Letter: The south of the planet needs compensation for climate change

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I sympathize with Félix Tshisekedi, the president of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), for Africa to be compensated because its ecosystems have provided “free crucial services to the world”. There is a clear social and economic justice argument to support his case (Opinion, October 26).

The West has harnessed its own natural capital, be it forests or coal deposits, to fuel its economic growth since the Industrial Revolution. Britain’s current forest cover, at 13 percent, has dropped steeply during this period, for example. African nations like the DRC and Gabon, with forest cover of 65% and 80% respectively, are therefore right to demand economic compensation to conserve them for the benefit of the world, not only for the carbon they help sequester. every second of the day, but also their rich flora and fauna, which are invaluable.

There is a need for innovative financial structures that help place a clear monetary value on these forests and see their caretakers and owners compensated to keep them alive and thrive for the communities that depend on them for their livelihoods. To reject such options because they fail the carbon “additionality” test would be a tragic failure of common sense.

For this structure to work, African leaders would have to put their homes to plug aid leaks and use these transfers for their intended purpose so that Western taxpayers are happy to pay for it.

Padmesh Shukla
Cheam, Surrey, United Kingdom


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