Pakistan asked to seek ‘climate compensation’

Published September 16, 2022
Men, who became displaced, push a makeshift raft while transporting sacks of fodder for their animals, following rains and floods during the monsoon season in Sehto village on the outskirts of Sehwan on September 15, 2022. — Reuters
Men, who became displaced, push a makeshift raft while transporting sacks of fodder for their animals, following rains and floods during the monsoon season in Sehto village on the outskirts of Sehwan on September 15, 2022. — Reuters

ISLAMABAD: A scientific study by an international meteorological expert group — World Weather Attribution (WWA) — has found compelling evidence of climate change exacerbating recent devastating floods and heatwave earlier this year and has asked Pakistan to seek compensation from developed nations for loss and damage support along with immediate push to reduce carbon emissions.

“We found that the 5-day maximum rainfall over the provinces Sindh and Balochistan is now about 75pc more intense than it would have been had the climate not warmed by 1.2C, whereas the 60-day rain across the basin is now about 50pc more intense, meaning rainfall this heavy is now more likely to happen”, said WWA in a report released on Thursday.

According to National Disaster Manage­ment Authority’s (NDMA) countrywide statistics released on Thursday, the unprecedented floods, triggered by record monsoon rains and glacial melt in northern mountains, have left 1500 people dead, displaced 33 million people out of a population of 220m and swept away homes, vehicles, crops and livestock in damage estimated at $30 billion.

Hundreds of thousands of people have been made homeless by flooding in Sindh province, with many sleeping by the side of elevated highways and roads to protect themselves from the water, the NDMA said.

Flood toll close to 1,500; Gates Foundation donates $7.5m for relief

The WWA report is co-authored by 26 experts relating to climate change, weather conditions, atmosphere sciences, geography, environmental sciences, public health and disaster management from leading 20 international universities, think-tanks and institutions.

“Extreme rainfall in the region has increased 50-75pc and some climate models suggest this increase could be entirely due to human-caused climate change, although there are considerable uncertainties in the results” about the drivers of high rainfall variability including, but not limited to, climate change, said the report.

Read: Unprecedented inflation and floods on a biblical scale have buffeted the already fragile Pakistani polity

“Being the chair of G77, the country must use this evidence in COP27 to push the world to reduce emissions immediately… “Pakistan must also ask developed countries to take responsibility and provide adaptation plus loss and damage support to the countries and populations,” one of the authors of the report said.

Flood aid

Also on Thursday, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has announced approximately $7.5 million in humanitarian assistance for the flood-affected people of Sindh and Balochistan.

In a letter to Pakistan’s US Ambassador Masood Khan, the foundation’s president Christopher Elias wrote that their polio programme would also support 1200 health camps, run by Aga Khan University in the flood-affected areas.

Meanwhile, the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), that brings together 15 leading aid charities of UK, has raised 25 million pounds for its Pakistan flood appeal, in just two weeks to assist flood-hit people.

Separately, Thailand’s Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Vijavat Isarabhakdi handed over cash donations of 14 million baht to Yasir Hussain, Charge d’Affaires of Pakistan Embassy in Bangkok, on Thursday.

The government of Switzerland, responding to the appeal made by Pakistan, has deployed a Swiss Humanitarian Aid Unit (SHA) in Pakistan. The unit is currently working in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa where it is repairing schools to enable over 900 children to return to their classrooms.

Amin Ahmed in Islamabad and Anwar Iqbal in Washington also contributed to this report

Published in Dawn, September 16th, 2022

Opinion

Editorial

Injustice undone
Updated 13 Jul, 2024

Injustice undone

The SC verdict is a stunning reversal of fortunes for a party that was, both before and after general elections, being treated as a defunct entity.
Looming flour shortage
13 Jul, 2024

Looming flour shortage

FOR once, it is hard to argue against the reason that compelled flour mills to call a nationwide strike from...
Same old script
13 Jul, 2024

Same old script

WHEN it comes to the troubling issue of enforced disappearances/ missing persons — either Baloch or belonging to...
Misery and despair
Updated 12 Jul, 2024

Misery and despair

Is a life lived happily and respectably too much to ask for from your country?
Temporary extension
12 Jul, 2024

Temporary extension

THE cabinet’s decision to allow ‘legal’ Afghan refugees — meaning those with Proof of Registration cards —...
Anti-smog strategy
12 Jul, 2024

Anti-smog strategy

BY acknowledging that smog is a year-round problem, and not just a winter issue, the Punjab government has taken the...