The Climate Action Pakistan on Friday expressed solidarity with the global campaign “Global Day of Solidarity for Floods in Pakistan” demanding climate reparations, an end to fossil fuels and accountability of the global north for driving environmental degradation.
“We believe that the global north must be made accountable for the havoc they have created in Pakistan. Climate activists all over the world organised ‘Pakistan is our story’ day of action, which called for an end to fossil fuels and climate reparations for Pakistan, starting with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) unconditionally cancelling Pakistan’s debt payments,” the activists and organisers called out the fossil fuel industry and the capitalist system it supports and how they were directly responsible, a news release said.
The actions and gatherings took place in Sweden, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Denmark, Germany, Portugal, Spain, Romania, Switzerland, Japan, Australia and California, and Washington DC, USA.
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Mariana Rodrigues, from Climaximo who organised an event in Portugal, demanded urgent action. “What is happening in Pakistan is the future that awaits the rest of the world and it will become unimaginably worse if we don’t stop burning fossil fuels and hold polluters accountable,” she said.
Anam Rathor, an activist and organiser from Climate Action Pakistan appreciated the global solidarity but also asked for accountability. “These high emitting countries need to take responsibility, but they also need to be held accountable for the deaths and destruction that has directly resulted from their actions.”
“After colonising our land for hundreds of years, killing our ancestors and stealing our resources, the global north, the fossil fuel billionaires have now colonised our atmosphere in their pursuit of wealth and development at the expense of our people’s lives and environment. Our associates in the climate action movement in Pakistan also expressed solidarity with the reparations and end the fossil fuel campaign,” she added.
Women Democratic Front’s President Ismat Shahjahan said, “Climate imperialism can not be seen in isolation. We need to go beyond climate reparations. Neo-imperialism and heavy indebtedness, the capitalist model of development, and militarisation of our region make the global south, particularly a front-line state like Pakistan make us more vulnerable in the face of such disasters.”
While the country was gearing up for borrowing more as the floods have caused around $10 billion in losses in the country, the forum thought that more would be required for reconstruction and rehabilitation. In the current moment of floods, unemployment, hyperinflation, and huge costs of reconstruction, demands for austerity and higher taxation are nothing but an outright attack on life itself in Pakistan.
“It is time for the global north that has colonised and exploited Pakistan for decades and centuries and for the companies profiting from climate destruction to pay reparations. The time has come for countries in the global north to take responsibility for the ecological crisis they have caused. Consequently, they must unconditionally end all of Pakistan’s debt obligations, invest in climate-resilient infrastructure in the country, and hold their own fossil fuel companies, global agribusinesses, and all their industries exacerbating climate change accountable for their crimes against humanity.”
Pakistan witnessed a record downpour and cloud burst from June to August causing flash floods in Balochistan, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and South Punjab resulting in the displacement of 330 million people, destruction of 1.7 million houses and 1396 deaths.