ISLAMABAD: Senator Sherry Rehman on Friday urged immediate climate action and accountability of developed nations, em­phasising the two main drivers of the climate crisis — “inaction” and “injustice”.

This call was made during her address at the COP28 Pakistan pavilion in Dubai. “I feel strongly that there are two toxins at the heart of the climate crisis, one is inaction, and the other is injustice,” she said, according to a press release.

Titled “Climate Justice: New Narrative of Hope, Resilience, and Security”, the session was also attended by Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah, Justice Jawad Hassan, and UNEP Executive Director Inger Andersen.

It highlighted the devastating impact of climate change on vulnerable communities, particularly in Pakistan.

A statement issued by the Ministry of Climate Change quoted Ms Rehman as stating that the inaction of major polluters had a clear impact on the lives of people around the world, particularly those in vulnerable communities.

The senator cited the example of a woman who had to carry water for miles from a field to her home, a task made harder and more dangerous by climate change.

Ms Rehman said that the Paris Agreement was meant to address both inaction and injustice. However, she questioned whether enough progress had been made since then.

“Where are we today at COP28? The bumper sticker is ‘leave no one behind’.

“Well, right now, accor­ding to the synthesis re­­port of the IPCC, we are leaving half the world behind already,” she said.

She characterised COP28 as a “historic op­­portunity,” stressing the need to seize this moment to save “not just the planet, but half the world right now.”

The senator’s address was a reminder of the urgency of addressing climate change and the need for global collaboration to ensure a just and sustainable future for all.

Published in Dawn, December 9th, 2023

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