The G20’s lies
The third meeting of the Group of 20 (G20) tourism working group will take place in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) from May 22 to May 24. India is in charge of the G20 right now.
India will definitely use this event to justify its illegal decision to take away IIOJK’s special status on August 5, 2019, and will expect everyone else to ignore the ongoing violations of human rights in Occupied Kashmir.
Foreign delegates will be taken on a sightseeing tour, which will hurt the Ladakhi people, who are mostly tribal, and their demands for constitutional protections for land, employment, the environment, and their cultural identity. These demands were made during a strike in 2021 by the Apex Body of Leh and the Kargil Democratic Alliance in the Ladakh region.
The city of Leh, which is mostly Buddhist, joined the protest with the city of Kargil, which is mostly Muslim, and asked to be recognized as a state and have its rights protected.
In addition to India’s actions in Occupied Kashmir, many powerful G20 members are responsible for environmental damage through their wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Ukraine, and other places. This is against international humanitarian law (the law of war) and was addressed in the UNGA Resolution A/RES/47/37 on “Protection of the Environment in Times of Armed Conflict” and by the International Committee of the Red Cross.
The G20 meeting will show India as a responsible nuclear power, even though India’s sloppy nuclear policy shows how sloppy it is when it comes to protecting the environment.
In 2019, Pakistani airspace was violated by an Indian plane, which was shot down and the pilot was taken prisoner. In 2022, India accidentally fired a rocket into Pakistan. India’s carelessness could have made things worse between the two nuclear powers in both cases.
In 2012, a parliamentary report on India’s nuclear safety rules pointed out major problems with international rules that are supposed to be followed.
The accident at the Kalpakkam Atomic Reprocessing Plant put the lives of the workers in danger and was called “serious.” In the report about the Tarapur Atomic Power Station, radiation-related health issues like cancer, goiters, and infertility were listed. In 2016, there was a big leak of heavy water in the reactor at the Kakrapar nuclear plant in Gujarat, India. This was called an emergency.
In 2017, an explosion at a coal-fired power plant in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh killed at least 29 people and hurt about 100 others. At the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in 2021, most G20 members who were industrialized countries backed India’s stance against a “phase out” of coal and in favor of a “phase down.”
This showed that the G20 believes in neoliberalism, which is bad for the earth.
Neoliberalism doesn’t want the government to get involved in the economy and instead supports an open market. However, its hypocrisy and weakness are shown when it needs bailouts from the government during a financial crisis. In 2017, the Carbon Majors Report said that since 1988, more than 70% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions have come from just 100 companies. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) says that the world only has 60 years of harvest left because the top soil is being destroyed and used up.
The media and the G20 members, both as an organization and as individuals, don’t talk about these problems. Lobbying by the coal, oil, and gas companies was successful, and it showed at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP27) in 2022, when the number of fossil fuel delegations went up from 15% to 25% since COP26.
In 2021, it was said that the energy policies of China, Russia, Brazil, and Australia, which are all important G20 countries, would cause temperatures to rise by 5 degrees Celsius, which would be very bad for the planet. In 2022, the UN expert said that G20 countries were responsible for 78% of all emissions in the last 10 years.
Under the leadership of Narasimha Rao and Rajiv Gandhi, India switched from a protectionist to an open market economic system. However, lands and natural resources were taken without permission, which made it hard for marginalized, climate-vulnerable local communities to access and control land, water, forest, and urban commons that are important for the public good.
In March 2023, international environmental law made a lot of progress after the UNGA passed a resolution proposed by Vanuatu, an island nation in the South Pacific, to ask the International Court of Justice what states’ legal obligations are to protect climate systems and people who are affected by climate change.
Environmental law and neoliberalism will always clash over things like compensation for communities impacted by climate change, environmental impact assessment, and regulation of industrialized countries and neoliberal institutions like the G20, the IMF, and the WTO.