Is the Malawi government serious about climate change?
Now the government has decided to build a coal fired power plant at the highest cost for any single project in Malawi since independence. Everybody knows that coal is the most polluting, dirty type of fuel on the planet. And it adds, more than any other fuel, to climate change.
We have been victims of climate change, mostly caused by industrialized countries. Look at the devastating floods in January. This is how poor people suffer from the overuse of fossil fuels. Now Malawi, instead of fighting climate change, is going to add to it in the worst possible way. The excuse is that more power will attract Direct Foreign Investment. But which company wants to invest in a site where it will be flooded? Where the population is suffering instead of producing? No company.
Also Malawi is splitting up Escom (Electricity Supply Company of Malawi) into two separate entities, to facilitate privatization. In her best seller “This Changes Everything”star writer Naomi Klein shows that privatization makes it impossible to combat climate change, and that the way to deal with climate change is collective action and government action. Not privatization: making Escom a private company makes sure it will strive for maximum profit. Maximum profit is not in climate friendly renewable energy techniques, it is in fossil fuels, where a big part of the cost is heaped upon the poor in the form of climate change. So privatization of Escom drives the climate change that causes droughts and floods.
This government is not serious about the poor, it is serious about more money for the rich (which shows in the climbing GINI coefficient). We need to put pressure on the government to get serious about our needs including the fight against climate change.