Friday, May 14, 2010

North should pay South reparations for climate change

Stanley Kwenda in IPS: The North should pay reparations to the South for the effects of climate change. This is the position of Professor Patrick Bond arguing the case for ecological compensation that he believes the North owes to the South for causing climate change.

He told IPS that, "once a climate obligation debt is established, it’s a simple question of how the funds should be delivered". Bond is director of the University of Kwazulu Natal’s Centre for Civic Society (CCS) in Durban, South Africa. The CCS works with academics, researchers, civic society organisations and grassroots organisations to find solutions to societal problems.

Citing a pilot project where Germany is paying reparations to a community in Namibia, Bond said the reparations should be paid directly to women because they suffer the burden of looking after the family and therefore of climate change. Men often choose to squander whatever little money is left or made available to the family.

Under the pilot project, the German government is paying people living in a community in northern Namibia monthly allowances as compensation for the privations of the colonial period when Germany controlled the territory.

Bond's view was echoed at the climate justice conference where he was speaking. It was hosted by the Economic Justice Network (EJN) of the Fellowship of Christian Councils in Southern Africa (FOCCISA) on May 5-6 in Johannesburg. The Christian Councils are church-based organisations that work in the southern African region to solve societal problems such as climate change….

German currency from the hyperinflation of the 1920s, shot by waterborough

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