Guest essay by Eric Worrall
President for life Robert Mugabe wants the UN (meaning America) to provide $1.5 billion per year, to feed Zimbabwean people who are currently going hungry, thanks to his government’s decade long policy of looting and trashing productive farms. Naturally he blames his country’s problems on “climate change”.
According to the Zimbabwe Herald;
THE ink is still wet on a climate deal to “save the world” agreed at Paris last December, but Southern Africa is already counting the costs of climate change-linked catastrophes.
A severe drought caused by El Nino has left over 14 million people across the usually food secure region in need of food support, aid agencies say. El Nino may not be a direct result of climate change, but the line separating the two is becoming blurred with each passing year.
In Zimbabwe, which has seen a succession of droughts since 2012, a fifth of the population is facing hunger, says Government, particularly in rural settlements.
Feeding them will cost $1,5 billion or 11 percent of all the goods and services produced in Zimbabwe in a year – also known as the Gross Domestic Product.
The economic costs of coping with climate change impacts in Zimbabwe and elsewhere are evidently enormous and strenuous. But the Paris Agreement – touted as a stronger binding treaty – does not commit to an equally swift financial response to the immediate challenges faced by millions of vulnerable people in Africa. To adapt, African countries – who are least responsible for causing climate change – should wait until rich countries have had their fill of economic growth.
And that will happen sometime after 2020 when the West will start to lower emissions more rapidly, but still not enough to curb global temperature rise at the higher safe limit of 1,5 degrees Celsius by 2100.
In the meantime, Africa and the rest of the developing world continue to feed on the crumbs of a rigid UN financial system that has failed to deliver on the promise of $30 billion support in fast-start finance for mitigation and adaptation.
Rich countries claim they delivered the money in excess, but given the extent of accounting loopholes in a system that indulges wealthier nations’ overbearing tendencies to be both referee and player, many were left convinced the claims were overstated.
Any money which falls into Mugabe’s hands is unlikely to be spent on food, or if it is, he will be very selective about who receives the food. His repellent sham democracy has a long track record of political violence, including the murder of 20,000 political opponents in 1983. Yet until a few weeks ago, Mugabe served as chairman of the African Union. His successor, Idriss Déby of Chad, the current head of the African Union – well, lets just say that Chad is not the top of my list of African countries which I would like to visit.
Make no mistake, if the promised UN climate cash starts flowing in Africa, its the Mugabes and the Débys, vicious political thugs who are well enmeshed in pan-African diplomacy, who will collar the lion’s share. It seems less than plausible, that any of this cash will help improve the lives of the ordinary African people whom they casually brutalise; far more likely, that the cash will help prop up dictators who have squeezed their own people dry, tyrants who are looking forward to an opportunity to help loot Western taxpayers.