The rich pay to escape

Obvious but worth reminding us:

A UN expert has warned of a possible “climate apartheid”, where the rich pay to escape from hunger, “while the rest of the world is left to suffer”.

It seems more inevitable than possible. Remember the hours-long queues for water in Chennai? It’s clear how money would make a difference in that scenario. Money pays people to stand in the queue for you, money pays for bottled water, money can get you out of Chennai altogether.

A key warning was that the world’s poor are likely to be hardest hit by rising temperatures – and the potential food shortages and conflict that could accompany such a change.

Developing nations are expected to suffer at least 75% of the costs of climate change – despite the fact that the poorer half of the world’s population generate just 10% of emissions.

“Sombre speeches by government officials at regular conferences are not leading to meaningful action,” Mr Alston wrote in a scathing put-down of current policy. “Thirty years of conventions appear to have done very little.”

Among those coming in for criticism are Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro, for opening up the rainforest to mining, and “weakening” environmental protections.

US President Donald Trump also comes under fire – for placing “former lobbyists in oversight roles”, “actively silencing and obfuscating climate science”, and also rolling back environmental protections.

Not if but when.

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