Friday, September 02, 2022
As global aid continues to pour into Pakistan in the wake of devastating floods that left millions homeless and more than a thousand dead, a Pakistan-born environmentalist has shed light on how the world's largest carbon emitters have offered "crumbs" as reparation.
Ayisha Siddiqa, an environmentalist, human rights advocate and co-founder @Pollutersout and Fossil Free University has put into perspective with a Twitter thread what it means for 33 million people to be displaced and be offered meagre amounts by the global north which will likely do nothing in real terms to alleviate their misery.
"I still don’t think people understand what it means for 33 million people to be displaced. That’s 6 times more people than those internally displaced in Ukraine from war, that’s roughly 90% of the population of Canada.
"That’s how many people are internally homeless right now.
"That’s more than the entire population of Australia, and 3 times that of Portugal," she said in a twitter thread.
Comparing aid to Pakistan's contribution to climate change, Siddiqa said that the United States, with its $30 million dollar donation, has given less than $1 per person to the people displaced. "That’s not even a drop, it’s an insult," she said.
She said that for a country, with CO2 emissions of 0.98% per capita and which has contributed to the climate crisis less than 0.5%, "it has been thrown crumbs at, and is told to be grateful".
"Imagine if for all you lost, you were given $1," Siddiqa said.
She said that Pakistan is not responsible for climate change the way the USA, China, Russia and Europe are.
She also cautioned the West, saying that Pakistan may look like a distant reality to the global north right now, but what is happening in Pakistan is the future of the rest of the world if they don’t stop burning fossil fuels. "Wake up," she said.
Talking about Canada and its contribution to climate change, Siddiqa revealed that the country contributes an annual 15.5 metric tons of carbon, meaning it is "actively setting the earth on fire" and has given us $5 million in aid, which is less than 50 cents per person.
"That’s the global north’s idea of reparations," she condemned.
Speaking about England, she stated that the good old English, who have emitted more than 78 gigaton of carbon since 1750, i.e. "flame torched the earth" have given us 800,000 pounds, that is 2 pence per person.
"Calling this charity is a hyperbole, even the average person has more decency than to open their purse only to give a displaced person a penny," she said.
Yesterday, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss announced lifesaving support, according to a press release issued by the British High Commission in Islamabad.
The foreign secretary said that the humanitarian support totalling £15 million from the UK will help provide shelter and essential supplies to people across the country.
“The UK stands with Pakistan, as tens of millions of people face devastating floods, which have left a third of the country – an area roughly the size of the UK – underwater," she said.
“As a major humanitarian donor, we will do all we can to get life-saving aid to the most vulnerable, including through this £15 million package of support.”