Inexperienced group accuses Europe of local weather change colonialism – OK?

Guest contribution by Eric Worrall

According to the Equinox Initiative for Racial Justice, the EU Green New Deal is promoting exploitation in poor countries.

Climate colonialism and the EU’s Green Deal

By deploying corporate solutions to climate change, the EU’s Green Deal will anchor further European neo-colonial practices.

Myriam Dou
Member of the Steering Group for the Equinox Racial Justice Initiative

Meanwhile, the pursuit of greener energy sources, especially in the global north, is driving demand for metals like nickel, cobalt and lithium. Mining community workers extracting these metals are exposed to dangerous and degrading working conditions.

Although the end of colonialism was declared decades ago, its final impact in the form of these extractive industries is evident. The system of indigenous land grabbing, resource extraction, labor exploitation and wealth transfer established by European colonialists continues to function and dispossess people in the Global South.

The European Green Deal also ignores the environmental impact of the European pursuit of renewable energies and electric mobility on other parts of the world, where resources have to be extracted for this economic change. Nor does it pay attention to how climate change and environmental degradation have disproportionately affected their own marginalized communities and the poor and destitute in the Global South.

Only by recognizing that it upholds colonial capitalism and committing to ending that approach can the EU’s Green Deal be truly effective in tackling climate change. For far too long, European governments and companies around the world have wreaked havoc. It is time for justice, accountability and a complete overhaul of economic systems. Our collective survival depends on it.

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I checked out the Equinox Initiative For Racial Justice website, it doesn’t have a lot of content so I suspect the group was only recently formed. Your report Towards Racial Justice EU Institutions mentions some controversial political positions, such as the decriminalization of the undocumented border crossing and the desire for more diversity in the EU institutions. Their report, Towards Climate Justice, is very critical of racial capitalism, suggesting that capitalism is consolidating existing racist hierarchies, but it is not clear whether they are criticizing the concept of capitalism or simply the alleged brutality of African clean energy miners criticize.

They make some good arguments, such as the massive increase in extractive activity required to drive the European ‘green transition’ forward. From page 19 of Towards Climate Justice;

… The World Bank estimates that the production of minerals needed for a clean energy transition could increase by 500% by 2050.42 These materials include cobalt, lithium, copper, graphite and are in abundance on the African continent and in Latin America too Find. These minerals are needed to build clean energy technologies and the demand for these technologies is increasing. As we saw in the previous examples, clean technologies are not synonymous with ethical and fair systems. The EU has demonstrated a solution-oriented mentality and advocates that complex climate change problems can be solved with technology as long as the technology is renewable and clean. That is far from the truth and reality. The creation of solutions that pave the way to a sustainable and ethical future cannot rely solely on narrow science-based disciplines that are separate from social reality. This limits the potential to develop holistic solutions that address multiple aspects and effects of clean technologies. ….

It would be easy to write off the Equinox Racial Justice Initiative as another sad group of climate communists. But I fully agree with their point of view that many types of climate justice in rich countries seem to have a huge blind spot when it comes to the ruthless exploitation of people in poor countries to conserve the deluge of toxic minerals that needed for their precious green energy revolution.

It is long overdue for mainstream green groups to expect to neglect real climate exploitation problems caused by the green energy policies they promote. Equinox is one of the few green groups I’ve seen that highlight such issues.


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