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Climate Action & Social Justice

Over the past few years I have had the great fortune to travel with my family to some incredible countries. Three countries have left the biggest impression:  

The Gambia - number 174 in the ranking of GDP (out of 196). Despite considerable progress in recent years – particularly in primary education – levels of poverty, food insecurity and malnutrition have remained unchanged or have worsened in the last ten years. Carbon footprint per person - 0.81t

India - according to the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDG) programme, 80 million people (out of 1.2 billion), roughly equal to 6.7% of India's population, lived below the poverty line of $1.25 in 2019 and 84% of Indians lived on less than $6.85 per day. This is an amazing improvement and gives hope but there is still a long way to go. Carbon footprint per person - 1.93t

South Africa- as of 2022, around 18.2 million people in South Africa lived in extreme poverty, with the poverty threshold at 1.90 U.S. dollars daily. This meant approximately 123,000 more people were pushed into poverty compared to 2021. Carbon footprint per person - 7.34t 

Each of these counties has been impoverished one way or another by historic colonial British rule. To put it another way, the lifestyle of a majority of people living in the UK today has been financed from wealth derived from these countries (and many more).

Poverty in all of its forms needs to be eradicated. We cannot though expect countries who have suffered historical injustice to contribute the same level of resource to fighting #ClimateChange as those that:

  1. Were the root cause of many of the social injustices we see in the world today. 
  2. Contributed most to damaging the environment and natural world.  

Everyone on the planet can be part of the solution but it can only be right that UK, Europe, USA, Canada and Japan make the greatest sacrifice.