G20 must compensate

Published October 5, 2022

THIS is with reference to the report ‘Pakistan asked to seek climate compensation’ (Sept 16). As evident by the unprecedented floods and unusual torrential rains in the country, Pakistan is paying the cost of the global climate crisis while it has almost nothing to do with it.

The country is ranked eighth among the most vulnerable nations. It is nothing but injustice. A study by an international meteorological expert group, the World Weather Attribution (WWA), has endorsed the fact that climate change is the prime reason behind devastating floods and killing heatwaves, and has rightly asked Pakistan to seek compensation from the developed world for loss and damage.

But who will pay for Pakistan’s misery? It has become a controversial issue as, at the 26th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP26) in Glasgow last year, the United States (US), along with several advanced nations, opposed the idea of obligatory payments for loss and damages. The US, mind you, has historically been the biggest culprit when it comes to greenhouse gas emissions.

The issue of loss and damages cannot be further placed on the backburner as it is happening right now. It is not a future event anymore. It is now on the climate negotiation radar in a way it had not been previously.

The forthcoming COP27, scheduled to be held from Nov 7 to 18 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, is crucial in this regard. Our shared planet is endangered. We need international effort to overcome our common foe. We must not let this unity and joint effort be marred by current political situation or events like Russian military intervention in Ukraine and tensions between the US and China over Taiwan as they are likely to hamper collaboration at COP27.

Given the fact that the countries of the Group of Twenty (G20), a group of the world’s major economies, together account for 80 per cent of global emissions, it is imperative for them to realise their responsibility towards curbing climate change and help the people living in developing and underdeveloped countries.

Khadim Hussain Subhpoto
Hyderabad

Published in Dawn, October 5th, 2022

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