Climate change and debt relief – Tribune Editorials

At such a crucial juncture for Pakistan, money cannot surpass human dignity
Climate change and debt relief – Tribune Editorials
A synopsis of floods in Pakistan: approximately 1,200 people dead, 10 million displaced, 33 million affected, around 800,000 livestock dead, and about 1 million homes destroyed apart from all the infrastructural damage. It is also to be noted that Pakistan is suffering from one of the worst economic crises the country has seen to date.
Apart from putting a heavy toll on the national exchequer, healthcare inaccessibility along with food and water insecurity will exacerbate, pushing inflation to a 47-yearr high. Such damage and its consequences are second to none, something unprecedented to Pakistan and the world. Amid such chaos and a wide-scale humanitarian crisis, majority of Western leaders have offered nothing but silence. They must be reminded that Pakistan is 5th most affected by climate change even when contributing a meager 1% to global carbon emissions. This means that the rich fossil fuel industry including several other energy companies that reside mainly in the US, Europe, China and Russia are directly responsible for the unfolding devastation around the world. This has for long gone unaccounted for and the international community must now pay reparations for their doing. At such a crucial juncture for Pakistan, money cannot surpass human dignity. Many have advised the world to cancel Pakistan’s international debt so that the country can focus on easing the suffering of millions of helpless that have been left stranded. International lenders must take the situation into account and negotiate accordingly as it will take months, if not years, for Pakistan to recover from this.
This is only the start of the destruction that climate change has to offer and the situation will aggravate in the coming years. It is about time the officials vigorously push the agenda at the international level as this is no longer just a climate crisis; it is affecting all spheres of civilisation and humanity as a whole.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 5th, 2022.

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