Guest essay by Eric Worrall
What the starving, brutalised victims of the repulsive Kim regime need is more climate action, according to a Korean professor of sustainability.
Tackling climate change could bring North and South Korea closer and help stabilise the region
Research Professor, Sustainability, Yonsei University
October 13, 2017 6.18am AEDT
Given that air pollution doesn’t recognise borders, there are already several emissions-reduction projects underway that will require cooperation between Asian nations.
To meet its obligations, South Korea has pledged to buy emissions credits on the international market, offsetting 11.3% of its business-as-usual emissions in 2030. That is 96.1 million tonnes of carbon dioxide-equivalent emissions – already more than North Korea’s total greenhouse gas emissions in 2013 (78 million tonnes).
Because North Korea has its own obligations now, foreign countries including South Korea can no longer earn carbon credits from their carbon-offsetting projects in the country.
But if South Korea provides technical assistance such as satellite monitoring of North Korea’s reforestation progression and then can obtain the country’s “informed consent”, a mutual effort to generate carbon credits could be discussed.
North Korea doesn’t give a hoot about the environment. We’re talking about the country which last month announced their intention to detonate a nuclear bomb over a random location in the Pacific, to demonstrate their military virility.
I doubt North Korea will care if their test kills whoever is unlucky enough to be caught in the blast radius, or poisons anyone downwind of their primitive, high fallout bombs.
I’m horrified climate was ever used as an excuse to give money to North Korea. According to The Guardian, in Africa, paying governments to set aside forest reserves for carbon credits has led to the brutal deployment of armed soldiers to clear villagers from the new reserves.
Assuming North Korea pays any heed to international climate agreements, and creates or has already established similar forest reserves, does anyone think the Kim regime will be any kinder to North Korean people caught in the path of money grubbing international geopolitics? Does anyone seriously think the murderous Kim regime, whose brutal incompetence has already killed millions, would hesitate to kill more of their own people to secure millions of dollars of international climate cash?
I don’t know how to solve the North Korean situation. But giving the Kim regime millions of dollars to further mess up the lives of their victims in the name of climate action does not seem like a step in the right direction.