Green aid row: African countries called on rich nations to do more in the fight against climate change and criticized the failure of the West in fulfilling its 2009 promise. Wael Aboulmagd, who is the special representative of Egypt for Cop27 which is going to be held next month, called out wealthy countries for not meeting an agreement to give USD 100 billion (green aid) a year to poor and developing states by 2020.
The promise was made at Cop 26 in Copenhagen for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and dealing with the repercussions of the climate crisis on the most affected. Aboulmagd stressed that the US and Europe are “responsible for where we are right now” and yet the $100 billion (green aid) target has not been met. During a preparatory meeting in DRC, speakers shared Aboulmagd’s concerns.
Cop 26 was criticised for its lack of progress on climate funding. The West, in addition to not providing the funds which it promised in 2009 to poor nations, prevented the creation of a “loss and damage fund” to assist during natural calamities. UN deputy Secretary General Amina Mohammed said a lack of climate funding from powerful countries is going to be prioritised at Cop27.
Climate Change is a real thing; it is affecting everyone on earth. Irrespective of nationality, religion, ethnicity, culture etc everyone on earth is experiencing the impacts of climate change in their lives. What we are doing with our environment is determining our health and body, our attitude towards the ecology also represents our perspective on our health. Cutting down trees for timber, clearing a forest for an infrastructure project, disposing waste in rivers etc are activities in our daily lives which establish our relationship with the environment. While it is necessary that in order for human society to live, natural resources must be consumed, it is the extent to which we humans are willing to use them to fulfil our needs and demands. One of the biggest issues of climate change is maintaining a balance between our needs and the needs of our environment. Sustainable development is the need of the hour and is here to stay.
Egypt exposes West’s hypocrisy on climate change
In geopolitics, the climate crisis is one issue which unites every nation. Even countries which are adversaries understand that their political and economic disputes must be put aside when the issue in question is about the environment. Across the world, nations are witnessing the repercussions of their increased interference with the environment; some are struggling with floods, others with tsunami etc.
However, the levels of contribution in the destruction of ecology are different, powerful nations in the West have a lot to answer if they are held accountable for their actions. These superpower countries’ interference must be curbed immediately. Unfortunately, the consequences of harming nature by rich nations are felt in poor countries which are struggling with natural calamities.
The West never shies away in lecturing developing countries in Africa and Asia about the climate crisis. It always shames economically poor countries for not doing enough to protect the environment. The US and EU expect developing states to immediately switch to what they call greener energy which in their view will help in the fight against climate change. The West never understands that in order to transition into an economic model, which is consistent with its demand, a large amount of wealth is needed. The US and EU, which have advanced technology and large scale infrastructure, want developing countries to compromise their development and growth in the name of a greater goal.
The intentions and genuiness of the West to combat climate change were questioned at the Rotterdam Climate Adaptation Summit, held in September 2022, wherein the European leader chose to be absent. African leaders heavily criticized this absence.
Here comes the hypocrisy, the West wants African and Asian countries to fulfil their promises. But the same West refuses to honour its own promises which it made to the poor nations. Egypt emphasized the dual character of the US and EU, on the one hand they want every country to meet the climate commitments made during international meetings and on the other, the same West neglects to fulfil its own promises which it made to Africa and Asia.
By confronting the West on failing to meet its promise to fund poor countries more, Egypt brought the seriousness of the US and EU on climate change into scrutiny. Rich countries with high carbon emission levels have absolutely no right to dictate poor nations on what steps they need to take to address the climate crisis.
How can the West expect Africa and Asia to fulfil their climate commitments when it can barely honour its own?