R.The polluting countries that are the main culprits in the “dismal” climate collapse have broken promises to cut emissions and help developing countries adapt to global warming, according to Pakistan’s climate change minister. rice field.
More than 1,200 people have died and a third of Pakistan has been flooded after unprecedented monsoon rains hit the country following a severe drought weeks ago.
In an interview with The Guardian, Climate Minister Sherry Lehman said global emissions targets and compensation must be reconsidered given the accelerating and relentless nature of climate disasters hitting countries such as Pakistan.
“Global warming is an existential crisis facing the world, and Pakistan is the epicenter, but we contributed less than 1%. [greenhouse gas] emissions. We all know that promises made in multilateral forums have not been fulfilled,” said Rehman, 61, a former journalist, senator, diplomat and former Pakistani ambassador to the United States. said.
“Despite very little compensation to countries that contribute little to the world’s carbon footprint, there is a great deal of loss and damage, clearly transacted between the North and South of the Earth. The negotiations are not working, climate change is accelerating much faster than projected on the ground, and we need to press hard for a reset.”
The scale of flood damage in Pakistan is unprecedented.
An area the size of Colorado has been flooded, with more than 200 bridges and 3,000 miles of communication lines collapsed or damaged, Rehman said. At least 33 million people have been affected, and that number is expected to rise as authorities complete a damage investigation next week. In Sindh, which produces half of the country’s food, 90% of his crops are ruined. Entire villages and farmlands were washed away.
Unprecedented and relentless torrential rains are the main culprit, with some towns seeing 500-700% more rain than normal in August. Large areas of land are still less than 8-10 feet deep, making it very difficult to drop food or pitch tents. Lehmann said the Navy is conducting rescue operations in dry areas where boats are not normally seen.
“The whole area looks like an ocean without a horizon, something you’ve never seen before,” Lehmann says. “I cringe when I hear people say this is a natural disaster.
Many have fled flood-hit rural areas, seeking food and shelter in nearby cities ill-equipped to respond. The total number of people stranded in remote areas and awaiting rescue remains unknown.
It will take months for the water to drain, halting the descent, but more rain is expected in mid-September.
Amid a political and economic crisis that witnessed the downfall of Prime Minister Imran Khan, Rehman, who was named climate change minister in April, said the government is doing everything it can, but the rains are holding back. Rescue and aid missions are being hampered by continuing rain, he said. The need for enormous scale.
While sympathetic to the global economic challenges caused by the Covid pandemic and the war in Ukraine, she asserted that “wealthier countries have more to do.”
“Historical injustice needs to be heard, and there needs to be some climate equation to avoid bearing the brunt of irresponsible carbon consumption. It is clear that it cannot be built,” she said.
There are also growing calls for fossil fuel companies, which have posted record profits as a result of Russia’s war in Ukraine, to compensate developing countries for the damage caused by global warming.
Mr Rehman said:
At the annual United Nations Climate Change Conference in Egypt in November, a group of 77 developing countries and China, now chaired by Pakistan, will meet after a year of devastating droughts, floods, heat waves and wildfires. , urges polluters to demand payment. .
Pakistan is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world to global warming, and the current devastating floods followed four consecutive heat waves with temperatures above 53 degrees Celsius earlier this year. I’m here.
There are more than 7,200 glaciers, more than anywhere outside the polar regions, and rising temperatures are causing glaciers to melt faster and earlier, adding water to rivers already swollen by rainfall.
“We get very clear and clear about what we need and what we take for granted, and where we think the set of larger global goals is going. Losses and dangers to a South suffering from an accelerating dystopia will have to be part of the negotiations driven at Cop27.
Wealthier polluting countries have so far been slow to pour out the money they pledged to help developing countries adapt to climate change shocks, like Pakistan, which contributes little to greenhouse gas emissions. more reluctant to participate in meaningful negotiations to finance the loss and damage suffered by poorer countries. .
Discussions on reparations have all but been thwarted, leaving vulnerable countries like Pakistan “bearing the brunt of other people’s reckless carbon consumption.”
“As you can see, global warming is not decreasing. Quite the opposite. We will not stop unless our pledges are kept,” Rahman said.
“We will be at the forefront, sustain loss and damage, and put climate change adaptation at the center of our discussions and negotiations.