WASHINGTON, Sep 05 (APP): An American newspaper has urged the international community to step up financial support to Pakistan where record-breaking floods have killed more than 1,300 people and displaced 33 million, as it highlighted the threat of climate change.
“Pakistan needs immediate help to recover from this disaster,” The Chicago Tribune said in an editorial, a day after Pakistani Ambassador to the U.S., Masood Khan, briefed the daily’s Editorial Board during his recent visit to Chicago, known as the ‘windy city.”
“Given that Pakistan’s estimated losses are $10 billion and counting, the international community will need to commit much more, and the U.S. and China, two of the world’s leading contributors to global warming, should position themselves at the vanguard of that effort,” the Tribune said.
Pointing to the Biden administration committing $30 million in humanitarian assistance to Pakistan and the launching of an appeal by the U.N. for $160 million in emergency aid to help the country cope with what Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called “a monsoon on steroids,” the editorial said the international community needs to do much more.
Ambassador Masood Khan told the Board that one-third of Pakistan is under water, pointing out that the square mileage submerged is “equivalent to Colorado’s territory,” as he underscored the “massive impact” of the floods.
“It’s a direct consequence or impact of climate change,” the Pakistani envoy said.
Pakistan is one of the world’s most vulnerable nations to the devastating impact of climate change, the editorial said. And yet, it emits less than 1% of the planet’s greenhouse gases, making it one of the smallest contributors to global warming, it added.
“There has to be collaboration and a deeper understanding between the developed and developing countries — the ones most affected and the ones that are the biggest emitters,” Masood Khan added.
“We should try to find solutions which would protect and remedy and save the planet from annihilation.”
The Tribune said that the Pakistani envoy’s remarks “are far from hyperbole”.
The editorial pointed to important U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report released earlier this year, and highlighted its “most startling findings: It’s the developing world that’s bearing the brunt of climate change’s harshest fallout — between 2010 and 2020, 15 times as many people in developing countries were killed by droughts, floods and storms than in the world’s wealthiest nations.
At the Glasgow climate conference in 2021, 197 countries agreed to cuts in carbon dioxide emissions that should keep rises in global temperature to within 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit, the editorial said, adding, “Too often, global pacts are hailed as milestones in international cooperation — and then ignored when it comes time for implementation.
“With climate change, the world’s nations, particularly its wealthiest countries, cannot risk putting off acting on long-term solutions for the sake of short-term needs. Fighting climate change has become an immediate, urgent need.”
“Today it is Pakistan”, the Pakistani envoy told the Board, “But it could be any other country in the world.”