Greenpeace UK: Global South 'used as a place to dump waste'
A new report reveals that the environmental emergency is the legacy of colonialism and that almost half of all the waste-burning incinerators are in areas with high populations of people of color.
Greenpeace issued a new report on Thursday that discussed the relationship between racial inequalities and environmental issues.
Produced with the cooperation of the Runnymede Trust, the report is said to be the first to document the disproportionate levels of environmental harm to populations of color and in countries of the south.
"This consolidation of research, case studies, and testimonials contributes to an understanding of the historical relationship between systemic racism and the environmental emergency, and the modern-day injustices experienced by people of color and Indigenous Peoples as a result," the report says.
"It’s clear that the environmental emergency cannot be addressed without also addressing racial justice."
The report covers a number of chapters, some of which include studies carried out within the UK and other European countries, as well as country-specific case studies in the Global South.
In the UK, it is documented that activists have fought against the establishment of waste incineration in areas highly populated by people of color. The toxic fumes emitted by the incinerators are the source of many illnesses, particularly breathing issues.
As for countries in the Global South, the report states that “climate change is the legacy of extraction, of colonialism, of slavery." These historical conditions are said to be in great part the reason why many countries suffer from a lack of financial resources which is required "to anticipate, adapt and recover quickly from natural disasters and extreme weather events, making them more vulnerable."
"Many countries in the Global South have now asked for their losses and damages to be recognized at the UN and their financial needs covered by those ultimately responsible for current emissions concentrations."
In a recent report published by the IPCC, it was found that the US is the number one emitter of greenhouse gases, causing more than $1.9 trillion in damage to other countries.
Despite efforts to push forward the "loss and damage" initiative during the UN climate change conference last year, the US has repeatedly blocked demands from developing countries to provide specific funding to recover from the losses caused by climate disasters.
More is yet to come with the exacerbated effects of climate change. A few days ago, it was reported that more than 1,100 died in Spain and Portugal due to the staunching heat wave that ravaged Europe. Moreover, wildfires were spread all across the south of the continent, including some parts of North Africa, where villages were seen to be completely burned to the ground.