Pakistan is one of the lowest contributors globally to CO2 emissions, yet today it is being battered by unprecedented floods owing to climate change.
As per Climate Knowledge Portal, Pakistan faces some of the highest disaster risk levels in the world, ranked 18 out of 191 countries by the 2019 Inform Risk Index. This risk is driven mainly by the nation’s exposure to earthquakes and the chances of internal conflict. However, Pakistan also has high exposure to flooding, including, riverine, flash, and coastal, as well as some exposure to tropical cyclones and their associated hazards, and drought. Disaster risk in Pakistan is also driven by its social vulnerability. Pakistan’s vulnerability ranking (37 out of 191) is driven by its high rates of multidimensional poverty. Pakistan scores slightly better in terms of its coping capacity.
The question remains if wealthier states should take up the responsibility for climate change and remedy historical injustices and support low-emitting countries like Pakistan after the deadly floods have shown the devastating impact of climate change?
Pakistan had the hottest city on earth, Jacobabad at 51 degrees celsius in May 2022.
It experienced forest fires, melting glaciers and now has the worst floods in living memory.
Its at the epicentre of climate catastrophe. Cancel the debt, give Pakistan climate compensation now
— Claudia Webbe MP (@ClaudiaWebbe) September 4, 2022
“States that have enriched themselves using fossil fuels and other unsustainable practices must meet their international obligations. They must provide compensation and other forms of remedy for the loss and damage people are suffering in Pakistan,” said Rimmel Mohydin, Amnesty International’s Pakistan Campaigner to Amnesty.
With rivers breaking their banks, flash flooding and glacial lakes bursting, Pakistan is experiencing its worst floods this century. At least one-third of the country is under water. Scientists say several factors have contributed to the extreme event, which has displaced some 33 million people and killed more than 1,200.
As per The Guardian, richer polluting countries have so far been slow to cough up pledged money to help developing countries adapt to climate shocks, and even more reluctant to engage in meaningful negotiations about financing loss and damage suffered by poorer nations like Pakistan which have contributed negligibly to greenhouse gas emissions.
The future is already present, it's just distributed unevenly.
Climate breakdown is causing historic floods in Pakistan, and droughts in China and Europe.
We need immediate support for the Pakistani people, decarbonisation and funding for the frontline.pic.twitter.com/TyNgCjh8xE
— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) August 30, 2022
Discussion about reparations has been mostly blocked, leaving vulnerable countries like Pakistan “facing the brunt of other people’s reckless carbon consumption”.
There are also growing calls for fossil fuel companies – making record profits as a result of Russia’s war in Ukraine – to pay for the damage caused by global heating to developing countries.
With countries like China, USA, Russia, Germany, UK, Japan, and India topping the chart of CO2 emissions, who will stand up to compensate Pakistan for the damages that the country is bearing for no fault of its own.
Not competent enough to sit idle and stare as the world goes by, Pallavi is optimistic to a fault and believes in building her world on her own rather than depending on others to make things right.