I asked the government about the connection between drugs, organised crime and climate chaos because it is often over looked in big debates about international agreements, like COP26
The Global Initiative describes many West African States as ‘narco-states’. These include Guinea Bissau, Senegal and Guinea. All are equatorial Nations that are key to maintaining their rainforests and the world’s lungs, but corruption and organised crime can dominate decisions about what happens at a local level.
It is true that inequality and poverty makes corruption more likely but only drugs’ money can enable the take-over of a country’s political structures. The cartels in Mexico alone earn more than the entire GDP of most West Africa Nations, a region that acts as a hub for work cocaine distribution. And our drug laws create this vast wealth for criminals.
The war on drugs is a colonial hangover that is going to cost the world a great deal if this isn’t considered as part of global climate action. The quickest way to end the cartels’ dominance of both the rainforests and the political structures would be to end their financial dominance by decriminalisation and legally regulating the supply of drugs here in the UK.