Germany’s Double Standards On South African Coal Expose Its “Green Imperialism”

Germany’s Double Standards On South African Coal Expose Its “Green Imperialism”

By Andrew Korybko

The indisputable trend is that Germany is weaponizing “green” goals by conning South Africa into exporting all of its coal to Europe as part of its promised energy transition, which serves the purpose of maintaining Germany’s industrialization amidst its radical diversification from Russian dependence, instead of allowing that BRICS leader to rely on this resource to maintain its own industrialization.

South African Ambassador to Russia Mzuvukile Maqetuka slammed Germany’s double standards towards his country’s coal industry in a brief interview that was published by Sputnik on Sunday. According to him:

“The Germans are quite aggressively pursuing their policy in the search for new markets. They came to South Africa to discuss energy transition issues. At the same time, they themselves increased coal imports from South Africa on a huge scale. The contradiction lies in the fact that South Africa has practically suspended the production and use of coal for its own needs, and now sells it to Germany.”

There’s no other way to describe the relationship that he just talked about than as “green imperialism”, which refers to the use of so-called “green” or “environmentally friendly” means for advancing hegemonic ends. The present piece will elaborate more on this new form of German-led colonialism.

Germany’s Greens are one the country’s most powerful political forces nowadays. They previously appealed to the population by presenting themselves as environmentally friendly pacifists but reversed their stance upon the start of Russia’s special operation in Ukraine, which Moscow was provoked into commencing in order to defend the integrity of its national security red lines there from NATO.

They betrayed their own “green” agenda by supporting Germany’s reopening of coal plants as part of its efforts to radically diversify from energy dependence on Russia while becoming the loudest voices lobbying for Berlin to play a greater military role in NATO’s proxy war against that same country in Ukraine. This metamorphosis exposed their true face as agents of imperialism this entire time.

The Greens’ stunning reversal on the environmentally friendly policies that this party literally named themselves after went even further than just affecting their own country as evidenced by Ambassador Maqetuka’s latest remarks to Sputnik. Hungrier than ever for one of the dirtiest energy sources in history, Germany began actively seeking coal in Africa, which brought it to that diplomat’s country.

As he told that Russian flagship media outlet, Germany drastically scaled up its imports of South African coal all while telling its partner that it needs to prioritize transitioning to green energy despite its infamous “loadshedding” that’s partially caused by that selfsame transition. This double standard becomes all the more striking after taking a quick glance at some relevant statistics.

Europe imported eight times more coal from South Africa in the first six months of the year while that exporting country’s power generation continued to gradually decline, with the second-mentioned trend expected to accelerate after the closing of the 56-year-old Komati coal-fired Power Station on 31 October. Quite clearly, the German-led EU and South Africa are in a blatantly exploitative relationship.

This objective observation is all the more alarming when considering that South Africa is the most industrialized country on the continent, meaning that Germany’s efforts to maintain its own industrialization amidst its radical diversification from Russian energy dependence is occurring at the expense of Africa’s coal-driven industrialization.

That’s already disturbing enough as it is but it becomes all the worse when realizing that Germany is gaslighting South Africans by telling them that their energy-related struggles are part of the sacrifices that they’re expected to make in support of their country’s green transition so as to save the planet. Germany itself doesn’t even believe this though as evidenced by the reopening of its own coal plants.

The indisputable trend is that Germany is weaponizing “green” goals by conning South Africa into exporting all of its coal to Europe as part of its promised energy transition, which serves the purpose of maintaining Germany’s industrialization amidst its radical diversification from Russian dependence, instead of allowing that BRICS leader to rely on this resource to maintain its own industrialization.

This “green imperialism” is all the more Machiavellian because it’s being spearheaded by the Greens, whose member Anna Baerbock leads the German Foreign Ministry and is thus most directly responsible for this new form of European imperialism against Africa. She’s selling this to her own people on an anti-Russian pretext while telling South Africans that it’s part of their global commitment to save the planet.

The reality is that it’s actually part and parcel of Germany’s hegemonic ambitions that were recently articulated by Chancellor Olaf Scholz in his manifesto for Foreign Affairs. Despite pledging to redouble his Great Power’s “green” goals, he’s really doing the opposite as proven by Germany’s blatantly exploitative energy relationship with South Africa, which works out to Berlin’s zero-sum benefit.

Africa’s over one billion people must therefore urgently become aware of Europe’s newest form of colonialism, “green imperialism”, before the rest of them are victimized just like South Africa has been. There’s nothing wrong with Global South states selling coal to the Golden Billion, but the latter mustn’t coerce the former into sacrificing their own industrialization as a result on faux “green” pretexts.

Under no circumstance must that de facto New Cold War bloc’s European members be trusted, especially not after EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell’s two racist outbursts in recent months. In mid-October he compared Africa to a “jungle” that he said is “invading” the European “garden” and threatening its “identity”, while last week he claimed that Africans never heard of Putin or even Russia.

The first was a reference to racist miscegenetic fearmongering while the second recalled the false racist stereotype that Africans don’t have the same level of awareness or intelligence as Europeans. Both are obvious proof that the EU doesn’t truly respect Africans as equals, hence why all the former’s members must be treated with the utmost of suspicion whenever concluding economic deals with them.

Germany is that bloc’s unofficial leader, so it makes sense that its Foreign Ministry would function as the tip of the spear for advancing “green imperialism” across that continent. It’s perfectly placed to play this role too since its led by the Greens, who cultivated the false reputation of supposedly being environmentally friendly pacifists even though they’ve since been exposed as coal-hungry warmongers.

Nevertheless, the optics of the EU’s informal leader having its global diplomatic efforts represented by a party that still claims to remain true to its founding principles despite factual evidence to the contrary adds a devious touch to the bloc’s “green imperialist” agenda in Africa. Baerbock and her ilk are manipulatively trying to guilt Africans into deindustrializing for Germany’s sake on a “green” pretext.

Self-respecting states across the continent should refuse to accelerate their green transition under ill-intended foreign pressure amidst the global energy crisis in order to ensure their own people’s living standards for the time being instead of capitulating to this coercion at their citizens’ expense. Hopefully South Africa will soon stick up for itself, tell Germany that enough is enough, and put its own needs first.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Voice of East.

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Categories: Geopolitics, International Affairs, Trade

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