BY SILAS NKALA
BIG corporates have been adjudged to be the worst perpetrators of harmful practices that cause climate change in African countries.
This was revealed by the Southern Africa Human Rights Watch director Dewa Mavhinga during a recent meeting organised by the Matabeleland Institute for Human Rights (MIHR) in Bulawayo to discuss climate change effects and water rights in southern Africa.
“When we talk of climate justice we are really talking of a major intersection of big businesses and community rights or rights of individuals and usually businesses that sometimes have much power and resources than government. Sometimes these resources are deployed to defend particular provisions or to advance a particular provision,” Mavhinga said.
“When big businesses are involved, they also try to put messages in the media; they can put out several pages of advertisements in newspapers to set out a particular position.
“That is a big challenge to the powerless citizens or communities that do not have the financial muscle to articulate and defend climate justice issues, confronting big businesses that otherwise have unlimited budgets in terms of advancing and propagating their positions.”
He also accused tobacco farmers in Zimbabwe for contributing to climate change through wanton cutting of trees for wood to cure the golden leaf.