Europe must act to halt Third World deforestation

22 October 2009

Europe must act to halt Third World deforestation

SP Euro-MP Kartika Liotard took the opportunity of a European Parliament debate on the forthcoming Copenhagen climate conference to draw attention to the results of extreme deforestation. “The consequences for the climate as well as the social consequences in developing countries are often still given too little exposure in the climate debate. We must do all in our power to counter it," said Liotard.

Woodlands and tropical rain forests compensate to a significant degree for CO2 emissions. Deforestation, the destruction of rain forests and other changes in land use are responsible for at least 18% - close to a fifth – of the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere. "A sinister result of deforestation is that many indigenous population groups are being driven from their homelands and are no longer able to sustain themselves or their way of life," Liotard said.

"The system under which industrialised countries are allowed to offset their own CO2 emissions by financing projects in developing countries does not of course work," she continued. "The interests of rich countries and big corporations will always come before social and economic justice."

The Council of EU Environment Ministers and the European Commission are, Liotard argues, merely going over old ground. "The Council and the Commission are behaving like small children. If others don't fulfil their responsibilities under the Kyoto Protocol, then they won't either. In other words, addressing the climate problem is important, but only under our conditions."

Kartika Liotard's view is that this climate problem was created primarily by big industries and the lifestyles which prevail in the industrialised countries. The SP wants to see the polluter pay, and the West offering the Third World both financial and technological support.

You are here