Transnational Institute report highlights Canada spends 15 times more on border militarization than climate financing

Published by Brent Patterson on

A new report by the Transnational Institute finds that Canada spent an average of $1.9 billion a year (over the years 2013-18) on the militarization of its borders while only contributing $149 million a year over the same period on climate financing to mitigate the impacts of climate change that drive forced migration.

Overall, the report documents: “The world’s wealthiest countries have chosen how they approach global climate action – by militarising their borders.”

“As this report clearly shows, these countries – which are historically the most responsible for the climate crisis – spend more on arming their borders to keep migrants out than on tackling the crisis that forces people from their homes in the first place.”

Canada is responsible for 2.6 per cent of the world’s carbon emissions since 1850. It now spends 15 times more on border militarization than climate financing.

The report also specifies: “Seven of the biggest emitters of GHGs – the United States, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, Canada, France and Australia – collectively spent at least twice as much on border and immigration enforcement (more than $33.1 billion) as on climate finance ($14.4 billion) between 2013 and 2018.”

And it comments: “This militarisation of borders is partly rooted in national climate security strategies that since the early 2000s have overwhelmingly framed migrants as ‘threats’ rather than victims of injustice.”

We would also add that Canada deepens the climate crisis and furthers militarization through the $18 billion in subsidies and other forms of financial support it provided in 2020 to the fossil fuel industry, the $1.966 billion in “military goods and technology” it exported in 2020 to non-US destinations (Canada does not report on its arms exports to the US) as well as the $553 billion it intends to spend over the next 20 years on the Canadian armed forces.

The full 62-page report can be read at GLOBAL CLIMATE WALL How the world’s wealthiest nations prioritise borders over climate action.

In June, Peace Brigades International signed this statement that expresses concern about the “militarization of borders, particularly in the United States, Mexico and Guatemala.” These concerns were also raised on June 24 in this presentation during a Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants at the United Nations Human Rights Council session in Geneva, Switzerland.

PBI webinar, November 6

A PBI webinar on Saturday November 6 will feature environmental defenders from Kenya, Guatemala, Colombia, Honduras, Nicaragua and Mexico talking about how climate change has informed their struggles in the context of the COP26 summit.

The online event will be at 11:00 am (in Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, Chihuahua), 12 pm (Colombia), 1 pm (Ontario/Quebec), 7 pm (European time) and 8 pm in Kenya.

It will have simultaneous translation in English and Spanish.

To register to hear these frontline defenders speak, click here.

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