At UN, Pakistan raises alarm about climate change, urges international support 

Pakistan has never seen a starker and more devastating example of the impact of global warming. Life in Pakistan has changed forever,” Pakistan Prime Minister told United Nations General Assembly

RH Desk September 24

Warning that the impending climate disasters will not remain confined to his country, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Friday raised pitch for international support in rebuilding the flood-wrecked country. 

Sharif’s emotional account of loss and suffering caused by the catastrophic floods that wrecked the county last month came during his address at the United Nations General Assembly’s (UNGA) annual debate in New York. 

“No words can describe the shock we are living through or how the face of the country lies transformed. For 40 days and 40 nights a biblical flood poured down on us, smashing centuries of weather records, challenging everything we knew about disaster, and how to manage it,” Sharif told the General Assembly attended by leaders from across the globe. 

According to the United Nations, around eight million people have been displaced by the floods. So far, more than 1,500 people have been killed, one-third of whom are children. 

Detailing the account of the disaster, Prime Minister Sharif underlined that some 33 million affected people in his country are now at risk of health hazards. A significant portion of his country’s infrastructure was in ruins with more than 13,000 kilometres of roads damaged and two million homes either destroyed or damaged. 

“Pakistan has never seen a starker and more devastating example of the impact of global warming,” he said. “Life in Pakistan has changed forever.”

Underlining that Pakistan emitted less than 1% of the greenhouse gas emissions that have contributed to global warming, Sharif said it was “entirely reasonable” for his country to expect “some approximation of justice for this loss and damage, not to mention building back better with resilience and strength.” 

Earlier this month, a global analysis of the disaster by weather scientists’ collective World Weather Attribution had underlined the role of climate change behind the catastrophic floods in the country. 

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