PM Addresses UNGA : Sharif Gives A Wake Up Call On Climate Change

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif is addressing the 77th session of the UNGA in New York

Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif has urged the world leaders to come together and “act now” to deal with the issue of climate change.

In his address to the 77th session of United Nations General Assembly in New York on Friday, he said we expect some approximation of justice for the loss and damage by this calamity that has not been triggered by anything we have done.

The Prime Minister said due to this global challenge, our glaciers are melting fast, our forests are burning, and our heat waves have crossed 53 degree C, making us the hottest place on the planet.

He said during the recent calamity, 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.

The Prime Minister said this calamity has pushed some 11 million people below the poverty line, while others will drift to cramped urban shelters, leaving little room for climate-smart rebuilding.

He said even today, huge swathes of the country are still under-water, submerged in an ocean of human suffering. In this ground zero of climate change, 33 million people, including women and children are now at high risk from health hazards, with 650,000 women giving birth in makeshift tarpaulins.

The Prime Minister said more than 1500 of my people have perished in the great flood, including over 400 children. He said early estimates suggest that more than 13000 kilometres of metaled roads have been damaged, over 370 bridges have been swept away, a million homes have been destroyed and another million damaged.

More than a million farm animals have been killed and four Million acres of crops have been washed away, stripping the people of their breadbasket, and damage of an unimaginable scale.

The Prime Minister said Pakistan has never seen a more stark and devastating example of the impact of Global Warming. He said as the Secretary General Antonio Guterres so candidly said, hotspots like Pakistan fall in the ten most climate-vulnerable list of countries, but emit less than one percent of the greenhouse gasses that are burning our planet. It is therefore, entirely reasonable to expect some approximation of justice for this loss and damage, not to mention building back better with resilience.