Ecological Debt and Climate Debt

The ecological debt is what countries from the North owes to the ones in the South. It is the North’s duty to our planet, considering that the Earth is being gradually destroyed as a result of production and consumption systems. Such environmental damage can be traced back to colonial times and is still increasing in severity. 

Acts of plundering, usufruct, destruction, devastation, and pollution of Nature form part of this debt, which has also been engendered by the unfair ecological exchange since goods production for export–principally, commodities such as raw material–is carried out without considering social and environmental damage such as intellectual property theft and usufruct linked to ancestral knowledge of seeds and plants, the use and degradation of land, soil, water, and air to practise monoculture, rubbish and toxic waste dumping in Third World countries and other effects characteristic of global and industrial capitalism. As a consequence, local communities’ food sovereignty is in jeopardy. 

Climate debt is part of ecological debt. In essence, climate debt refers to criminal conversion of the atmosphere and the Earth’s capability to absorb CO2 arising out of fossil fuel extraction and burning. Air pollution is the main cause of the greenhouse effect and the consequent climate crisis which affects the most defenceless nations from the South

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