Wednesday Nov 09, 2022
SHARM EL-SHEIKH: Minister for Climate Change Senator Sherry Rehman Wednesday reminded the world that delaying climate justice for the vulnerable is subjecting them to a death sentence.
The minister is currently on an official visit to Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt, where she is attending the Climate Implementation Summit as part of the United Nations COP27.
“There is a race against time now for adapting to the climate crisis, and those with better resources will adapt faster, whereas, for others, it will be delayed," the minister said at COP27’s Pakistan Pavilion.
Rehman added that in every country the vulnerable will be the first to go down, and Pakistan wants to remind that delaying climate justice for the vulnerable is subjecting them to a "death sentence".
During a panel discussion titled "The Lost and the Damaged: Pakistan’s Climate Catastrophe", the senator stated that her agenda at COP27 was to ensure that loss and damage moves beyond a "bumper sticker" catchphrase for the Global South, and some bargain is broken with parties from the Global North.
Responding to a question on expectations from the loss and damage negotiations, the minister said: “This is the time now to ask for clarity and timelines."
"We can’t be making the entire COP27 pivot on an adversarial ask, which is why we haven’t gone into the business of reparations … It is time for us also to get our act together where we don’t have to wait for somebody else to define it for us.”
Nations worldwide are coping with increasingly intense natural disasters that have taken thousands of lives this year and cost billions of dollars, including devastating floods Pakistan, droughts in Africa and unprecedented heatwaves across three continents.
The world is "burning up faster than our capacity for recovery," Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif told fellow leaders earlier during the climate summit.
Countries are under pressure to step up efforts to reduce emissions to meet the most ambitious Paris Agreement goal of preventing temperatures from rising by more than 1.5 degrees celsius above the pre-industrial era.
One after the other, leaders of developing nations called for the establishment of a "loss and damage" fund that would compensate them for the here-and-now destruction caused by natural disasters, arguing that rich nations are responsible for the biggest share of planet-heating emissions.
The prime minister pleaded for help after the recent floods in Pakistan had cost his country more than $30 billion in loss and damage: "How on earth can one expect from us that we will undertake this gigantic task on our own?"