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The 'green' new deal should not be a new imperial masterplan

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As countries in the Global North move past the peak of the novel coronavirus pandemic and start to gradually reopen their economies, the talk of a "Green New Deal" and a "green" post-COVID-19 recovery is gaining pace in Western liberal and progressive circles.

Politicians, experts, commentators and activists from the United States to the United Kingdom and Australia are arguing in unison that their governments should view the pandemic as a wake-up call to improve their relationship with the environment and take constructive steps to tackle climate change. While the recipes they offer for achieving a "green" recovery differ in detail, they appear to share one important feature: a tendency to ignore the global nature of the climate crisis, the nuanced and lived experiences of the Global South and the Global North's role in creating an unfair system that marginalises the environmental groups, peoples and ideas in the South.

Indeed only a few of the dozens of articles published on the prospects of a post-coronavirus "green" new deal talk of the irreparable harm the actions of rich industrialised countries have caused, and continue to cause, in the Global South. Some mention internationalism only in passing, seemingly to avoid accusations of Trumpian parochialism, while others argue - often as an afterthought - that the positive effects of European and American green new deals would eventually trickle down and be felt in the poor, developing countries that are on the front lines of the climate crisis. None of these articles, meanwhile, suggests the West should take responsibility for its past crimes or argue for climate reparations.

One article on post-coronavirus........

© Al Jazeera