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Countries spend more on keeping refugees out than fighting climate change, thinktank says

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People stand next to a wall with a sign reading 'United Nations. Climate Change' on the second day of the UNFCCC COP25 climate conference on December 2, 2019 in Madrid, Spain [Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images]

The world's biggest climate change culprits spend on average a staggering 2.3 times more on border bolstering than climate finance, Transnational Institute (TNI) revealed in a report.

The report, 'Global Climate Wall', found that if countries continue prioritising bolstering borders, they will draw money away from tackling global warming, and just increase human suffering.

TNI pointed the finger at the border surveillance and military industry as some of the biggest profiteers of climate change.

The report found links between fossil fuel polluters and the industry and claimed the role of border and surveillance industry (now worth $68 billion annually) was to get states to focus on bolstering borders and keeping migrants and refugees out, rather than tackle climate change, which is set to become a major factor of migration in the coming years.

According to its report, seven of the biggest emitters of greenhouse gases – the United States, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, Canada, France, and Australia – collectively spent at least twice as much on border and immigration enforcement between 2013-2018, $33.1 billion, as opposed to $14.1 billion on stopping climate change.

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The worst offender was Canada, which spent 15 times more on border enforcement than it did on tackling climate change – $1.5 billion in comparison to $100 million. The second was Australia, which spent 13.5 times more on its borders than it did on climate finance – $2.7billion in comparison to $200 million.

The UK spent twice as much, the US ten times as much.

Todd Miller, co-author of the report, said: "While the wealthiest countries are failing to deliver climate finance, their spending on borders skyrockets. This strategy of building a "Global Climate Wall" does nothing to solve climate change whilst inflicting immense violence and suffering on people worldwide. There is no wall high enough to prevent the consequences of catastrophic climate change."

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