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Is The US Using Climate Legislation To Grab Power?
The US and EU have strengthened their international racketeering program.
It is painfully apparent who is responsible for climate change. The paper trail is crystal clear. But these people are not the ones who will pay the highest price for our climate crimes. Instead, the poorest people who contributed the least to climate change will. This inequitable situation has been unpalatable to many in both the developed and developing world. To attempt to resolve this, a groundbreaking loss and damage fund has been in the works for years now, which would shuttle money from nations responsible for climate change to those having to bear the brunt of it. Great idea, right? Well, this once ingenious scheme has been taken over by a part of the US’s international economic racket, and it threatens to derail the entire project.
To understand this inane tale, we first need to recap what the climate loss and damage fund is. The concept has floated around international politics since 1991 when the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) and developing countries (as defined by the UN Climate Framework) started seeking funds for “loss and damage” from climate change. It only came to the forefront during last year’s COP27 climate summit, where the implementation process was agreed on. The fund would raise money from developed nation governments that can then be distributed to developing nations struggling to cope with rising sea levels, extreme heat waves, desertification, forest fires, crop failures and other climate change-related disasters to help them mitigate the situation.
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As climate change is ramping up faster than scientists predicted, the longer this fund is delayed, the higher the risk to those in need is. As such, the fund has been fast-tracked.
The basic framework of who would pay into the fund, and who is eligible for payouts from it have been mostly settled since COP27, the last part of the puzzle was where would this fund be kept, and who would administer it?
This is where the West (mainly the US) got their sycophantic hands on it.
You see, the US and EU wanted the climate loss and damage fund to be hosted and administered by the World Bank. You may not have heard of this shady “international” body before, but it is a significant player in international politics. The World Bank is meant to “provide low-interest loans, zero to low-interest credits, and grants to developing countries.” This may sound very philanthropic, but in practice, it isn’t. The World Bank CEO is always a US citizen, and typically, one with close ties to US trade and the US government. As such, countries receiving such loans and grants from the World Bank have to toe the line and appease the US’s international wants and needs. Otherwise, rates can be hiked, loans recalled, or grants ended.
In other words, the World Bank is not an independent body. It is the international economic strong arm of the US government, which is used with crippling efficiency to ensure the developing world continues to support the US and its Western allies, such as the EU. This isn’t hyperbole; the World Bank has been heavily criticised from across the political spectrum for this damning behaviour.
The World Bank also has an accountability problem. Its major shareholders are the US and EU member states. No higher body is ensuring it is acting impartial of the developed and developing nation divide. This is part of the reason the World Bank can wield such massive Western influence without any consequences.
To top it off, the World Bank is also cripplingly expensive for funds like this. A similar fund called the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) was set up in 2002 to fund schools through conflicts, disasters and health emergencies in developing countries. Its work is vitally important not only to international aid but for the recovery and growth of these countries, as they support the next generation. As such, every extra dollar it can spend is crucial. But the World Bank charges 12% a year to administer it! These eyewaterially expensive charges shuttle money from this fund and towards the West. What’s worse, these charges aren’t set and can be hiked up at any time.
The GPE has also suffered the World Bank’s US bias. The GPE board is democratic and meant to be the independent arbitrator of who gets the funds and when. However, the World Bank has limited this ability and acts as the fund’s controlling puppet master. This has led to aid being incorrectly distributed and even handed out in ways which block other critical educational funds from reaching these countries, which went against the wishes of the GPE board.
As such, it isn’t surprising that both the US and EU want this highly important and influential fund hosted by their thinly veiled economic racket. They would be the major donors to the loss and damage fund, and having extra control over the fund in this way will give them, even more, sway over the developing world and ensure they act in the best interest of our business models, trade biases, international aims and economic structures.
Of course, this isn’t how the US and EU proposed this. They argued that setting the fund up within the World Bank would be quicker than setting up a genuinely independent fund and, therefore, could help more people sooner. However, this excuse has yet to convince developing nations, who know that the time difference between the two options would be minimal and want the fund to be independent of Western influence and hosted by a more neutral body like the UN.
But, many developing countries are outraged by this. They have pointed out that the fund is set up to give funds “based on vulnerability,” however, there are no steadfast definitions of what makes a country vulnerable or vulnerable to climate change. As such, the door is wide open for the World Bank to misuse the fund and use its own Western-biased description of vulnerable.
One notable representative pointed out that such misuse could have stopped the fund from responding to recent climate disasters, such as the devastating floods in Libya and Pakistan. Two countries the US and the Western world don’t see eye-to-eye on and have been increasingly antagonistic towards. However, this stance shouldn’t stop funds from repairing the climate damage these countries have suffered, especially as the vast majority of historical emissions have come from the US and EU.
If the US and EU were able to stifle these funds from countries like Libya and Pakistan, it would be tantamount to weaponising climate change, which they have overwhelmingly caused. A slippery moral slope we do not want to go down.
Especially as the US and EU have a continued presence of resisting being held accountable for their climate crimes (read more here and here). This worrying trend, combined with giving these nations unaccountable control over such a fund whose sole purpose is to make climate disasters more equitable, is a recipe for disaster.
Despite these very valid reasons not to host the loss and damage fund with the World Bank, a decision was made last Sunday to temporarily do just that. Needless to say, this has outraged many developing nations, who see the obvious potential for corruption and misuse.
So, the answer to the headline is yes. The US and its allies have used possibly one of the most critical pieces of climate legislation since the Paris Agreement to strengthen their international economic racketeering program rather than enabling independent equitable aid to flow to those who will suffer under the most immense threat humanity has ever faced. We should be utterly ashamed. Hopefully though, the fund can be transitioned away from the World Bank and into independent hands before the damages of climate change become ravenous. That being said, I am not optimistic such a change will happen. After all, it involves wrestling power away from the US and EU, which is nigh on impossible.
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