This cannot go on. As a study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology found, “international regulation is necessary to prevent mining facilities from damaging the environment, to ensure the safety of miners, and to effectively deal with conflicts that arise over the international trade of strategic minerals”. Since offenders continue to offend, a comprehensive, muscular and mandatory global regulatory regime is required.
It is right that poorer places will have lower environmental standards than richer places. Because such standards cost money. In fact, they’re a luxury good, something we devote higher portions of our incomes to as we become richer.
When the battle is to afford 50 cents of mealie meal a day then spending vast sums on pollution that we would find unacceptable in the Thames is to condemn people to death.