A recent research has found that some of the world’s biggest carbon emitters do not spend as much on tackling climate change as they do on empowering their borders.
Ahead of COP 26, research and advocacy thinktank Transnational Institute (TNI) has released new research on the link between border violence and climate change, illustrating arms and border security firms as “profiteering of the climate emergency”
TNI’s report, The Global Climate Wall, is being launched as a wake-up call for COP representatives. It suggests that the biggest polluters are prioritizing the arming of borders against climate-displaced people rather than tackling climate impacts directly.
The report finds that the world’s biggest emitters are spending an average of 2.3 times more on border armament than climate finance, and 15 times more for the worst offenders, on average. This “Global Climate Wall” aims to close down powerful countries to migrants rather than address the causes of displacement.
The report shows that the Global Climate Wall will accelerate border deaths and injuries by failing to tackle climate change. Arming borders is an impractical solution to climate-linked migration, and diverts investment away from climate action, exacerbating human suffering. The number of people displaced by climate-related disasters is already increasing.
The report shows that the border, surveillance and military industries are climate change profiteers. The report reveals a deep link between industry and major fossil fuel polluters. Like polluters, border firms increase their revenues (now $68 billion annually) by pushing states to focus on militarizing their response to climate consequences rather than tackling its causes. Huh.
Based on the organization’s previous work analyzing the growing border and surveillance industry, TNI’s report further explores that:
Seven countries that spend an average of 2.3 times more on border enforcement than on climate finance have emitted 48% of the world’s greenhouse gases since 1850.
Border spending by the seven largest historical GHG emitters grew 29% between 2013 and 2018, while failing to deliver on their climate finance promises.
Countries with the worst crimes are Canada, which spent 15 times more on border enforcement than climate finance ($1.5 billion compared to about $100 million), followed by Australia, which spent 13.5 times more (of $200 million). $2.7 billion in comparison); US 10.9 times more ($19.6 billion compared to $1.8 billion); And the UK did almost twice as much ($2.7 billion compared to $1.4 billion).
The border industry is assisted in its development by the fossil fuel industry. The world’s top ten largest fossil fuel firms contract the services of the same firms that dominate border security contracts. The report also found that a large number of senior workers from both sectors are on each other’s executive boards from across the two sectors.
Nick Buxton, a researcher at the Transnational Institute and co-author of the report, said: “The oil industry is not the only business profiting from the climate crisis. This report shows that border, surveillance and military industries are also affected by climate inaction. Take advantage – it’s selling false solutions across borders to deal with the problems of a warming world.”
“The climate emergency is the single biggest challenge we face and will ensure where and how people can live and thrive. This requires immediate cooperation across borders – we need bridges, not walls.”
“At COP 26, delegates should insist on withdrawing public money from the border and war industry and putting it into real solutions; while securing a habitable planet for all.”
Report co-author Todd Miller said: “While the wealthiest countries are failing to provide climate finance, their spending on borders is skyrocketing. This strategy of building a “global climate wall” may do little to address climate change. But it has caused enormous violence and suffering on people all over the world. There is no wall high enough to prevent the dire consequences of climate change.”
May Bove, executive director of 350.org: “Climate campaigners should recognize that the fossil fuel industry is not the only framers profiting from the climate emergency. As the effects of a warming world deepen, governments will find costly but devastatingly attractive Will expand profiteering efforts to adopt response strategies.”
“The Global Climate Wall is such a costly and inhuman mistake – as powerful countries with walls, weapons, trenches, drones and razor wire separate themselves from those who must allies for a sustainable world.”
“Comprehensive and compassionate international plans to respond to climate consequences such as displacement should be on the table (within the scope of the dialogue) at COP26 and beyond. Our planet and people will not be able to afford any choice on this.”