Pakistan’s Looming Climate Catastrophe

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Pakistan remains one of those countries that will continue to be plagued by natural disasters and severe weather. The country is still reeling from the devastating floods of 2022 but has been beset by extreme weather events since the end of February. The recent unexpected deluge and snowfall claimed the lives of 45 people exposing the country’s acute climate vulnerability and lack of preparedness.

At COP27 in 2022, the Loss and Damage Fund to help countries like Pakistan was established. At COP28 in the UAE in 2023, several countries pledged $420 million. As of February 2024, commitments have only amounted to $661 million which according to UNDP “falls short of the billions of dollars of finance needed to adequately capitalize the fund.”

As an editorial in Dawn points out, Pakistan’s struggle highlights a global imperative: “the need for rapid, decisive action to support those at the forefront of climate change’s impacts.”

However, it is difficult in today’s day and age when every country has turned more inward looking, and there is little desire to help others to ask high-income states to “honour their commitments to adequately bankroll the fund.”

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Author: Sohail Ahmed