South African development activist Leon Louw declared the U.N.'s “Green Climate Fund” nothing more than an attempt by wealthy nations to keep the poor nations from developing.
In an exclusive interview with Climate Depot at the Durban U.N. climate summit, Louw declared foreign aid or “government-to-government aid” is simply a way for rich countries to reward poor countries who are “best at causing poverty.” Louw is the Executive Director of South Africa's Free Market Institute, an influential think tank in Africa.
“What the governments of rich countries are saying to poor countries is: 'Those of you who are best at causing poverty, we will enrich you, we will give you money,'” Louw told Climate Depot while attending the summit.
“Government-to-government aid is a reward for being better than anyone else at causing poverty. Countries that get more government-to-government aide have lower economic growth rates. Countries with less aid have higher growth rates. If you subsidize failure you get failure and foreign aid does exactly that. It rewards people for being unsuccessful,” Louw stated.
The Associated Press described the U.N. climate fund as a method to “distribute tens of billions of dollars a year to poor countries to help them adapt to changing climate conditions and to move toward low-carbon economic growth.”
But Louw says the climate fund will wreak havoc on the developing world's poor. Louw explained: “The money goes to government and governments spend it of course on themselves, meaning various government projects, creating bigger departments, bigger bureaucracies — it's called big bureaucratic capture. They build empires, they build conference centers, and they buy political support. They go and distribute the money to communities where they want support and votes.”
Louw was at the Durban summit to oppose the U.N. climate fund to poor nations. According to Louw, the entire U.N. foreign aid process is aimed at keeping the developing world's poor.
“The money goes to the people who then are better at causing poverty. They can hire more bureaucrats, pass more laws, have more regulations. If you are good at causing poverty, we will give you more money to do what you do more of, which is to cause poverty. So they enrich the people who cause poverty; they compliment them on how good they are at causing poverty,” Louw said.
Louw said the entire premise for the U.N.'s climate fund is an admission that their goal is to keep poor nations poor.
The U.N. is admitting — this is implicit in the fund — that combating climate change is very costly, especially for poor people. It's devastating for poor countries. What the U.N. is saying is: 'We want you to indulge our opinion of climate change and if you do so it's going to cause a great deal of poverty and unemployment in poor countries.' You cannot, as a poor country, subscribe to the Kyoto Protocol and grow. The two are mutually exclusive,” Louw explained
“The U.N. is saying to poor countries: 'Those of you who adopt more anti-prosperity, anti-jobs, and anti-growth policies, under the pretense of environmentalism, we will enrich you. It doesn't matter — as long as you cause poverty — we will enrich you.'”
Louw asserts that the developing world does not need the wealthy Western world to achieve riches.
“Poor countries can become rich very quickly, like China, India, and in Africa, Ghana. Ghana, which has moved more than any other country in the world from being un-free to a free economy, is having 12 percent growth. It's now one of the highest growth countries in the world.
"Africa itself, Sub-Saharan, what used to be called black Africa, is now the highest sustained growth region of the world. The highest growth country in the world over the last 30 years is Botswana. So they don't need the rich countries to help them. All they need is for the rich countries to leave them alone.”
Louw says that if left alone, the developing world can gain wealth and freedom.
“They can actually overtake the rich countries like Hong Kong did. They become richer than the rich countries. China and India are headed that way. So now what the rich countries do is a kind of eco-imperialism. The rich nations say to the poor nations: 'Now you have to stop growth, you have got to stay poor. If you — the government — manage to keep your country poor, undeveloped and backward, we will then compensate you.'
"It is not a compensation for what the rich countries have done, it's a compensation for the ability of the governments of the poor countries to stop them from becoming rich,” Louw concluded.
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