Keeping Climate Justice Alive
Increasingly extreme weather is not only adding to the vulnerability of the world’s poorest communities, but is also hitting developing countries’ bottom lines, making it more difficult for them to invest in resilience. If the Global North is serious about climate justice, it must step in to break this vicious cycle.
LILONGWE – Africa is on the front lines of climate change. In what has become a dangerous vicious cycle, extreme weather is not only adding to the vulnerability of the world’s poorest communities, but also hitting countries’ bottom lines, making it more difficult for them to invest in resilience.
Worse, Africa has suffered a double whammy. Like others across the Global South, my own country, Malawi, already had its natural resources exploited by Western powers as they pursued industrialization and unsustainable levels of production and consumption. While advanced economies contributed the most to climate change, developing countries are now bearing a disproportionate share of its costs.
Earlier this year, Malawi suffered one of its worst tropical cyclones ever. Cyclone Freddy caused extreme rainfall, flooding, and catastrophic mudslides. The most extreme rainfall was in Nkulambe, Phalombe, where 42.5 inches (108 centimeters) fell in just four days. That is more than the area normally receives in a year. Some 2.5 million people were affected, with more than 659,278 people displaced, 679 dead, 537 missing, and 2,186 injured.