The Global South’s demand for climate justice is justified but so is the developed world’s need for growth and security. COP28 must prioritise the crafting of a win-win situation for all, including the wealthy.
While countries in South Asia are on the brink of climate disasters, the regional giants are intensifying their use of fossil fuels. China and India may have the resources to cope with the consequences, but their neighbours do not have the same level of adaptive capacity.
Excluding the oil industry from climate summits would only free polluters from responsibility, accountability and exposure to opposing views. Instead, vulnerable nations should seize the opportunity to disrupt the fossil-fuel status quo at source.
Neither country included mitigation of oil use or carbon offsets in their energy cooperation. Until research is turned into action, talking up the cooperation as addressing climate change just shows how “climate injustices” can be greenwashed into “climate ambition”.
As rich nations resort to coal in an energy crisis while resisting calls for climate reparation, poor countries continue to suffer the worst effects of climate change. At COP27, a climate loss-and-damage facility must finally be set up to compensate vulnerable states, which must stand together for a louder voice.