"Endesa and Repsol have a great ecological debt with Latin America"

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By the alternating current

Interview with Miquel Ortega Cerdá. And the Spanish companies, "such as Endesa and Repsol", also have their responsibility.

Why are the countries of the North in ecological debt with those of the South?

There are many reasons. One of them, because the countries of the North use natural resources of the countries of the South knowing that they do not take responsibility for the environmental and social damages that they cause during their extraction.

Is there a relationship between ecological debt and external debt?

Yes, although there may be ecological debt without external debt. The existence of external debt favors an increase in ecological debt. How? The countries with more external debt need the inflow of foreign currency to be able to pay the external debt contracted.

Which country would be the most ecological debtor and the most indebted?

One of the most indebted countries would be the United States. European countries in general are also among the most debtor countries. On the creditor side, we would find many countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia.

In what parameters does Spain move?

It is a clear ecological debtor. Also, some companies from Spain such as Endesa, or Repsol in Argentina for example are acquiring a large ecological debt due to their irresponsible environmental behavior, mainly in Latin American countries.

How can this debt be quantified?

Ecological debt cannot be fully quantified monetarily. It is important to be clear that it is not intended to put a price on nature because that does not make sense. But on the other hand, some aspects of the ecological debt can be put in monetary terms, for example: How much money has company X saved by ignoring the necessary safety and environmental protection measures and extracting oil by damaging the extraction environment?

But isn't it normal for more industrialized countries to pollute more?

What should be normal is that each country takes responsibility for its activities. The ecological debt precisely denounces that the most industrialized countries avoid their responsibilities, and the effects of their actions are received by the countries of the South.

Don't they already pay some kind of pollution fee for it?

The legislation on pollution is minimal, but not only is that the problem, but the concept of ecological debt would also force them to face basic aspects of our lives such as excessive consumption of resources.

Does the concept of ecological debt pursue the cancellation of external debt?

The fact that the countries of the North request a debt from the countries of the South is ridiculous. We should begin by recognizing that the countries of the North are first and foremost debtors, that is why it is entirely logical to cancel the request for external debt and work seriously to change our own economies.

In 1995 it was already said that the North "owed" the South about 70,000 million dollars just for overexposure of greenhouse gases. Has this figure increased?

Yes & shy;, unfortunately it has not stopped increasing because the emissions of the northern countries have continued to grow. Currently, we can value the debt due to the over-emission of greenhouse gases, with a conservative estimate, at about 515,000 million dollars. The non-monetary effects of this over-emission of greenhouse gases will be seen by us and our descendants.

What percentage of external debt does the amount of ecological debt of these countries represent?

It is variable. What is clear is that the ecological debt is much greater than the external debt, which raises the urgent need for us to reflect on the economy we want in the countries of the North and the effects of the international relations that we are forcing.

You use the concept of biopiracy. Is it like intellectual property law but on nature reserves?

Biopiracy is the intellectual appropriation of ancestral knowledge related to seeds, the use of medicinal plants and other plants, carried out by laboratories in industrialized countries and modern agribusiness, and for which they also collect royalties.

But the information used for a cosmetic product, bought by a multinational company, cannot be the same as that used to produce a vaccine, bought by a humanitarian organization.

Certainly this is a totally legitimate question that highlights some of the clear shortcomings of the market, but we could still go further. If we believe that biodiversity is necessary in the medium-long term for human survival, should we trust the market to conserve it? Is the market the mechanism with which we have to manage human survival? Should anything be left out of this mechanism, if so & shy; Where do we put the borders?

* Interview with Miquel Ortega
(expert in ecological debt)
The Alternate Current -

Video: Latin Americas Wild Economic History, Explained. The Wealth of Nations (May 2022).