United Nations: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has linked the devastating floods last year in Pakistan to “climate chaos” spurred by greenhouse gas emissions to make his case for aid to Islamabad.
Speaking on Wednesday at a General Assembly briefing on floor relief for Islamabad, the UN chief said: “Pakistan needs and deserves massive support from the international community. I call on donors (and) on international financial institutions to make good on their commitments, and put the money they have promised the 4RF — Resilience, Recovery, Rehabilitation, and Reconstruction Framework for Pakistan — on the table as soon as possible.”
He said that only 69 per cent of the $816 million pledged to the Floods Response Plan launched by the UN and Islamabad has been received.
“Pakistan is still waiting for much of the funding, and delays are undermining people’s efforts to rebuild their lives.”
Trying to link Pakistan’s floods to climate change, he said: “The country is responsible for less than 1 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions – but its people are 15 times more likely to die from climate-related impacts than people elsewhere.”
The UN chief went on to say that “climate chaos” is “beating that door down, from Libya to the Horn of Africa, China, Canada and beyond” which have been hit by floods recently “and Pakistan is a chronicle of climate chaos foretold”.
“Developed countries must deliver the $100 billion” to the Green Climate Fund for developing countries to deal with climate change “and double (climate) finance for adaptation and resilience”.
General Assembly President Dennis Francis referred to the floods in Morocco and Libya and said: “Both tragic events serve as a sobering reminder that climate change knows no bounds, and our promises to countries and communities affected by it must remain steadfast.
“Considering climate-related disasters have almost doubled in the past two decades, we must make a determined effort to diminish disaster risk by focusing on prevention and preparedness.”
Pakistan’s floods are “a stark reminder of the catastrophic consequences of unchecked climate change”, he said.
Francis added: “I call upon Member States and the UN system to maintain their unwavering support for Pakistan’s recovery and reconstruction endeavours.”