The true scale of the global North’s economic appropriation of the South

by Sarah Sleiman

A newly published report has found that the “advanced economies” of the global North rely much more intensively on appropriation of resources and labour from the global South than previous studies have suggested.

The authors of the study bring forward the hidden costs of traded goods from the South by evaluating the scale of exploited raw materials, land use, energy use and labour requirements in the process of production and by also evaluating the inequalities in international economic governance.

The study found that in 2015 alone, the North net appropriated from the South 12 billion tons of raw material, 822 million hectares of land, 21 exajoules of energy, and 392 billion hours of labour, worth $10.8 trillion in Northern prices – enough to end extreme poverty 70 times over.

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