The Left’s Climate Imperialism

Last October, the U.S. climate envoy John Kerry suggested that the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) should abandon some oil blocks that it had put up for auction. However, for the people of the DRC — some of the poorest in the world — this could mean more years of pollution and ill-health from dirty cooking fuels such as charcoal. Welcome to 21st century climate imperialism in Africa.

Climate Imperialism

A prominent form of modern slavery is climate imperialism, or eco-colonialism, wherein restrictive energy policies conceived and promoted by politicians in Western economies are forced on some of the world’s poorest. Though branded as environmentally friendly, these outlandish policies deny economic growth to those who most need it in Africa’s poorest countries.

According to the World Bank, in 2019, over 41% of the population in sub-Saharan Africa lived in extreme poverty. Poor households in Africa often lack access to necessities such as clean water, electricity, cooking fuel and health care. The region’s weak economy coupled with poor infrastructure impedes access to education and job opportunities, further exacerbating poverty.

The West’s war on fossil fuels, which is being promoted with draconian polices in developing countries, adds to the obstacles of overcoming this deprivation.

DRC’s Charcoal Problem

In the DRC,  over 63% of the population — around 60 million people — live in extreme poverty, on less than $2.15 a day. Only 23% of the population has access to electricity. And one of the biggest threats to health is the country’s dependence on dirty cooking fuels.

More than 90% of DRC citizens cook with charcoal, whose smokey indoor emissions are a major health concern. In addition, use of charcoal requires people — usually girls and women — to forage for wood, robbing them of valuable time that could be spent on education and acquiring more economically valuable skills. In the DRC, wood cut for charcoal sometimes exceeds quantities taken by loggers, contributing to deforestation of the country.

A solution to the overreliance on charcoal is the gas stove, which lately has been vilified by climate warriors claiming with no scientific basis that the emissions of burning gas are hazardous.

Cooking gas replaces fuels such as charcoal, wood, coal and dung, all of which contribute to indoor air pollution — estimated to cause 4.3 million premature deaths annually across the globe. When cooking gas is burned, the emissions are water vapor and carbon dioxide, both of which are harmless

Imperialism, An Obstruction To Gas Stoves And Gas Production 

The DRC government is pursuing policies to make oil and gas more affordable to its population and boost the economy. Last year, 30 oil and gas blocks went up for auction. The move drew sharp criticism from various quarters, including the U.S. administration hostile to fossil fuels, the UN and highly funded mainstream media.

Curbing DRC’s oil and gas production would disrupt a legitimate path to safe and prosperous living, which every other developing country in the world is pursuing — that is, a transition from dirty charcoal to clean and safe gas stoves.

Transitioning to gas is a well-established international policy directive of many bodies like the World Bank. In 2022, the bank’s Energy Sector Management Assistance Program announced a $500 million investment for a clean cooking fund in developing nations. Many Asian countries like Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Myanmar have immensely benefitted from such efforts. Today more than one billion people in India alone use gas stoves.

Efforts to restrict the production or use of fossil fuels serve to increase the prices of these exceedingly useful energy sources, making them less available to those who need them most. In the DRC’s case, carbon imperialism has taken the route of making the Congolese people remain in abject poverty.

Governments of developing countries that yield to the pressures of climate imperialism — whether to abandon coal-fired power plants or prohibit the use of gas cook stoves — ill serve their people. So far, the DRC government has resisted this.

The DRC government should follow the examples of Asian countries that have committed to providing their people with access to plentiful and economically priced fossil fuels. Otherwise, the misery of poverty, including smokey kitchens, could be the lot of the Congolese for a long time to come.

This commentary was first published at Daily Caller, February 3, 2023, and can be accessed here.

Vijay Jayaraj is a Research Associate at the CO2 Coalition, Arlington, Virginia. He holds a master’s degree in environmental sciences from the University of East Anglia, UK and resides in India.

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Tom Halla
February 5, 2023 6:05 am

As the greens basically hate people, keeping as many in thatched huts is a good thing to them.

Bill Powers
Reply to  Tom Halla
February 5, 2023 6:29 am

Not unlike using Rachel Carson’s book to justify the banning of DDT which has caused the lives of who knows how many African poor, the Davos Dandies are using climate change as motivation to prevent them from developing the infrastructure across the continent to industrialize and improve the quality of life.

Could it be the baseline motivation is the worldwide elite fear of overpopulation in the face of limited natural resources? “Fossil fuel for me but not for thee!” Hmmm…

Reply to  Bill Powers
February 5, 2023 9:40 am

“By some estimates, the death toll in Africa alone from unnecessary malaria resulting from the restrictions on DDT has exceeded 100 million people.

Reply to  Richard Greene
February 5, 2023 5:48 pm

death certificates please
this sounds like the same math that attributed deaths to covid, death to PM25
death and ashma from gas stoves.

junk science. because DDT is still used in Africa as is ivermectin the wonder drug

Bill Powers
Reply to  Steven Mosher
February 6, 2023 2:19 pm

The Collective is made up of fools and tools. At one time I figured you for a tool Steve but the more you post the more convinced I have become that you are a fool. Just too many stupid comments.
A tool of the collective is better armed with propaganda than you have recently exhibited in your posts. A tool would be better read on his leftist Style Guide. It runs pretty true to the NYTimes style guide which would arm you to better baffle with bullshite.

Steve Case
Reply to  Tom Halla
February 5, 2023 6:36 am

Reducing the birth rate is the usual means for left-wing liberals to reduce the population. That doesn’t exclude other means.

Reply to  Steve Case
February 5, 2023 7:13 am

Putin and Xi are as far left as you can get these days, further more both are pursuing imperialistic policies and fancy themselves as modern day Tzar and Huangdi, both currently are trying to encourage rise in the relevant birth rate, and yet neither believes in climate change or its ideology.
The author missed the word ‘Lunatic’ in the title.
One could argue if Putin or Xi are lunatics or not, but that is another matter

Last edited 1 month ago by vuk
Reply to  vuk
February 5, 2023 5:52 pm

putin is hardly leftist, neither is Xi, both are right wing nationalists, like trump

Reply to  Steven Mosher
February 6, 2023 12:45 am

Hi Steve
Nice to hear from you.
How are you doing?
Hope all is well.
All the best

Bill Powers
Reply to  Steven Mosher
February 7, 2023 9:19 am

Ignorant fool. Just another useful idiot of the Collective.

Reply to  Tom Halla
February 5, 2023 9:35 am

“greens” is too polite
also too close to my surname
i started using Climate Howler Global Whiners this week.

Reply to  Tom Halla
February 5, 2023 9:46 am

Or, in the eyes of the “green” extremists, let the cull begin

Shame on you, Attenborough, Patron “Saint” of Population Matters.

Tom Halla
Reply to  Redge
February 5, 2023 9:59 am

I think Paul Erhlich was disappointed when the mass famine deaths he predicted did not occur.

Reply to  Redge
February 5, 2023 11:22 am

But his colour cinematography is so beautiful. Only 2 weeks ago, our national TV service here in New Zealand showed his shameful walrus film, without the slightest acknowledgement that he had had to admit that that carnage was created by his filming crew causing a stampede. Time that old bufoon retired!

Peta of Newark
February 5, 2023 6:15 am

VJ Ramjam, you are a muppet
And even more tedious with your colonila colonial colnial lonalism ravings than I am with soil erosion

Any cursory search tells that DRC has enough oil to keep the world afloat for barely a fortnight – that is not going to solve their problems and by time its converted into arms, solid gold bathrooms and Bentleys will make their problems even worse

and good grief, which school did you attend, charcoal is not a ‘smoky fuel’

Dave Yaussy
Reply to  Peta of Newark
February 5, 2023 6:59 am

That was even more incomprehensible than usual

Rich Davis
Reply to  Dave Yaussy
February 5, 2023 7:33 am

But I really like the self-awareness about soil erosion!

Last edited 1 month ago by Rich Davis
Smart Rock
Reply to  Dave Yaussy
February 5, 2023 9:22 am

Peta’s been at the sugar again.

Reply to  Dave Yaussy
February 5, 2023 9:42 am

You need a Peta gibberish decoder ring
I’m selling them for $1
Also have a Jumpin’ Joe Bidet model
And a Kamala “the word salad queen” Harris model.

Reply to  Dave Yaussy
February 5, 2023 1:26 pm

“Whether or not you agree with it, could you point out any “incomprehensible” parts? It seems clear enough to me to cause no confusion about what was said.

Reply to  Peta of Newark
February 5, 2023 9:49 am


The DR Congo holds 180,000,000 barrels of proven oil reserves as of 2016, ranking 58th in the world and accounting for about 0.0% of the world’s total oil reserves of 1,650,585,140,000 barrels.

The DR Congo has proven reserves equivalent to 23.5 times its annual consumption. This means that, without Net Exports, there would be about 23 years of oil left (at current consumption levels and excluding unproven reserves).

Last edited 1 month ago by Redge
Reply to  Redge
February 5, 2023 10:00 am

What percentage? 0.0% is I typo I hope.

Last edited 1 month ago by Oldseadog
Reply to  Oldseadog
February 5, 2023 10:05 am

Nope it’s from here

It doesnot add up
Reply to  Redge
February 5, 2023 11:01 am

Bit out of date and off. BP World Energy shows 2.88bn bbl of reserves and 2021 production of 274,000b/d: as there are no refineries that is all exported, with products imported. Eni report they are on the point of starting up their 4.5mpta FLNG project. Prospects for more gas are good.

Don Perry
Reply to  Peta of Newark
February 5, 2023 11:05 am

Pure charcoal will not smoke, but these folks are making their charcoal from raw wood, which does, indeed, smoke from the bits of included raw wood and is carcinogenic. Good grief, which school did you attend?

B Zipperer
Reply to  Don Perry
February 5, 2023 6:27 pm

Indoor air pollution kills 2-3 million people worldwide every year
from heating & cooking using wood/charcoal, crop residue
and/or dried cow dung. The deaths are predominately women & children
in Africa.
It is immoral for ecofanatics or anyone else to prevent the poor
from obtaining adequate, reliable energy.

Dennis Gerald Sandberg
Reply to  Peta of Newark
February 5, 2023 2:19 pm

The use of charcoal for cooking and heating can be a major source of air pollution and lead to a wide range of health outcomes. The aim of this study was to experimentally quantify and characterise the gaseous and particulate matter (PM2.5) emissions from charcoal combustion in a typical brick barbecue grill. The gaseous emission factors were 219 ± 44.8 g kg−1 for carbon monoxide (CO), 3.01 ± 0.698 g kg−1 for nitrogen oxides (NOx expressed as NO2), and 4.33 ± 1.53 gC kg−1 for total organic carbon (TOC). Particle emissions (7.38 ± 0.353 g kg−1 of dry charcoal burned) were of the same order of magnitude as those from traditional residential wood burning appliances.

Reply to  Peta of Newark
February 6, 2023 8:46 am

“charcoal is not a ‘smoky fuel”

Straw man, point is it produces carbon monoxide, which seems to be what you’re huffing.

Tom Abbott
February 5, 2023 6:32 am

Leftwing billionaires think they know what’s best for the people of the Congo.

In fact, Leftwing billionaires think they know what’s best for all of us.

The Leftwing billionaires are trying to prevent the use of fossil fuels by those who don’t have a supply available, like in the Congo, and are trying to stop those of us who do have an available supply from using it.

The Leftwing billionaires want to impoverish everyone as part of their plan to save the world from CO2 and acquire political power for themselves in the process.

The people of the Congo and all the rest of us should tell the Leftwing billionaires to go fly a kite and get their nose out of our business.

Izaak Walton
Reply to  Tom Abbott
February 5, 2023 10:37 am

What a load of nonsense. Firstly Congo has been impoverished by a string of right wing
dictators starting with Leopold II of Belgium who turned the country into his own private
estate and the people into his slaves. Nothing left wing about him.

Secondly and almost by definition there are no left wing billionaires. There is no way you can become a billionair except by exploiting the work of others. Billionaires might spout socially liberal positions but being socially liberal does not make you left wing.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Izaak Walton
February 5, 2023 1:31 pm

Izzy applies a simple tautology to understand the world. If he likes the outcome, it’s “left wing”. If he doesn’t like it then it’s “right wing”.

Someone invents something that everyone wants and that enhances their lives, is said to be exploiting the labor of others when those “exploited” enter into an arrangement of their own free will to exchange their labor for money. The fact that the exploited laborer didn’t invent the product doesn’t enter into what passes for his mind. Everyone who invents something should just donate the idea to the common good. If they are lucky enough to win life’s IQ lottery, they owe it to folks like Izzy to donate their skills to the common good and work at least as hard as Izzy nay harder! for no more compensation.

Izaak Walton
Reply to  Rich Davis
February 5, 2023 2:37 pm

there is a vast difference between employing somebody on a fair wage and employing somebody with conditions so bad that they have to urinate in a bottle in order to avoid being fired. The later is exploitation and results in excessive profits. Forcing kids to work in mines is exploitation as is the case for many of the current rare earths being mined for electric cars. Demanding that women slept with you or get fired is exploitation. Being stuck in a garment factory and burning to death due to lack of fire escapes is exploitation even if you entered into that factory of your own free will.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Izaak Walton
February 6, 2023 12:46 am

I know, right? All those things are the norm in Western countries because our trickle-down laissez faire government refuses to intervene and don’t get me started about the indentured servitude laws.

Reply to  Izaak Walton
February 6, 2023 8:41 am

You don’t know your right from your left.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
February 5, 2023 10:40 am

I’ve aspired all my life to get rich enough to become a lefty.
Alas, I never made it.

See, being rich means you don’t have to worry about any of the dire consequences of your virtuous support for socialism affecting your personal luxurious lifestyle in any way, shape or form.

Plus, you can bask in the adulation of fellow travelers like Leo DiCaprio, Justin Trudeau, Pope Francis, etc etc

Reply to  Tom Abbott
February 5, 2023 1:29 pm

Its not the noses, its the guns barrels in front of the noses that cause the problem

Ron Long
February 5, 2023 6:53 am

The Central Africa Copper Belt goes through the Congo, and they have oil and gas reserves. What’s wrong? The Congo is the 164th most corrupt country in the world, out of 180 scored (by Transparency International, see CPI 2022). The Congo is getting bad news now about the children forced to mine (hand sort) material for the cobalt content. If it were not for the rampant corruption the Congo could be a well-off country, especially with legitimate mining companies paying good salaries, benefits, and taxes. Why do the Greenie organizations go there? Follow the money (back home to their bank accounts).

Rich Davis
Reply to  Ron Long
February 5, 2023 7:41 am

You meant that DRC is rated 164 out of 180 on “transparency”. That would put it at the 17th most corrupt country or more corrupt than 163/180 = 91% of the world’s jurisdictions.

But it’s actually worse than you thought. You got the wrong Congo. The DRC (formerly Zaire, formerly Belgian Congo) is actually ranked 166/180. So 15th most corrupt and more corrupt than 92% of the world’s jurisdictions.

Last edited 1 month ago by Rich Davis
Ron Long
Reply to  Rich Davis
February 5, 2023 9:46 am

Maybe I got the data from the 2022 CPI ranking by Transparency International and you got the 2023 data? Whichever, it is extremely corrupt, and therein is the problem.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Ron Long
February 5, 2023 10:17 am

No, I used 2022, same as you, Ron. Republic of the Congo is ranked 164, Democratic Republic of the Congo is ranked 166.

The DRC used to be Belgian Congo prior to 1960, stretching from a narrow corridor with access to the Atlantic into the deep interior of the continent. The “other Congo” with its capital in Brazzaville used to be part of French Equatorial Africa prior to 1958.

They’re both disasters. While the British did some good for their colonies, I never heard anything good said about Belgian Congo.

Ron Long
Reply to  Rich Davis
February 5, 2023 12:34 pm

OK, thanks. Ron

Smart Rock
Reply to  Ron Long
February 5, 2023 9:45 am

And the DRC has an estimated 100 GW of hydro electric potential on the Congo River. The proposed Grand Inga project alone has a potential of generating over 40 GW (twice the installed capacity of the Three Gorges and an estimated capacity factor of 70% – also twice that of Three Gorges). This colossal energy source could have millions of Africans cooking on electric stoves and having electric light. Funding the project appeas to be a bit sketchy due to concerns about corruption. And the green machine is already busy talking it down in favour of (you guessed it…)

Reply to  Smart Rock
February 5, 2023 1:42 pm

I wonder if that could turn out as wonderful as the Aswan Dam?

William Howard
February 5, 2023 6:58 am

A swedish NGO reports that every year 4 million people die because they don’t have access to fossil fuels – resorting to cooking and heating by burning parasite infested dung – guess those are just necessary losses for the greater good – but not to worry, if we just remove a miniscule amount of CO2 from the atmosphere the world will be the garrden of Eden again

Dave Andrews
February 5, 2023 8:29 am

It’s do as I say not do as I did or even still do!

Thus, in November 2021 Germany pledged billions of euros to wean South Africa off coal and building new coal plants. In mid 2022 Germany spent billions of euros buying South African coal to burn in German coal plants.

Alexander Vissers
February 5, 2023 8:30 am

And is is not just climate imperialism, with the ESG directive the EU are reigning over the borders on environment human rights labour and govcernance. Meanwhile the VAT gap in some EU countries is over 35%.

February 5, 2023 8:41 am

The Green deal is subsidized through Medicare and Medicaid under the Obamacares umbrella, and shared responsibility (e.g. progressive prices or capital depletion). How long can its effect be sequestered in labor and environmental arbitrage practices?

Last edited 1 month ago by n.n
February 5, 2023 8:45 am

Quite a lot of absolute delusion, which has now permeated into the masses. A mass delusion, curated by totalitarian authorities.

All based around the simple idea that, with introduction of internal infrared active gases, the downward beam increases in magnitude more intensely than the upward beam.

I↑ << I↓ = unphysical.

I↑ = intensity of upward beam
I↓ = intensity of downward beam

Such an idea is obviously ludicrous. They then double-down on the delusion with feedbacks. An unphysical gain resulting from an unphysical virtual perturbation.

It has come about because of confusion between radiation equivalent temperature, and thermal temperature. A reduced and deeply flawed conceptual framework.

Radiation theorists will never describe the mechanisms of the atmosphere with these flawed ideas. However, the delusion will be continue to be propped up because of the convenience for totalitarian top-down authoritarian bureaucrats.

February 5, 2023 9:27 am

The Left has always been authoritarian, it goes hat-in-hand with their desire to tell everyone how to live their lives.

February 5, 2023 9:33 am

“Guest blogger” ought to be replaced with Vijay Jayaraj, who is a great climate and energy reporter for Asia and Africa. This was the 24th of 24 articles on climate and energy that I recommended today. Everything written by Vijay has been good for years. Honest Climate Science and Energy

One important point
Of eight billion people on Earth, over seven billion live in nations that could not care less about Nut Zero. They want economic growth, which correlates well with CO2 emissions. So there is no chance that Nut Zero will stop the rise of the atmospheric CO2 level. The Climate Howler Global Whiners must know that. They have no answer for the lack of interest. Many less developed nations will have their hands out for some free “green” money, but they are not going in for unreliable power sources if they have to buy them with their own money. They may be poor, but they are not stupid.

  • So why does Nut Zero continue when it will obviously fail?
  • My answer is Nut Zero is about leftist control and government power

The fake coming climate crisis is just a propaganda tool to get that power and control.

Nut Zero = just a vision statement and arbitrary completion date
There is no detailed plan that could be evaluated for feasibility, cost and timing. There are no successful small scale pilot projects.

Nut zero has almost nothing to do with science and engineering. Nut Zero is intended to help take down the US economy, for a transition from the current socialism, to fascism, and finally to Marxism.

Leftists have to break what works to get what they want — fundamental transformation of the US economy. There are no guns used, but this is a slow motion Marxist Revolution, with political prisoners, censorship, rigged elections and Covid lockdowns. It has gained speed since 2020. The US Constitution is a memory now.

The US has a very serious problem — growing leftism.
The fake climate crisis is the primary propaganda tool

Nut Zero is going to be a nightmare. Almost all of the 195 nations in the world know that. But not the US, Canada, UK, most of the EU, Australia and New Zealand.

Richard Greene
Bingham farms, Michigan
No moniker for me

February 5, 2023 10:08 am

Kerry is just one of thousands of anti C02 hypocritical zealots that practice the ‘don’t do as I do, do as I say”philosophy. Shame on them.

February 5, 2023 11:17 am

Kerry is less costly than muskets were! But only just!

February 5, 2023 11:45 am

“[T]hese outlandish policies deny economic growth to those who most need it in Africa’s poorest countries.” That’s the entire point of the policies, and mistakes of that size are not made innocently. The goal of “net zero” is really just zero: to reduce everyone but the parasite class to a pre-industrial level of bare existence, at best. It’s unworkable in reality—A is A even for parasites—but they count on the reality crocodile eating them last.

February 5, 2023 12:51 pm

John Kerry is a buffoon, anyone who listens to him should have the snot kicked out of them.

February 5, 2023 1:03 pm

Cooking gas replaces fuels such as charcoal, wood, coal and dung, all of which contribute to indoor air pollution — estimated to cause 4.3 million premature deaths annually across the globe. 

the horror the horror

mr kurtz, he dead

Reply to  Steven Mosher
February 5, 2023 1:50 pm

What an UGLY comment from a very ugly little troll !

Frank from NoVA
February 5, 2023 1:34 pm

‘Last October, the U.S. climate envoy John Kerry suggested that the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) should abandon some oil blocks that it had put up for auction.’

If Lurch and his 3M friends (Misanthropic, Marxist, Malthusians) dislike oil E&P so much, they should simply pool their ample personal fortunes in order to put up winning bids. That way, they can stop Hectoring everyone, while keeping the blocks off line until the next auction.

February 5, 2023 1:37 pm

They have to keep the Congo in poverty, so that the cobalt minors don’t push up the price !

Edward Katz
February 5, 2023 2:08 pm

I’m still waiting to see extensive studies showing how many of these eco-imperialists have renounced their fossil fuel use. People like David Suzuki and Al Gore certainly wouldn’t make the list, nor would many (if any) of these movie and TV celebrities. When it comes to adopting Greener and more basic lifestyles, that’s for poor people, not the comfortably-ensconced environmentalists.

February 5, 2023 5:39 pm

They need “climate refugees” for their narrative.

“ Call it what you will — green colonialism, energy apartheid — this behavior is not only nonsensical, it is evil. We are talking about potentially adding 1-2% global CO2 emissions, which is preventing sensible development aid for Africa.”

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