Wednesday, 9 October 2019

Desmond Tutu on Climate Apartheid

Back in the 1970s and 1980s, one of our most important levers in overcoming apartheid was the support of global corporations that heeded the call to divest. Apartheid became a global enemy; now it is climate change’s turn.

Yet energy companies are continuing to explore for new fossil fuel reserves that environmental scientists say we will never be able to use. By the time those reserves are tapped, global temperatures will have risen so high that the world as we know it will have ceased to exist. July was not only the hottest month on record globally but also the 415th consecutive month with temperatures above the 20th century average. If not checked now, climate change will wreck all progress people have made in their understanding of the values of equality, shared responsibility, human rights and justice since the second world war and lay to waste the UN Sustainable Development Goals for 2030.

Former UN chief Ban Ki-moon’s blunt warning that we can “delay and pay” for climate change or “plan and prosper” is a clarion call to action, but will those holding the reins of economic power have heard him? The rich and powerful must be persuaded to pay. They have caused most of the mess we are in. Their obligations are not legal; they are based in ethics and human values.

Sadly, the leaders of some of the largest contributors to climate change show little interest in human rights and justice. The prospect of what some are terming climate apartheid, in which the rich pay to protect themselves from the worst impacts while the poor take the full hit is becoming depressingly real.

Desmond Tutu, 3 October 2019

full text see/excerpts via: Financial Times "Climate change is the apartheid of our times"

- - - - - -

Related postings:
::: Quoting Desmond Tutu: LINK
::: Desmond Tutu's Letter to Aung San Suu Kyi: LINK
::: "It doesn't matter where we worship or what we call God...": LINK

- - - - - -
photograph via


  1. Abbie Winterburn9 October 2019 at 09:10

    A beautiful mind, I would say.

  2. Replies
    1. Sometimes I naively dream of people like him governing countries. How different our world would be.
      Thanks, Karen!