Access to climate funds is deemed essential for Pakistan now which is facing in 2022 the brunt of climate change in the shape of floods, wildfires and heatwave, despite responsible for less than 0.5pc of global emissions. Therefore, climate justice should be served and rich carbon polluters must come forward and feel “moral pressure” to help fund climate-vulnerable Pakistan wracked by unprecedented and irreparable flood devastations.
2022 Flood Disaster in Pakistan
According to the United Nation’s estimate more than 33 million people, or one in seven Pakistanis, have been affected by the catastrophic flooding, which has devastated a country already trying to revive a struggling economy. More than 1 million homes have been damaged or destroyed in the past two and half months, displacing millions of people. Around a half million of those displaced are living in organized camps, while others have had to find their own shelter. That has led U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guttere to say in a video message to an Islamabad ceremony launching the funding appeal “Let’s stop sleepwalking toward the destruction of our planet by climate change. Today, it’s Pakistan. Tomorrow, it could be your country.”
Many factors contribute to flooding, but a warming atmosphere caused by climate change have made abnormal heavy monsoon rains and extreme melting glaciers triggered flood in Pakistan in 2022. Pakistan has received nearly 190% more rain than the 30-year average in the quarter through August this year, totalling 390.7 mm (15.38 inches). Major rivers, the Indus and the Kabul have reached “high to very high flood” levels that are likely to continue rising over the next coming days, the National Disaster Management Authority says in their press release. While flash floods have already swept away homes, businesses, infrastructure and crops across the country
Pakistan’ Contribution towards Global Warming
The world has already warmed by about 1.2C since the industrial era began and temperatures will keep rising unless governments around the world make steep cuts to emissions. However, countries like Pakistan that have contributed the least to global warming are often battered by the worst impacts. Over the past 50 years, the annual mean temperature in Pakistan has increased by roughly 0.5 degrees. Yet, the South Asian nation is ranked among the world’ top 5 countries, vulnerable to climate change’ devastation globally.
“This is not a freak accident,” rightly remarked Nabeel Munir, Pakistan`s ambassador to Seoul and chair of the largest negotiating bloc of developing nations at UN climate negotiations. “The science proves the frequency and the impact of these disasters is only going to increase and we have to be prepared for that. The human and economic impact is already staggering” and “this is an ongoing disaster; the rains are still going on”, he said.
The movement of Climate Justice correctly asserts; “The people who are suffering the worst effects ef global warming did the least to cause it.”
A Genuine Case of Climate Justice
Estimates suggest the floods have caused at least $10 billions of damage, and many people face serious food shortages. Vast swathes of rich agricultural land have been devastated in this year’s monsoon, damaging food supplies and sending prices soaring, at a time when the country is already suffering from an economic crisis.
Antonio Guterres, therefore, urged the world to come to Pakistan’s aid as he launched a $160 million appeal to help the tens of millions affected in the disaster, blaming “the relentless impact of epochal levels of rain and flooding”. The World Health Organization said over 6.4 million people were in dire need of humanitarian aid. “Access to health facilities, healthcare workers and essential medicines and medical supplies remain the main health challenges for now,” WHO said in a statement.