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“Deeply unfair” to blame climate crisis on India and China, campaigners say

Climate justice campaigners have condemned attempts to “shift blame” for the climate crisis onto middle-income countries like China and India (@GlobalJusticeUK). 

Global Justice Now, a UK-based NGO campaigning for a justice-based transition, says that, while India and China have important climate action to take, rich countries have “a moral and historic obligation to act first”.

The UK’s cumulative historic emissions per capita are 5.5 times higher than China’s and 20 times higher than India’s, campaigners note, saying the climate crisis is “fundamentally our problem to address”.

The group calls for the UK to “build trust” by making emissions cuts of its own, committing to a fair share of climate finance, and reforming the global trade system to prevent fossil fuel companies from “suing their way out of climate action”.

Five fossil fuel companies are demanding $18 billion from governments for taking climate action that threatened their profits, Global Justice Now revealed earlier this year, using a system of secret courts that are built into trade deals like the Energy Charter Treaty.

Daniel Willis, climate campaigner at Global Justice Now, said:

“It’s deeply unfair to blame this crisis on China and India. Yes, both countries still have important climate action to take. But, when you look at cumulative historic emissions per capita, the U.K. is 5.5 times ahead of China, and nearly 20 times ahead of India. The global north has a moral and historic obligation to act first.

“We in the rich world have built our economies by fueling the climate crisis, reaping the benefits of carbon emissions while destroying the planet. This is fundamentally our problem to address, but we have repeatedly broken our own climate promises.

“Rather than shifting the blame, countries like the UK need to build trust by making serious real emissions cuts of our own. We must commit to taking a fair share of climate finance for low and middle-income nations – and we need to fundamentally reform the global trade system to prevent big polluters suing their way out of climate action.”

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