Climate change is a universal phenomenon and has adversely impacted many countries. It has no geographical boundaries and does not need a visa or passport to enter any part of the world. It is a serious issue and concerns everyone. This year summer was quite hot for some parts of Europe, for which some of the nations were not prepared and neither used to such hot summer. But, the rich countries managed by instant measures and provided cooling or electric fans to their citizen. However, few countries, facing economic difficulties, passed through a crisis-like situation.
In Pakistan early start of summer was alarming, but the peak summer was also too hot and fire erupted in jungles, forests, and bushes all over Pakistan. That was a sign of a big disaster. Experts kept on urging the Government to take preventive measures and appropriate arrangements, as it was predicted heavy rains on the moon soon.
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Understanding the matter better
It happened during a disastrous monsoon season, the extraordinary rainfalls caused heavy floods. The areas which use to have an average rainfall of around 50mm, faced 1700 mm of rainfall – unusual. Almost one-third of Pakistan was underwater. Flood has damaged crops, cattle, houses, infrastructure, communications, etc. Nearly 2000 precious human lives were lost, injuring thousands, and the breakout of water-related diseases was outnumbered.
The magnitude of the flood and its severity of it was so huge that Pakistan cannot afford it alone. The damage caused was beyond Pakistan’s capacity. I think no single country in the whole world can face such a magnitude of disaster alone.
International communities and friendly nations have rushed to rescue and extended humanitarian assistance. The people of Pakistan are grateful to all those who have helped Pakistan during such a crisis.
However, due to the global economic crisis, external assistance was not sufficient and domestic capacity was facing limitations too. Pakistan kept on knocking on the doors of the international community and the Secretary-General of the UN has also appealed for extending helping hands to Pakistan.
As a continued struggle, lobbying, and hard work, a fund to address loss and damage caused by climate-induced disasters was established in the COP27 in Sharm-El-Sheikh (Egypt) recently.
Pakistan welcomes the establishment of a fund to address loss and damage caused by climate-induced disasters. The consensus decision taken to this effect by the COP27 in Sharm-El-Sheikh (Egypt) is a momentous achievement, especially for the Group of 77 and China, as the developing countries have been demanding such a fund for the past 30 years.
The catastrophic climate change-induced floods in Pakistan early this year that resulted in losses and damages of over US$ 30 billion refocused global attention on this critical issue.
Pakistan, as Chair of the Group of 77 and China, galvanized support for the establishment of the Fund in COP 27 in Sharm el Sheikh, first by having it placed on the Agenda of the Conference, and then pushing for a consensus agreement.
The dedicated “Fund for Loss and Damage” will address losses and damages in developing countries, such as Pakistan, which are particularly vulnerable to the adverse impacts of Climate Change.
Pakistan congratulates the developing countries for their exemplary solidarity and steadfastness in pushing their case for a Fund for Loss and Damage. We also appreciate the understanding and cooperation of the developed countries in recognizing the urgency to act on loss and damage.
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Pakistan also appreciates the Egyptian Presidency of COP27, especially Foreign Minister SamehShoukry, as well as UNFCCC Executive Secretary Simon Stiell, for this historic breakthrough.
We look forward to the early operationalization of the Fund, with the hope that the Fund would bridge a major gap in the climate finance architecture.
As part of its climate diplomacy — given that we are one of the most climate-vulnerable countries — Pakistan would continue to constructively contribute to global climate change debate, negotiations, and action.
Read more: Broken Bridges: The climate change dilemma in Pakistan
It is not only Pakistan but, several countries that have been identified by the experts might be under severe threat of climate change. Climate change can various natured disasters, like extremely hot summers, extremely cold winters, excessive rainfalls, heavy floods, droughts, earthquakes, tsunamis, eruptions of fires, volcanos, typhoons, etc. This year it was Pakistan that faced heavy floods, but, who knows when and which other countries might fall victim to climate change? The creation of this fund is a global one and may meet the needs of any deserving nation, who so ever falls victim to climate change.
Pakistan has become the voice of many other nations that are also under threat and afraid of their turn in the future.
Prof. Engr. Zamir Ahmed Awan, Founding Chair GSRRA, Sinologist (ex-Diplomat), Editor, Analyst, and Non-Resident Fellow of CCG (Center for China and Globalization). (E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org). The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.