Climate justice: Who will compensate if global warming is responsible for Pakistan's fatal floods that killed over 1,200 people?
- As per the latest reports, more than 1200 people have succumbed to unprecedented floods in
- The official data reveals that the country has received triple the average amount of rain during this monsoon season.
- A third of Pakistan's glaciers may still melt even if global warming is limited to 1.5°C—the most ambitious target outlined in the Paris climate agreement.
AdvertisementClimate scientists have repeatedly warned about the impacts of global warming in terms of extreme weather events for decades. The projections are frequently turning true of late, especially in the most vulnerable parts of the world. The latest victim is Pakistan, as its people are now facing a “monsoon on steroids", as termed by UN secretary general António Guterres.
“Let’s stop sleepwalking towards the destruction of our planet by climate change,” Guterres wrote this week on Twitter.
More than 1,200 people have succumbed to Pakistan's unprecedented floods since August. The deluge has engulfed infrastructure and agricultural production, affecting 33 million people—about one-seventh of the nation's population. More than eleven lakh houses have been partially or completely destroyed, while floods have killed more than 7 lakh livestock, as per the country’s National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).
Due to the natural disaster, the government and the UN issued a Flash Appeal for USD 160 million in aid to help the country recover from the effects of the floods.
Role of climate change
The devastating floods in Pakistan could just be the beginning of harsher and more extreme weather changes in the upcoming years. However, Pakistan has experienced rainfall intensity was 780 per cent above average, as reported by climate change Minister
The NDMA data reveals that while the average amount of rain during the monsoon season over the previous 30 years was 132.3 mm, so far, 385.4 mm of rain have been recorded since June 14 — roughly 192% more than the last three decades. Prime Minister
Pakistan floods had all the prophecies of global warming: sweltering temperatures, scalding air holding more moistness, wilder intense weather, melting glaciers, vulnerable populations, and poverty. Pakistan, a vulnerable country, is yet to build resilience against such relentless rain and deadly flooding.
While the flooding has all the signs of a disaster fueled by climate change, it is too soon to formally blame it on it, according to scientists who spoke to The
Climate justice and compensation
Following the disaster,
South Asian countries like India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, along with several other African countries, continue to remain highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. According to the Germanwatch’s long-term index, Pakistan consistently ranks among the top 10 most vulnerable nations to climate change.
A third of Pakistan's glaciers may still melt even if global warming is limited to 1.5°C—the most ambitious target outlined in the Paris climate agreement. They might be getting closer to a tipping point—a state beyond which the melting would remain irreversible—as they continue to shrink year on year.
Therefore, several influential voices from countries like Pakistan have been urging wealthy nations to follow through on a commitment they made more than ten years ago to give low-income countries the promised sum of $100 billion annually to help adapt to climate change. However, countries like the US have continued to oppose to pay the obligatory "loss and damages" payment, aka climate compensation.
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