ONE person in Britain generates as much carbon dioxide annually as 212 citizens of Burundi, Central Africa, a report published on Tuesday by Christian Aid says.
Burundi, with a population of about 12 million, has the lowest annual per-capita emissions of carbon dioxide in the world: 0.027 tonnes. The report, Hunger Strike: The climate and food vulnerability index, says that, despite being one of the world’s smallest polluters, Burundi experiences the same effects of greenhouse gases, and is one of the most food-insecure countries.
Christian Aid’s country director for Burundi, Philip Galgallo, said: “Burundi is a living testament to the injustice of the climate crisis. Despite producing almost no carbon emissions, we find ourselves on the front line of climate change, suffering from higher temperatures, lower crop yields, and increasingly unreliable rains.
“In a just world, our problems would be something we could address ourselves. But, because we haven’t caused this climate breakdown, we alone cannot solve it. We need richer, more polluting, countries to cut their emissions rapidly if we’re going to hold back the ravages of climate change and reverse its affects. Because of the global nature of climate change, this is an opportunity for the world to act together in solidarity and fairness.
“We have great potential for clean energy, but we need funding and support to unlock it. We have renewable resources of wind and solar with which we can power our development, but we don’t have the finances or technology to harness them.”
The Index, which lists the carbon footprint of 113 nations, was compiled to coincide with the publication this week of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s special report Climate Change and Land. The author of Hunger Strike, Dr Katherine Kramer, Christian Aid’s Global Climate Lead, said: “This report outlines in stark details the global inequality of climate change, and how it is the most vulnerable that are contributing least to the problem and suffering the most. . . We need to see rapid and radical emissions reductions in richer, high-emitting countries.”