also pollute water sources by dumping their wastes on African coasts, especially Somalia.

Currently, the countries guilty of the biggest carbon emissions are the U.S. and China. 

In total, China emits more carbon into the atmosphere than the United States. However, America and other capitalist countries still rank first in carbon emissions per capita. The amount of carbon emitted per capita by India and China, which have the largest populations in the world, is much less than that of the U.S. or the U.K. Since the onset of the Industrial Revolution, the largest share of carbon emissions had always belonged to the U.S. and Europe.

Former President Donald Trump first withdrew the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement, and then Biden overturned his decision. There is a deep disagreement between Republicans and Democrats about how to tackle Climate Change. Republicans are trying to slash Biden's investment proposals under the "Green New Deal." Certain Senators from the Democratic Party also share the same view as Republicans. 

If Republicans were to win the elections in 2022 and 2024, there is a a big chance that the fight against climate change will again fall by the wayside. 

U.S. fossil fuel companies, meanwhile, spend billions of dollars to lobby politicians to back their own interests. The beneficiaries of the Climate Crisis”do not want to give up their sweet profits. Remember the coups and wars they waged over oil!

Another important issue is the New Cold War that is raging between the two countries with the biggest carbon emissions, namely China and the U.S. 

The U.S. is waging this war in a bid to stop China's economic rise. Washington is pursuing a policy of containment when it comes to China as it continues to forge new alliances in the Indo-Pacific. 

It is inevitable that the increasing tension between the two countries will negatively impact the fight against Climate Change. Numerous countries, particularly India, continue to attempt to dodge the column. 

A fair and just solution is possible only if the countries that are the biggest polluters foot a larger part of the enormous bill needed to clean our planet’s atmosphere.


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