Floods in Pakistan: Biggest Global Polluters US, Europe, China and India Must Accept Responsibility

Pakistan, a country that has contributed only 0.28% of the CO2 emissions, is among the biggest victims of climate change. The US, Europe, India, China and Japan, the world's biggest polluters, must accept responsibility for the catastrophic floods in Pakistan and climate disasters elsewhere. A direct link of the disaster in Pakistan to climate change has been confirmed by a team of 26 scientists affiliated with World Weather Attribution, a research initiative that specializes in rapid studies of extreme events, according to the New York Times

Top 5 Current Polluters. Source: Our World in Data

Currently, the biggest annual CO2 emitters are China, the US, India and Russia. Pakistan's annual CO2 emissions add up to just 235 million tons. On the other hand, China contributes 11.7 billion tons, the United States 4.5 billion tons, India 2.4 billion tons, Russia 1.6 billion tons and Japan 1.06 billion tons. 

Pakistan's Annual CO2 Emission. Source: Our World in Data

The United States has contributed 399 billion tons (25%) of CO2 emissions, the highest cumulative carbon emissions since the start of the Industrial Revolution in the late 18th century. The 28 countries of the European Union (EU28), including the United Kingdom, come in second with 353 billion tons of CO2 (22%), followed by China with 200 billion tons (12.7%). 

Cumulative CO2 Emissions. Source: Our World in Data

Pakistan's cumulative CO2 contribution in its entire history is just 4.4 billion tons (0.28%). Among Pakistan's neighbors, China's cumulative contribution is 200 billion tons (12.7%),  India's 48 billion tons (3%) and Iran's 17 billion tons (1%).  

Developing Asian Nations' CO2 Emissions. Source: Our World in Data

Pakistan has contributed little to climate change but it has become one of its biggest victims. In the 2015 Paris agreement on climate change, signatories agreed to recognize and “address” the loss and damage caused by those dangerous climate impacts, according to the Washington Post. Last year, at the major U.N. climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland, negotiators from developing countries tried to establish a formal fund to help the countries like Pakistan most affected by climate disasters. It was blocked by rich countries led by the Biden administration. 


Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan burns only 10 billion MMcf of coal

10 Countries with the Highest Total Coal Consumption in the World (million cubic feet)

China — 4,320 billion MMcf
India — 966 billion MMcf
United States — 731 billion MMcf
Germany — 257 billion MMcf
Russia — 230 billion MMcf
Japan — 210 billion MMcf
South Africa — 202 billion MMcf
South Korea — 157 billion MMcf
Poland — 149 billion MMcf
Australia — 130 billion MMcf


Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan’s Biblical Floods and the Case for Climate Reparations
Isn’t it time for rich nations to pay the communities that they have helped to drown?
By Mohammed Hanif


The West sees its culpability in this man-made disaster but prefers to blame the victim. I think of a fable that I grew up with, in which a lamb drinks from a river downstream until a lion accuses it of polluting the river upstream. In the version of the fable that I remember, the lion eats the lamb as punishment. Imagine this: the driver of an S.U.V. speeds into a country lane, hits a person on a bicycle, and then, instead of paying damages, asks the cyclist to drive an electric vehicle powered by renewable energy. The driver of the S.U.V. wonders why the cyclist wasn’t more resilient, and asks, “Why didn’t you plan for a future where my car might come and destroy your bicycle and break your leg? You could have prepared for a better future, for apocalyptic floods, but what did you do? You prepared a petition for reparations? And you don’t even have a practical plan for how these reparations would work?”

Those calling for climate reparations received an answer from America’s climate envoy, John Kerry, at the U.N. General Assembly last week. “You tell me the government in the world that has trillions of dollars, ’cause that’s what it costs,” he said, perhaps steeling himself for difficult questions at November’s global climate conference, cop27, in Egypt. Western governments do have trillions of dollars, and they have had more than a decade to think through how climate reparations should work. Kerry sounded like he was haggling over the price of life jackets with drowning people.

Maybe Pakistan could have handled the current floods better if we had done our homework. We had a massive flood in 2010, experts were flown in, reports and studies were commissioned and then shelved. But Pakistan, like its Western allies, had other priorities: we were busy in neighboring Afghanistan, helping America defeat the Taliban, or maybe helping the Taliban defeat America—we are still not sure. On the other border, we were busy with India. Even in the week of our Biblical floods, we managed to finalize a deal with the United States worth four hundred and fifty million dollars, to upgrade our F-16 fighter planes. We may not know how we are going to feed our people for the next six months, but we have made sure that we can keep them safe from hostile aircraft.

Like Westerners, Pakistani élites planned for security and progress. We turned agricultural lands into golf courses and gated communities, and built houses on riverbeds, and grew cash crops along waterways. We thought less about the millions who live in mud houses, who till someone else’s land to feed their kids and save a bit in hopes of sending them to school one day. Now the water has turned their houses back into mud, and washed away the grain that they stocked for the entire year, and flooded the land that still belongs to someone else. They dare not dream of justice, let alone climate justice.

Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan’s Biblical Floods and the Case for Climate Reparations
Isn’t it time for rich nations to pay the communities that they have helped to drown?
By Mohammed Hanif


Experts tell us that the world suffers from donor fatigue, what with a war in Ukraine, in which people with fair skin and blue eyes are fleeing their homes and fighting for their lives. What goes unsaid is that hearts have been hardened by repeated images of brown mothers cradling skeletal children who are covered in flies, along overflowing rivers or scorched fields. Or maybe rich nations think that they should save their money for when the disasters come for them.

Sometimes my own compatriots tell the world, If you don’t listen, it could happen to you. The West seems unfazed by this logic: climate carnage has happened there, is happening there. Perhaps the West fears that if it acknowledges any debt to a country like Pakistan, it will no longer be able to withhold what it owes its own citizens. A childhood friend lived in Lake Charles, Louisiana, for most of his life, and in the span of a year his house and business were destroyed thrice, first by Hurricane Laura, then snow, then flooding. He reluctantly put his house up for sale, moved to Los Angeles, and slowly started to build a life. The aid that the government promised to Lake Charles hasn’t arrived. After Hurricane Maria, hundreds of thousands of Americans in Puerto Rico were denied federal assistance. They were still vulnerable when Hurricane Fiona brought floods and blackouts again, this week. The lamb does not escape the lion by showing a U.S. passport.

A global climate movement has made people aware of their carbon footprint, of the impact of their eating habits, of the evils of fossil-fuel companies, but it has yet to convince people that they and their governments can and should pay for what they helped to destroy. They must, because the losses and damages will only grow, and because the West became rich from the burning of fossil fuels, and because the village that is drowning may one day be their own.

Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan’s Biblical Floods and the Case for Climate Reparations
Isn’t it time for rich nations to pay the communities that they have helped to drown?
By Mohammed Hanif


When rich nations refuse to acknowledge that countries such as Pakistan need climate reparations, they not only shirk their responsibility now but set a precedent of inaction and impunity, even within their own borders. They seem to say, We can build walls so high that the polluted air will only poison you. When it melts glaciers, only you will drown, and when your fields are flooded, only you will go hungry. We can give you a few thousand tents to shelter your millions, or rafts to float you over what used to be self-sustaining villages, but we don’t owe you anything. If it happens to us, rich countries seem to say, we won’t starve. We can always eat you. ♦

Bob said…
Is coal the only source of CO2 emission ? What about petroleum and natural gas ?

Riaz Haq said…
Bob: "Is coal the only source of CO2 emission ? What about petroleum and natural gas?"

Pounds of CO2 emitted per million British thermal units (Btu) of energy for various fuels:

Coal (anthracite) 228.6
Coal (bituminous) 205.7
Coal (lignite) 215.4
Coal (subbituminous) 214.3
Diesel fuel and heating oil 161.3
Gasoline (without ethanol) 157.2
Propane 139.0
Natural gas 117.0

Riaz Haq said…
#FloodsInPakistan2022: The poorest hit hardest. Deep inside #Pakistan’s disaster zone, the country’s worst floods in recorded history have underscored how the poor, both here & abroad, are often disproportionately exposed to the ravages of #climate change. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/09/29/pakistan-floods-climate-change-poverty/

The worst-hit parts of Pakistan are also some of its poorest. Rural Sindh province has some of the lowest literacy rates in the country, severely limited access to health care, and minimal infrastructure.

Political power in the province has been dominated for generations by its largest landowners. In many areas, the landowners are not only the main sources of employment but also the elected leaders.

“We can’t oppose our leaders because we are dependent on them for everything,” Gadehi said. “They visit us during elections and make promises, but we get nothing in return.”


When the heavy monsoon rains entered their second week in July with no sign of relenting, Amina Gadehi knew the floods would be different this year. She and a group of other villagers approached the village’s elected leader, asking that they be allowed to temporarily camp on a plot of higher ground that he owned.

“He told us: ‘I’m not responsible for you. Find your own shelter,’” Gadehi recalled, clenching her jaw in anger.

She and dozens of others in her village had no savings to pay for travel or to temporarily rent another place. They stayed in their homes, hoping the rains would relent. But as the water began to lap over their windowsills, Gadehi and her family decided it was their last chance to escape. For nearly an hour, Gadehi recounted, she and her husband, their five children and the few cows and buffalo they managed to save waded through waist-high water to a relative’s house in another village on slightly higher land.

Now they are stuck there, surrounded by water. The only boats that can rescue them aren’t large enough for their livestock — too precious to be left behind.

Thousands of families like Gadehi’s have been stranded in villages that turned into islands. The floods have killed about 1,500 people, according to the Pakistani government, and displaced tens of thousands.

Long before the government declared a national emergency in August, people here in Sindh province were begging local officials to act — to help relocate families and livestock and to reinforce levees to divert water — according to dozens who survived the floods.

But they said, in many cases, they were left to fend for themselves until it was too late.

Warnings weren’t enough
Sherry Rehman, Pakistan’s climate change minister, said a national emergency wasn’t declared sooner because officials didn’t know the downpour would continue for so long. “I don’t think any administration or government could have been prepared for a biblical flood like this,” she said in an interview. “There was no modeling for what we saw.”

She said officials in her ministry and other government agencies began to fear unusually severe flooding as early as June, but she added that it wasn’t until August that they realized the magnitude of the crisis. “The meteorological department began telling me, ‘We’ve never seen anything like this,’” she said. “I started getting calls late at night, everyone was saying ‘We are just in shock.’”

Ahsan Iqbal, who heads Pakistan’s national flood response center, said the government could not have been better prepared or acted faster to respond to the crisis once it began to unfold. “The scale of the calamity is so huge, it’s just beyond the administrative and financial resources of a country like Pakistan,” said Iqbal, who is also Pakistan’s planning minister. “There is no way we could have mitigated this level of damage.”

Iqbal said that he believes a series of early evacuation warnings saved thousands of lives. “The death toll could have been at least three to four times more if not for the early weather warning system,” he said.
Riaz Haq said…
#UN to seek $800 million more in aid for #flood-hit #Pakistan “to respond to the extraordinary scale of the devastations” #FloodsInPakistan #ClimateCrisis https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/un-to-seek-800-million-more-in-aid-for-flood-hit-pakistan/2022/09/30/89d5090e-40b9-11ed-8c6e-9386bd7cd826_story.html

The United Nations will seek $800 million more in aid from the international community to respond to soaring life-saving needs of Pakistani flood survivors, a U.N. official said Friday.

The unprecedented deluges — likely worsened by climate change — have killed 1,678 people in Pakistan since mid-June. About half a million survivors are still living in tents and makeshift shelters.

Julien Harneis, the U.N. resident coordinator in Pakistan, told reporters in the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, that the latest appeal will be issued from Geneva on Tuesday. It comes just weeks after the agency sought $160 million in emergency funding for 33 million people affected by floods.

Harneis said the U.N. decided to issue the revised appeal “to respond to the extraordinary scale of the devastations” caused by the floods. Pakistan’s displaced are now confronting waterborne and other diseases, he said. The outbreaks, health officials say, have caused more than 300 deaths so far.

Since July, several countries and U.N. agencies have sent more than 130 flights carrying aid for the flood victims, many of whom complain they have either received too little help or are still waiting for aid.

Officials and experts have blamed the rains and resulting floodwaters on climate change. U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres visited some of the flood-hit areas earlier this month. He has repeatedly called on the international community to send massive amounts of aid to Pakistan.

The Pakistani government estimates the losses from the floods to be about $30 billion.

Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan’s #flood crisis could be an opportunity for real change. Devastating floods have also hit #Florida. Considering the global nature of #climate challenge, at some point #US & #Pakistan must find the courage to work together on "Green Marshall Plan" https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/09/29/pakistan-flood-crisis-climate-change-warning/

This week, Americans are understandably focused on the hurricane-related flooding in Florida, which is causing tragedy for thousands. Yet there is little attention in the United States to the fact that Pakistan has been flooded since mid-June, a catastrophe that is still causing unspeakable suffering for tens of millions.

Both of these crises owe much to the same phenomenon — climate change. But aside from some limited aid, there’s scant U.S.-Pakistan cooperation on long-term solutions. That has to change, according to Pakistani Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, who was in the United States this week pitching his proposal for a “Green Marshall Plan.” In meetings with Secretary of State Antony Blinken, U.N. Secretary General António Guterres and others, Zardari argued for a way those countries most responsible for climate change can help those countries most affected — and, in turn, help themselves.

It’s a big idea, and there are reasons for skepticism. But considering the global nature of the climate challenge, at some point the United States and Pakistan must find the courage to work together. In the process, the two countries might find a way back to being true allies, which would benefit both sides and balance China’s rising influence in the South Asia region.

“We have to find the opportunity in this crisis,” Zardari told me. “There are two ways of us going forward. We can do this dirtier, badly, in a way that will be worse for us and worse for the environment, or we can try to build back better in a greener, more climate-resilient manner.”

Zardari’s call for a “Green Marshall Plan” is meant to evoke America’s historical penchant for pursuing its enlightened self-interest. The idea also plays into President Biden’s own Build Back Better World concept. The theory is that Western government support for private-sector investment in climate-resilient, ecologically sustainable infrastructure in Pakistan would redound to the benefit of Western industry and help mitigate the future climate-related crises that are sure to come.

Florida will have several days of rain. In Pakistan, it rained for more than three months, submerging one-third of the country in a body of water than can be seen from space. The high floodwaters have created a cascade of problems, devastating Pakistan’s agriculture, manufacturing, trade and public health sectors.

Floods are almost a perennial occurrence in Pakistan, but this year’s continuing disaster is uniquely cataclysmic, impacting more than 33 million people (more than Florida’s entire population), including 16 million children and more than 600,000 pregnant women, according to the United Nations.

The flood and its aftereffects also risk throwing Pakistan right back into the economic crisis it was clawing its way out of. Pakistan was already on the hook to pay back $1 billion of the $10 billion it owes the Paris Club by the end of this year. Islamabad also owes some $30 billion to China. Now the country is being forced to borrow billions more to deal with the current situation.

The real question, Zardari said, is not whether the international community will come through with short-term aid and debt relief. The challenge is for the world to realize that Pakistan’s flood crisis won’t be the last or the worst, meaning the international response must take a far broader view.

In a world where covid-19, the Russia-Ukraine war and the worldwide economic slowdown are commanding the attention of policymakers in Western capitals, the bandwidth for new and expensive ideas is narrow. Zardari knows it’s a tough sell.

Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan’s #flood crisis could be an opportunity for real change. Devastating floods have also hit #Florida. Considering the global nature of #climate challenge, at some point #US & #Pakistan must find the courage to work together on "Green Marshall Plan" https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/09/29/pakistan-flood-crisis-climate-change-warning/

In a world where covid-19, the Russia-Ukraine war and the worldwide economic slowdown are commanding the attention of policymakers in Western capitals, the bandwidth for new and expensive ideas is narrow. Zardari knows it’s a tough sell.

“I understand that the concept of a Green Marshall Plan might not have many players. But that doesn’t change the fact that I believe it genuinely is the solution,” he said. “We have to pause our geopolitical differences and unite to face this existential threat to mankind.”

The concept of investing in green infrastructure in a coordinated, global way is not new; but under the current plans, it’s not happening. Global promises to invest $100 billion in the Green Climate Fund for developing countries by 2020 have been broken.

And while humanitarian aid is not primarily about strategic competition, it is worth noting that China has its own project called the Green Silk Road, and that Beijing is pushing propaganda in Pakistan claiming it is more generous than the United States (which is not true). The need to counter Chinese influence was a big reason the White House hosted leaders of 14 Pacific Island nations this week, all of which are suffering disproportionately from climate change.

In Washington, Pakistan has become something of a pariah, following years of disagreements over Afghanistan and other issues. But the end of that war provides an opening for a rethink. To be sure, Pakistan’s democracy looks shaky at times — but then again, so does America’s. The two allies still share many long-term interests, and saving the planet should be at the top of the list.

Riaz Haq said…
Sarah Colenbrander
Consumption by the richest 1% accounts for 15% of CO2 emissions.

Consumption by the richest 10% accounts for around half of CO2 emissions.

Consumption by the poorest 50% accounts for just 10% of CO2 emissions.

Tackling climate change depends on tackling inequality.

Riaz Haq said…
#FloodsinPakistan: #Asian Development #Bank (#ADB) to provide $2.5 billion to #flood-ravaged #Pakistan. It would be the largest donation to the already impoverished country so far after the #WorldBank last month pledged $2 billion in aid. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/bank-to-provide-25-billion-to-flood-ravaged-pakistan/2022/10/05/ddb39d9a-44da-11ed-be17-89cbe6b8c0a5_story.html

Pakistan’s Finance Ministry said in a statement that the ADB’s country director, Yong Ye, announced the aid package at a meeting with Pakistan’s newly appointed Finance Minister Ishaq Dar.

It said Ye expressed sympathy over damages and deaths caused by the monsoon-related flooding in Pakistan.

The statement said Dar appreciated ADB’s role and support in promoting sustainable development in Pakistan and he apprised Ye of the devastation caused by the floods and their impact on the economy of Pakistan.

Pakistan says the record-breaking floods have caused at least $30 billion in damage.

The latest development comes a day after the United Nations — amid a surge in diseases in flood-hit areas of Pakistan — asked for five times more international aid for Pakistan.

Pakistanis are now at increasing risk of waterborne diseases and other ailments, which have killed more than 350 people since July. Another 1,697 deaths were caused by the deluges this year.

The U.N. on Tuesday raised its aid appeal for Pakistan to $816 million from $160 million, saying recent assessments pointed to the urgent need for long-term help lasting into next year.

The previous day, World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said about 10% of all of Pakistan’s health facilities were damaged in the floods, leaving millions without access to health care.
Riaz Haq said…
#Tent cities popping up for #IDPs after #FloodsInPakistan2022. Levees built in #Pakistan to contain the #Indus overflow floods are preventing the rainstorm water from draining into the #river, resulting in standing water in the fields and homes in #Sindh. https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2022/10/pakistan-flood-cop27-climate-change/671664/

The official emergency simulations made assumptions that highways to transport relief goods would remain intact. In the event, more than 5,000 miles of roads were washed away, and some routes were covered by 10 feet of water.

The country’s needs are changing too rapidly for the government to cope. At first, it scrambled to source tents and tarpaulins, because its own inventory did not cover even a fraction of what was called for. Then it struggled to provide clean drinking water because so many local sources were contaminated. And the demands for resources keep piling up: mosquito nets; birthing facilities for pregnant women; antivenom medicine, because any dry land is infested with snakes flooded out of their regular habitat; fodder, fencing, and veterinary care for people’s livestock.

The government initially had difficulty even finding dry areas on which to place camps for the displaced. Then, when they were established, many people avoided them because they couldn’t take their livestock. In agrarian Pakistan, buffalo are considered “black gold”; owning one changes a family’s entire livelihood. As a result, thousands of families camped wherever they could—on roadsides, on embankments, or anywhere with shelter. The government had no ready way to track where anyone was and who needed what.

Some of the post-monsoon mess stems from prior administrative incompetence. The provincial governments in Sindh and Balochistan did not have a comprehensive evacuation plan in case of flash floods. Maintenance problems meant that many of the canals had not been dredged effectively, and the country’s infrastructure for shedding water was simply overwhelmed. As if this was not scandal enough, Pakistan’s chief meteorologist was accused of embezzlement and dismissed after the rains had come.

Worse, some of the flooding was exacerbated by man-made measures taken earlier to control flooding. In 2010, Pakistan was hit by a disastrous “super flood” caused by the swollen Indus River overflowing its banks. In the aftermath, the government raised the river’s embankments. This time, when the exceptional monsoon rains came, the Indus stayed within its regular seasonal flow—but those higher levees were now holding back the stormwater from draining into the river.

Another part of the mess is simply the sort of chaos intrinsic to natural disasters. Sindh’s education minister issued an order to all the relief camps to establish schools for the displaced children of the new tent cities. Local officials in some districts understood this to mean that all the school buildings that had been adapted to make relief accommodation had to revert to functioning as schools. To obey the ministerial guidance, they evicted flood victims from classrooms in the middle of the night so that regular schooling could resume. No students showed up in the morning, of course, and no one knows where those people went.

Such problems were exacerbated by institutional overreach and failures of coordination. Sindh’s high court elbowed its way into relief distribution and ordered the government to set up committees headed by judges to monitor the work. As a result, when aid trucks were handed over to district commissioners, many officials refused to distribute any supplies until the judges came in person. The commissioners say they don’t want to risk being hauled before courts. Meanwhile, people saw trucks lined up with goods they couldn’t access, which led to suspicion that officials were misappropriating the aid. And because crisis profiteering occurs in every disaster, scattered instances of hoarding are seen as proof of widespread corruption.
Riaz Haq said…
#Tent cities popping up for #IDPs after #FloodsInPakistan2022. Levees built in #Pakistan to contain the #Indus overflow floods are preventing the rainstorm water from draining into the #river, resulting in standing water in the fields and homes in #Sindh. https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2022/10/pakistan-flood-cop27-climate-change/671664/

More of the mess involves wrangling over difficult decisions and their political costs. To help the floodwaters drain, relief cuts have to be dug. But in almost every case, these cuts will result in collateral damage to villages and fields. And those affected are not easily persuaded that choices about the sites of these drainage ditches have been based on purely technical considerations. The existing deficit of trust between the people and government creates a rumor mill about how such flood-remediation measures are a means of settling political scores by deluging opponents’ property.

The flooding has not led to any abatement in the country’s political turmoil. The populist political opposition led by former Prime Minister Imran Khan is continuing its rallies and campaigns, heckling ministers during appeals for flood donations. His party tacitly encourages its followers to use social media to lobby world leaders not to assist the government with aid, claiming that the money will be siphoned off. So what is true locally also applies nationally: The suffering of the rural poor in the flood zone has become partisan hackery.

Salma, a schoolteacher and nonprofit worker (I learned only her first name), fled with her family from her home in the Sindh countryside to Karachi. Her district of Shahdadkot is still under feet of water. “I’ve heard the buzzwords,” she told me. “Climate adaptation and whatnot, telling us to change the way we build our houses, change the way we live. Why don’t you tell the rest of the world that? To change the way it lives? Why should we adapt to the consequences of their actions?”

Her point: Pakistan contributes less than 1 percent to the world’s greenhouse gases, yet it is now suffering disproportionately from the effects of global warming. According to World Weather Attribution estimates, the monsoon rains from June to August were 50 percent more intense than they would have been had the climate not already warmed by 1.2 degrees Celsius. Scientists debate exactly how much of this year’s rain flooding is due to climate change, but most agree that past data are no longer a predictive guide. The summer floods followed an unusual springtime heat wave of 50-degree temperatures, forest fires, and crop destruction. Monsoon depressions typically travel north to south in the country, losing intensity as they go. This time, repeated storm cycles hit the south first and stayed there.

The federal and provincial governments are trying frantically to control the damage. Some cash has already been disbursed to the neediest in the flooded areas, and a wider compensation scheme for deaths and losses such as damaged homes, lost livestock, and destroyed crops has been promised. The estimated losses caused by the floods are equivalent to 10 percent of the country’s economic output—at a time when the country was already drowning in debt. The government had been in talks with the IMF about a bailout, barring which Pakistan was sure to default. The loan has now been approved—but with stringent conditions such as ending fuel subsidies, which will make everything more expensive.
Riaz Haq said…
#FloodsInPakistan2022: 'Cascading calamities' in #Pakistan drive #UnitedNations to quadruple funding appeal to $816 million. #UN chief António Guterres has called for "serious action" on loss and damage at next month's #COP27 #climate talks in Egypt. https://news.sky.com/story/cascading-calamities-in-pakistan-drive-united-nations-to-quadruple-funding-appeal-12714456

Rich polluting countries like the UK have a "moral responsibility" to help Pakistan recover from deadly flooding fuelled by climate change, the United Nations has said as the body quadruples its funding appeal.

The revised UN plan to help Pakistan recover from this summer's deadly flooding now calls for $816m (£728m) - a surge of $656m (£589m) from the initial appeal - just to cover the most urgent needs until next May.

In spite of the huge increase, the new figure still "pales in comparison to what is needed," to cover food, water, health and sanitation, shelter and emergency education, secretary-general António Guterres said.

The flooding has left more than three million children hungry, killed more than 1,300 people and inflicted an estimated $30bn (£26bn) in financial losses.

"These cascading calamities in Pakistan can linger for years to come," Mr Guterres warned today.

He told the United Nations General Assembly the "central question remains the climate crisis... greenhouse gas emissions are rising along with climate calamities".

"In particular, wealthier countries bear a moral responsibility to help places such as Pakistan recover, adapt and build resilience to disasters supercharged by the climate crisis," he said.

The group of 20 (G20) large economies, which includes the UK, USA, European Union and China, are responsible for 80% of all the world's greenhouse gas pollution.

The 2022 monsoon rainfall in Pakistan has been nearly three times higher than the 30-year average. Climate scientists agree that climate breakdown is making such weather extremes more likely, and intensified the rain in Pakistan this year.

Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan is the victim of “a grim calculus of climate injustice”, said UN Secretary-General António Guterres, while calling on industrialised nations that drive 80 per cent of climate-destroying emissions to help the country recover, adapt and build resilience to disasters.


While concluding a debate on the devastation caused by the recent floods, the UN chief called help for Pakistan a “moral responsibility” of industrialised nations.

“This time it is Pakistan, tomorrow, it could be any of our countries and our communities,” he added.

On Friday, the UNGA unanimously adopted a resolution urging donor nations and institutions to provide full support to rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts.

Mr Guterres, who recently visited Pakistan, told the UNGA that flood waters covered a landmass three times the total area of his own country, Portugal.

“Pakistan is on the verge of a public health disaster”, he warned, adding that now cholera, malaria and dengue fever could take “far more lives than the floods”.

In another appeal for help, the UN refugee agency said on Saturday that it urgently needed relief goods for more than 650,000 people.

UNHCR Spokesperson Matthew Saltmarsh said Pakistan was facing “a colossal challenge” and more support were needed.

In its latest estimates, UNHCR has recorded at least 1,700 deaths; 12,800 injured, including at least 4,000 children; some 7.9 million displacements; and nearly 600,000 living in relief sites.
Riaz Haq said…
Few countries are as vulnerable as Pakistan. Its cities regularly record some of the hottesttemperatures in the world, including a springtime heat wave this year made 30 times more likely bygreenhouse gases.That set the stage for summer monsoons that saw rainfall reach an intensity more than 50 per centgreater than would have been the case without planet-warming pollution. Both findings come fromWorld Weather Attribution, a leading research group that delivers rapid analysis of the link betweenextreme weather and climate change.


This is one example of powerful new evidence in the moral and political argument for climatereparations. As diplomats and world leaders prepare for next month’s annual UN climate summit,known as COP27, there’s likely to be renewed focus on the long-running dispute over who should payfor the devastation wrought by rising temperatures.Speeches and closed-door negotiations will involve calls for payments from high-emitting countries,most of which are wealthier and less vulnerable, to their low-emitting counterparts that suffer climateimpacts. The debate will be informed by the blatant suffering visible on the ground in Pakistan as wellas new data on exactly who is responsible for atmospheric pollution.Working with colleagues from Bloomberg’s data-visualization team, I took a deep look at cutting-edgeresearch into economic attribution for climate damage. Two Dartmouth researchers, ChristopherCallahan and Justin Mankin, recently published a study and data estimating for the first time howmuch economic growth, in terms of GDP, has been lost to developing countries as a result of burningfossil fuel.It’s striking to see estimated dollar figures linking the pollution by the two biggest emitters, the USand China, to more than $60 billion in economic losses for Pakistan.
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How Pakistan’s Flood Crisis Bends Climate Talks Towards Reparations


Together, the US and China have created enough atmospheric impact to cost the world about $1.8trillion. The US alone was 1990 to 2014, according to research by the Dartmouth team. Mukwana’s experience driving through flooded provinces and walking along highways that havebecome makeshift homes for displaced people unifies the personal and the global in ways few willever experience. That’s because the people pushed aside by flood waters are, in part, victims of a problem even bigger than the monsoon.UN climate negotiations for many years focused almost exclusively on preventing new emissions andthe resulting rise of global average temperatures, a concept called “mitigation” in climate jargon.Diplomats and politicians have also taken up the question of “adaptation” — how nations might find the resources to afford greater resiliency. But Pakistan’s crisis has renewed emphasis on a more oftenignored section of the 2015 Paris Agreement that deals with a concept called “loss and damage.”Since the steepest costs of today’s climate continue to be borne by populations that emitted the least,recognizing loss and damage could mean that nations who gained the most from burning fossil fuelshould pay compensation. It’s a vision of climate reparations — and it’s long been opposed by wealthynations.When nearly 200 national delegations meet next month for COP27 in the Egyptian resort of Sharm ElSheikh, loss and damage is expected to eclipse most other topics on the agenda. In part this stemsfrom the coincidence that a Pakistani diplomat is currently the leader of the largest bloc of developingnations, known as the G77+China. The Egyptian hosts of this summit are also members of the bloc.Loss and damage has struggled to rise up the agenda for years. Developing nations last year went toCOP26 talks in Glasgow, Scotland, pushing for a formal process for dispatching finance and technicalhelp paid for by developed nations.That summit ended with only a loosely defined “dialogue” on the topic. There are fresh indicationsthat loss and damage may be treated with greater attention than ever before at COP27, even if it’s with“diverse views on the scope and timeframes” of how to tackle the issue, according to a briefing sharedon Friday by Ed King, a climate media and policy strategist.If or when countries agree on a structured way to help people deal with climate disasters, it won'tcome fast enough for the millions suffering from this year’s monsoon rains in Pakistan. Estimates ofdamage have tripled to $30 billion since the end of August. UN Office for the Coordination ofHumanitarian Affairs, which Mukwana represents in Pakistan, this week raised by a factor of five its initial aid goal, to $816 million, to pay for triage support through May 2023. Those funds might help blunt a rapidly emerging public-health crisis. But it can’t compensate Pakistan for the brutal consequences of other people’s emissions.“How much can people go through these cyclical kinds of events?” Mukwana asks. “How much of it can people take?
Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan to seek several billion dollars for projects at #COP27 scheduled to be held in #SharmAlShaikh, #Egypt, November 6 to 18. Pak PM #ShahbazSharif will co-chair the #UN moot along with #Egyptian President Al-Sisi & PM of #Norway. #FloodsInPakistan

Pakistan prepares to take up climate losses issue at COP27.
We are developing our strategies on account of loss and damage, says an official.
Climate expert says such negotiations are 'ardous'.

The government is awaiting the finalisation of the Post Disaster and Needs Assessment (PDNA) in consultation with the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, European Union, and United Nations with the mandate to prepare an exact assessment of losses and construction costs by October 15.

However, Minister for Planning Ahsan Iqbal told the publication that the PDNA report would be launched by the donors by October 25, as it got delayed because of the annual meeting of the IMF and World Bank currently being held in Washington, DC.

Another senior official said that the donors had conducted over 90% damage and need assessments, and construction cost was largely agreed which might cross the $30 billion mark after completion of reconciliation with international donors.

Pakistan and the international donors will finalise the exact damage and need assessments by Friday (tomorrow) and reconciled figures will be shared with PM Shehbaz.

‘Arduous negotiations’
Aftab Alam, an expert on climate change, when contacted on Wednesday, said that the devastating floods in Pakistan put a global spotlight on Loss and Damage (L&D) as the country suffered economic losses of nearly $30 billion.

Subsequent disasters such as infrastructure destruction, health crisis, food insecurity and livelihood losses for millions of people further intensify the gravity of catastrophe. This is high time for developed countries to put on the table adequate Loss and Damage Finances for Pakistan, he added.

However, he said that climate negotiations are arduous and the government needs to design a robust strategy to push forward its case for loss and damage.

He said it has been a demand of climate-vulnerable countries for the last 31 years. “They had put it on the table in 1991 even before the inception of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Since then, these countries have suffered humongous lives, livelihoods and economic losses.”

As part of loss and damage estimates, Aftab Alam recommended that Pakistan should combine flood losses with damages from heatwaves that preceded floods this year.

The heatwaves destroyed nearly 3 million tons of wheat and a large number of other crops, including mangoes.

To develop a robust strategy on Loss and Damage at COP27, Pakistan needs to involve the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), The African Group of Negotiators (AGN), and the G77 +China, he concluded.

Riaz Haq said…
Record #FloodsInPakistan: $40 Billion Of Damage In #Pakistan As #Monsoons Devastate #SouthAsia, roughly $10 billion higher than previous estimates—according to #WorldBank. 1,500 people dead and 33 million people affected. #Sindh #Floods #Rains #Floods https://www.forbes.com/sites/brianbushard/2022/10/19/record-flooding-40-billion-of-damage-in-pakistan-as-monsoons-devastate-south-asia/?sh=98479665481e

Pakistani officials said Wednesday the flooding from historic monsoon rains, which killed nearly 1,500 people and affected 33 million people, was made worse by a lack of “financial and technical resources” for flood response.

Earlier this week, Sharif announced he plans to ask international lenders for billions of dollars in loans for recovery efforts and to rebuild devastated areas, telling the Financial Times the country needs “huge sums of money,” while Pakistani Senator Sherry Rehman said the country has already “repurposed all its existing budgetary envelopes” toward flood relief.

The deadly flooding in Pakistan is one of a handful of catastrophic flood events this year, including ongoing flooding in Nigeria from heavy rain and the release of a dam in neighboring Cameroon that left at least 600 people dead and 2,400 injured, with another 1.4 million displaced.

Major flooding this summer in Bangladesh, China and India also killed more than 100 after rainfall in the area hit a 50-year high, while record rainfall inundated parts of western China killing 300 and damaging 9,000 homes, and flooding in northern China killed 28, destroying nearly 20,000 houses and forcing 120,000 people to evacuate.

The United Nations is asking for $816 million in humanitarian aid for Pakistan, up from a previous request of $160 million, as secondary effects of flooding emerge, including water-borne diseases and hunger—Reuters reported earlier this month the U.N. has so far received $90 million in aid for the country.
Riaz Haq said…
‘It’s the fault of climate change’: Pakistan seeks ‘justice’ after floods
Disaster puts country at forefront of debate about who should pay for ravages of global warming


When the Indus river burst its banks during heavy rains and flash flooding in late August, Bushra Sarfaraz’s three goats drowned and she lost her home for a second time.

The first time was in Pakistan’s floods in 2010 — the worst in recent memory until this year’s, which submerged vast swaths of low-lying areas, in what officials describe as the worst natural disaster in their country’s history.

“I want to feel settled for once in my life — to live in a place that doesn’t get washed away again and again,” said Sarfaraz, a labourer who is now living with her husband and children in a tent camp on rocky land near Thatta in Pakistan’s southern Sindh province.

While some of those displaced by the calamity have returned home since the waters began receding, others have no homes to return to, and are living in tents near pools of cloudy water, or on the side of roads a few metres above inundated fields.

“Every year the water comes, and every year we drown,” said Qurban Ali Lashari, another labourer displaced by the floods and living in the tent camp.

The disaster puts Pakistan at the forefront of evolving thinking in the international community about how to pay for countries’ adaptation to the ravages of global warming — and who should pick up the bill. Climate change contributed to up to 50 per cent of the rains that made this August the wettest on record in Sindh and neighbouring province Balochistan, according to a study by the World Weather Attribution group.

Pakistan’s government says the floods affected 33mn of its 230mn people, hitting the low-lying and normally arid southern provinces hardest. In flatlands with few slopes, the water that fell in August and September has nowhere to drain, and is evaporating slowly in drier weather.

Pakistan is now preparing to ask donors for new loans to clean up and rebuild infrastructure that would be able to withstand worsening weather patterns, in an effort it estimates will cost $30bn. 

“If you look at the numbers, it is the climate event of the century, not just for Pakistan but for the whole world,” said Sherry Rehman, climate change minister. “It surpassed all numbers for climate events, and it is now creating a catastrophic health crisis.”

In the Thatta camp where Sarfaraz and Lashari live — one of 27 in the district — people are being treated for waterborne ailments including malaria, dengue, and diarrhoea. “Skin diseases are very common nowadays,” said Shireen Soomro, a doctor in the camp.

International and Pakistani officials have also warned that many farmers will not be able to sow their crops for months, after their fields were heavily silted by flood water. This, they say, raises fears about food security in a year when prices for foodstuffs soared after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Pakistan was already in severe financial distress when the disaster struck. Days before the downpours and flash flooding hit, Islamabad had secured much-needed loan pledges from China and Gulf countries and a $2.2bn bailout from the IMF.

The UNDP, which is completing an assessment of the country’s recovery and rebuilding needs, last month proposed Pakistan should seek to suspend payments on its $130bn external debt so that it could prioritise its disaster response.

“We can’t service our debts, to be honest,” said Sakib Sherani, chief executive of Macro Economic Insights, a consultancy. “Floods or no floods, we would have had a problem in the next fiscal year.” 

Some climate activists have argued that Pakistan’s floods bolster the case for “climate reparations”, or financial transfers from rich countries with the highest per capita greenhouse gas emissions to poor countries that emit less but are feeling the brunt of climate change.

Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan’s ‘monster disaster’ brings climate compensation into focus


Extreme flooding over the summer has left an estimated 1,700 people dead, nearly 2 million homes destroyed, and billions of dollars’ worth of infrastructure damage.

UN secretary general Antonio Guterres told diplomats last month that Pakistan was facing “a level of climate carnage beyond imagination” and that it was paying a “supersized price for man-made climate change”. The country has experienced extreme weather before, most notably in 2010 when record monsoon rains also caused widespread damage across the country.

But this year’s flooding feels different. The scale and intensity of the disaster is heightened, impacting vast areas of land and in provinces unused to seeing such rains. Half of the country has been designated as “calamity-hit”, according to the National Disaster Management Authority, with a further 40 districts declared as “flood-affected”. This means 75% of Pakistan has felt the impacts.

This is particularly true of Balochistan in the southwest of the country. Seasonal floods have usually been driven by conditions further north in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab provinces. This year, Balochistan, a huge yet sparsely populated region known more for its desert climate, has been one of the worst affected.

Helvetas, a Swiss international aid agency, has been in Pakistan for 40 years. Dr Arjumand Nizami, the organisation’s country director, tells Climate Home News the flooding was a “monster disaster” and likens it to “someone beating the hell out of the sky”.

Extreme contrasts
Helvetas helps communities to prepare for climate shocks.

This work includes reinforcing protective structures for villages and improving drainage to channel flood water towards agricultural land. Controlling water is important in places such as Balochistan due to frequent and severe drought. When the mountain rains do come, local people need to know how to use it.

It’s these extreme contrasts which make climate adaptation such a challenge in the country. “You either have too much or you have no water,” notes Nizami. “And these kinds of situations are becoming more frequent. We have emergency-like situations which require a humanitarian response. There’s no time for development because it’s one emergency after another.”

The emergency Pakistan now faces is on multiple levels: food shortages in areas which already rely on imports; hundreds of thousands of cattle lost; contaminated drinking supplies; and standing water increasing the likelihood of disease.

On a recent visit to Balochistan, Dr Nizami saw housing loss on such a scale that “one cannot imagine if life was ever there”.

The challenge of rebuilding a country where extreme weather is becoming commonplace is a long term one. And this is where the issue of loss and damage comes in.

In the weeks following the flooding, politicians, and diplomats, least not the UN secretary general, made clear the disconnect between Pakistan’s contribution to global greenhouse gases – less than 1% – and its position on the frontline of the climate crisis.

Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan’s ‘monster disaster’ brings climate compensation into focus


Cop27 negotiations
As calls for climate compensation grow louder, Pakistan’s brutal experience could guide negotiations at Cop27 international negotiations in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt next month. How a deal will translate to the local level is unclear, but the projects that aid agencies, such as Helvetas, are developing can point the way.

Dr Nizami says the debate around loss and damage needs to focus on three areas: improved governance, early preparedness, and local capacity.

Helvetas is already working on these issues, from enhancing water management in remote areas to creating in-depth disaster risk scenarios for the Government. One of the benefits of this approach is cost. It’s cheaper and more effective to prepare for climate disasters before they happen than to conduct crisis management afterwards.

It’s difficult to see how Pakistan can begin to address these problems without outside assistance. The bill for the flooding sits at an estimated $30 billion. Inflation recently reached 27%. And one of the largest packages of financial assistance has come via a $1.17 billion IMF loan. This is clearly insufficient to meet the scale of this year’s extreme weather, let alone what might be round the corner.

“Disasters cannot be stopped. The rains will come,” adds Nizami. 2022’s flooding may serve to raise awareness of the need to fully prepare for the future. The Pakistani government has come a long way since the last major disaster in 2010 and climate change is now firmly on the policy agenda. It’s only by seeing this disaster through a climate lens that we can improve our response, and for the ones which follow.
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Near Kunri, a southern Pakistani town known as Asia's chilli capital, 40-year old farmer Leman Raj rustles through dried plants looking for any of the bright red chillis in his largely destroyed crop which may have survived.


"My crops suffered heavily from the heat, then the rains started, and the weather changed completely. Now, because of the heavy rains we have suffered heavy losses in our crops, and this is what has happened to the chillies," he said, holding up desiccated, rotten plants . "All the chillies have rotted away."

Devastating floods that wrecked havoc across Pakistan in August and September, on the back of several years of high temperatures, have left chilli farmers struggling to cope. In a country heavily dependent on agriculture, the more extreme climate conditions are hitting rural economies hard, farmers and experts say, underscoring the vulnerability of large swathes of South Asia's population to changing weather patterns.

Officials have already estimated damages from the floods at over $40 billion.

Pakistan, with 150,000 acres of chilli farms and producing 143 000 tonnes of chillies annually is ranked fourth in the world for chilli production. Agriculture forms the backbone of Pakistan's economy, which in a country that experts say is extremely vulnerable to climate change poses major risks.

Before the floods, the biggest problem was hotter temperatures, which were making it harder to successfully grow chilli, which needs more moderate conditions.

"When I was a child ... the heat was never so intense. We used to have a plentiful crop, now it has become so hot, and the rains are so scarce that our yields have dwindled," Leman Raj said.

Dr Attaullah Khan, the Director of the Arid Zone Research Centre, at Pakistan's Agricultural Research Council, told Reuters that even before the floods, the region had faced serious problems from heatwaves in the last three years, which was affecting the growth of chilli crops in the area.

Now the floods he said, posed a whole new set of challenges.

"Coming to climate change: how do we overcome that?” he said. "Planning has to be done on a very large scale. Four waterways that used to carry (excess) water to the ocean have to be revived. For that we will have to take some very hard decisions …. but we don't have any other choice."

Many farmers say they have already faced tough decisions.

As flooding inundated his farm a few months ago, Kunri farmer Faisal Gill decided to sacrifice his cotton crops to try to save chilli.

"We constructed dikes around cotton fields and installed pumps, and dug up tranches in the chill crop to accumulate water and pump it out into the cotton crop fields, as both crops are planted side by side," Gill said.

Destroying his cotton enabled him to save saved just 30% of his chilli crop, he said, but that was better than nothing.

In Kunri's bustling wholesale chilli market, Mirch Mandi, the effect is also being felt. Though mounds of bright red chilli dot the market, traders said there is a huge drop on previous years.

"Last year, at this time, there used to be around 8,000 to 10,000 bags of chillies in the market," said trader Raja Daim. "This year, now you can see that there are barely 2,000 bags here, and it is the first day of the week. By tomorrow, and the day after, it will become even less,” he said, adding an average day later in the week just 1,000 bags reached the market.
Riaz Haq said…
World News | Pakistan: Most Flood Victims Back Home, Few Remain in Camps | LatestLY


The country's disaster management agency said the latest data shows that slightly less than 50,000 people are currently staying in camps in Sindh, compared to half a million who were living in tents there in September.

The record-breaking floods — which were worsened by climate change-- that hit Pakistan last summer — killed 1,735 people and displaced 33 million. In Sindh alone, the floods affected 12 million p ..Last month,

Pakistan has asked the international community to scale up a ..the World Bank estimated that the floods caused ..$40 billion in damages ..

Harsh winter weather could worsen the misery of flood victim ..

report said 98% of the area for wheat cultivation remains available ..for the next planting season — a positive sign as Pakistan h ..
Riaz Haq said…
UN: 2 million children in flood-hit Pakistan missing school
The U.N. children’s agency says some 2 million children in areas of Pakistan devastated by floods this summer are still missing school


The U.N. children’s agency said on Thursday that some 2 million children in areas of Pakistan devastated by this summer's floods are still missing school.

The deluge, which began in mid-June, damaged or destroyed nearly 27,000 school buildings, UNICEF said, adding that it would likely be weeks, even months before flood waters completely subside. In some places, only rooftops of the school buildings are starting to emerge now, it said.

The record-breaking floods — which experts say were worsened by climate change — killed 1,735 people and displaced 33 million across Pakistan, mostly in the hardest-hit provinces of Sindh and Baluchistan.

According to Pakistani officials, 647 children were among those killed by the flooding.

UNICEF's education chief, Robert Jenkins, visited some of the flood survivors on Thursday, and later said it was unclear when the children who are still missing classes would be able to return to school.

“Almost overnight, millions of Pakistan’s children lost family members, homes, safety, and their education, under the most traumatic circumstances,” Jenkins said following the visit.

UNICEF has established more than 500 temporary learning centers in flood-hit districts and provided support and school supplies for teachers and flood victims.

Pakistan has also asked the international community to scale up aid for the country's flood survivors, now threatened by the upcoming winter.

On Wednesday, China announced an additional $68 million in aid to Pakistan, bringing China’s flood assistance to Pakistan to $150 million. The announcement came during Pakistani Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif’s visit to Beijing.

China has so far been the largest contributor in response to Pakistan floods, followed by Washington, which has given $97 million in aid since June. The World Bank has estimated that the floods caused $40 billion in damages.
Riaz Haq said…
At COP27, flood-battered Pakistan leads push to make polluting countries pay


‘We never saw such heavy rains’
U.N. climate accords require wealthy countries to provide funds to help developing nations curb their emissions and adapt to a changing climate. But there is no such financial support for vulnerable people to deal with harm that has already occurred.

During negotiations over the Paris agreement in 2015, the United States demanded that the article on loss and damage specify it “does not involve or provide a basis for any liability or compensation.”


DADU, Pakistan — Before the floods, Mazhar Hussain Birhamni dreamed of becoming a scholar. The 22-year-old wanted to pursue a master’s degree in English literature, to comprehend the world beyond the rural village in Pakistan where he lived with his parents.

But his books were washed away this summer amid historic flooding that scientists say was supercharged by climate change. After weeks of relentless rainfall, a nearby levee was breached in August, sending a waist-deep torrent rushing into his house. Birhamni’s family had just a few hours to escape with what little they could carry: pots and pans, small bags of food, a woven bed frame. With one-third of his country underwater and no help in sight, the college graduate’s dreams seemed lost to the deluge.

Low-income nations have long warned that rising temperatures would hit their citizens the hardest, punishing the people who contributed the least to planet-warming emissions and have the fewest resources to cope. Now, as the floods in Pakistan and other recent disasters make the consequences of climate change impossible to ignore, the world is gearing up for a showdown over who should pay the costs.

At this month’s U.N. climate negotiations in Egypt, Pakistan will lead a bloc of more than 100 developing nations insisting on compensation for the irreversible harms of climate change — a class of impacts collectively known as “loss and damage.” The bloc has called for the creation of a dedicated loss-and-damage fund, which hard-hit countries can rely on for immediate assistance after a disaster, rather than waiting for humanitarian aid or loans that will drive them into debt.

Wealthy countries have historically resisted such calls, fearing liability for the billions of dollars in damage that could be linked to their emissions. But the dramatic escalation in extreme weather, coupled with deep frustration over unfulfilled climate funding promises from the industrialized world, have put pressure on nations like the United States — which has resisted providing compensation — to shift their stance.

There are signs that attitudes may be changing. U.N. Secretary General António Guterres said Thursday there is “no more time to postpone” the issue. Egypt will make loss and damage a priority agenda item at the upcoming talks. In September, Denmark announced a $13 million fund to assist vulnerable countries — the first U.N. member state to do so.

“With the Pakistan disaster the poster child of climate impacts, there is a change in the political mood, I think,” said Munir Akram, the country’s chief climate negotiator and permanent representative to the United Nations.

“To the developing countries that are suffering these impacts because of the policies of industrialized countries over the past 150 years,” he added, “this is a matter of climate justice.”


At last year’s talks, a cohort of developing nations that included major emitters like India as well as tiny island states like Vanuatu fought for language that urged their rich counterparts to fund loss and damage. A majority of countries supported it, but that text was ultimately dropped amid opposition from the United States and European Union.

Riaz Haq said…
At COP27, flood-battered Pakistan leads push to make polluting countries pay


At last year’s talks, a cohort of developing nations that included major emitters like India as well as tiny island states like Vanuatu fought for language that urged their rich counterparts to fund loss and damage. A majority of countries supported it, but that text was ultimately dropped amid opposition from the United States and European Union.

“There’s a lot of talk about global solidarity and so forth,” Akram said. “But there is this reluctance on the part of the Global North to accept or admit their policies caused this, and therefore they have a responsibility to respond to this.”

About a quarter of all greenhouse gas pollution produced by humans comes from the United States, according to data from the Global Carbon Project. More than 80 percent of planet-warming emissions comes from the world’s 20 largest economies.

By contrast, Pakistan is the source of less than 0.4 percent of historic carbon pollution.

And many Pakistanis have not benefited from the industrialization that drives greenhouse emissions. A 2021 analysis found that more than half of people in Pakistan are “energy poor” — meaning they lack reliable access to electricity, transport, communications equipment and basic household appliances.

But when blistering heat waves beset South Asia this summer — an event made 30 times more likely by climate change, according to scientists — there were dozens of deaths, huge crop losses and a massive flood from a melting glacier in Pakistan. The country suffered again after record rainfall during monsoon season caused catastrophic flooding.

At least 1,700 people were killed and 2 million homes were demolished by the floodwaters, according to Pakistan’s National Disaster Management Authority. Roads and bridges were washed away, thousands of schools were damaged and some 7,000 square miles of farmland were ruined, triggering food shortages.

A scientific analysis of the disaster found the rainfall was made 50 to 75 percent more intense by human-caused climate change. Pakistan received three times its usual precipitation in August, with the hardest-hit provinces experiencing their wettest months ever recorded, according to the study by the World Weather Attribution network.

Rising temperatures also have been linked to a historic drought in East Africa, which is pushing millions of people to the edge of starvation. Studies blame climate change for this year’s record-setting heat wave in China and deadly storms in Brazil.

Over the past two decades there has been an eightfold increase in the amount of humanitarian aid needed to respond to extreme weather — but donations are not keeping up, according to a report from the nonprofit Oxfam. Wealthy countries have also failed to fulfill a decade-old promise to provide $100 billion a year in financial support for climate-vulnerable regions.

“It feels totally wrong,” said Birhamni, the young college graduate. “This is a crime we didn’t commit and now we are being punished for it.”

When climate collides with poverty
When the floods washed away their village in southern Pakistan, Ali Sher Langah guided his wife and their two children more than a mile through a dangerous torrent to find high ground. Weeks later, they were living in a simple reed hut Langah built outside the city of Moro.

Malaria was spreading through the dozens of families that fled to the area. Venomous snakes slithered out of the floodwaters that still had not drained from the surrounding countryside. Some nights, the families killed as many as 10 of the creatures.

“If you are telling me that other countries are responsible for this, then yes, I feel anger,” the 55-year-old day laborer told a Post reporter. “But I know that God is almighty, and I believe this is God testing me.”

Riaz Haq said…
At COP27, flood-battered Pakistan leads push to make polluting countries pay


Langah’s family is among some 12 million people still in need of shelter and basic household items, according to a U.N. situation report published last month. Hundreds of thousands of pregnant women lack access to health care, and millions of children have nothing to eat.

At the same time, Pakistan is grappling with more than $30 billion in physical and economic losses from the floods, a World Bank report found. Devastation to agriculture and other industries is expected to shrink the national gross domestic product by more than 2 percent.

Rebuilding damaged infrastructure in a resilient way will cost the country more than $16 billion, the World Bank said — a bill the cash-strapped nation can ill afford to pay.

Experts say the disaster in Pakistan illustrates what happens when the climate crisis collides with long-standing problems of poverty, dysfunction and debt.

The damage from this year’s rain, the World Weather Attribution study found, was exacerbated by Pakistan’s fragile water infrastructure. A government inquiry after a similar flash flood event in 2010 found significant problems with the system of dams and levees along the Indus River, much of which dates back to the colonial era. Although the country was able to construct a flood mitigation wall and improve its early warning system, other recommendations went unheeded, needed upgrades never happened, and reservoirs remained clogged, the study said.

Many residents accused government officials of pocketing funds meant for disaster preparedness. Pakistan is ranked 140th out of 180 countries on Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index.

But Pakistani officials say they have been hamstrung by high levels of debt — much of it linked to a stagnant economy, the coronavirus pandemic and the cost of recovering from previous disasters. The necessity of paying off past loans meant the government couldn’t invest in forward-looking projects. Agreements with development banks such as the International Monetary Fund have required Pakistan to slash its federal budget and stopped the country from increasing its deficit to meet immediate needs.

“That forced Pakistan to shift funds out of places like the National Disaster Management Authority,” said Malik Amin Aslam Khan, who served as Pakistan’s minister of climate change until this year. “And when disaster struck … that authority did not have the funds to do what it could have done and should have done.”

In high-income nations, over half of monetary losses and damage from climate-related extreme weather are insured, according to a report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Citizens can rely on their governments for help with housing, food and health care after a disaster. Officials will release billions of dollars in recovery money to help communities rebuild.

But Pakistan’s resources were swiftly exhausted by the overwhelming scope of the flood damage, leaving the nation dependent on outside humanitarian aid.

Such donations can be slow and unreliable, said Akram, the Pakistani negotiator. It may take weeks for money from donor countries to make it into the hands of those who need it. And donor fatigue can hamper the flow of funds in years when the world endures numerous disasters.

There is even less funding available to compensate countries dealing with slow-onset disasters that attract fewer headlines: Eroding coastlines from rising seas. Declines in fish populations that people rely on for food. The disappearance of cultural sites and sacred landscapes.

“The countries who suffer from this should have the ability to access financing automatically so they don’t have to go around with their hands out, and depend on generosity and largesse of richer countries every time,” Akram said.
Riaz Haq said…
Loss and damage must be at heart of Cop27 talks, experts say
Campaigners say talks could fail before they begin unless issue of loss and damage is put on agenda


Cop27, the UN climate summit beginning this Sunday in Egypt, could fail before it even starts if countries do not agree to put the loss and damage experienced by the poorest countries at the heart of the talks, according to climate experts and campaigners.

Delegates began to arrive at the conference centre on Saturday, and the talks will formally open on Sunday with a session deciding what should be on the agenda for the two weeks of negotiations, before world leaders gather on Monday and Tuesday.

But there are concerns that the talks will not properly address one of the most pressing issues, called loss and damage. This refers to the most devastating impacts of extreme weather, which can destroy a country’s physical infrastructure and tear apart its social fabric.

Prof Saleemul Huq, the director at the International Centre for Climate Change and Development, told the Guardian: “I am hopeful that there will be progress at last on finance for loss and damage at Cop27. There are currently ongoing discussions on whether to include it in the Cop agenda or not. Failure to include it will mean the Cop failing before it even starts officially.”

Under the UN rules, an agenda item must be agreed on at the opening session. There is widespread willingness among developed and developing countries for an agenda item on loss and damage, but the Guardian understands that some large developing economies are shying away from the issue.

Harjeet Singh, the head of global political strategy at Climate Action Network International, called for developed countries at the talks to take a lead. “Rich governments must engage in a constructive manner to address the ongoing injustice of climate-induced loss and damage, by committing to deliver support to those being impacted and by phasing out fossil fuels,” he said. “This is the Cop where polluters must be put in the dock and be held accountable.”

Cop27, the latest edition of the annual UN climate talks, is taking place amid high geopolitical tensions over the Ukraine war, soaring energy and food prices and a cost of living crisis around the world. Even the Egyptian hosts have admitted this will be the most difficult set of talks in at least a decade.

António Guterres, the UN secretary general, said in an interview on the eve of the talks that there was a gulf between the rich – who have caused the climate crisis and failed to cut greenhouse gas emissions – and the poor, who are suffering from the effects and lack the financial resources to protect themselves.

He called for this gap to be bridged by countries agreeing new ways of financing help for the poor experiencing loss and damage from extreme weather, and by big emitters reducing their carbon output faster. “There is no way we can avoid a catastrophic situation, if the two [the developed and developing world] are not able to establish a historic pact,” he said. “Because at the present level, we will be doomed.”


About 120 world leaders, including the UK’s Rishi Sunak, France’s Emmanuel Macron and the European Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, will gather on Monday and Tuesday at the conference centre in Sharm el-Sheikh, where the already stringent Egyptian security for the talks will be tightened further.

Campaigning groups face having their pavilions and stalls shut down while world leaders meet, and demonstrations at the Cop will be strictly policed, while many activists will be confined to a different site. Plainclothes Egyptian government security guards were heavily in evidence throughout the conference centre and the surrounding area on Saturday.

Joe Biden will come later in the week, owing to the looming US midterm elections. Boris Johnson, the former UK prime minister, is also expected.

Riaz Haq said…
Evangelical scientist Katharine Hayhoe finds hope in United Nations’ climate report
'That's how the world changes: When individuals have the courage of their convictions and use their voices to call for change,' the climate scientist told Religion News Service.


Question: What are your takeaways from the latest IPCC report?

Answer: The IPCC reports are like doorstops of doom — thousands of pages that summarize the results of tens of thousands of peer reviewed scientific studies that are once again clearly stating that climate is changing, humans are responsible, the impacts are serious and the time to act is now.

So what’s new about this latest report? It shows why it matters. It says: Here’s what is already happening right here, right now. No matter where you live, here’s how climate change is affecting your water, your food, the safety of your homes, your economy, your energy systems, even national security, our ecosystems, our agriculture. Here is how these changes are affecting us. Here is how unequally these changes are distributed. It shows very clearly how the impacts of climate change fall disproportionately on the poorest and most vulnerable people. The 3.5 billion poorest in the world have produced 7% of heat-trapping gas emissions, yet they’re bearing the brunt of the impacts. And that speaks profoundly to us as people of faith.

What the report also says is that we are not adapting fast enough to the changes we’ve already seen, and if we don’t cut our emissions as much as possible, as soon as possible, we will not be able to adapt.
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan may become unbearably hot by end of the century


New UNDP report on COP27 eve predicts number of ‘extremely hot days’ could rise to 179 by year 2099

Meteorologists note spring has nearly vanished, extreme heatwaves becoming all too common


Even as the government prepares to make a case for climate justice at the UN climate conference (COP27) that starts today (Sunday), an alarming new United Nations report predicts that Pakistan’s average annual temperature will increase to 22.4 degrees Celsius within the next decade and a half, and would cross the 26oC threshold by the end of the century.

The fresh report also warns that on average, the number of hot days in a year — i.e. when the temperature remains above 35 Celsius — will be 124 by the end of 2030, and this number will rise to 179 by the year 2099.

At 35 Celsius, the human body struggles to cool down through perspiration alone — hence raising the risk of death from overheating.

The Human Climate Horizons platform, a collaboration between the United Nations Development Progra­mme (UNDP) and the Climate Impact Lab, provides insights into the direction and magnitude of changes in the climate, like the number of extremely hot days each year and the impact of those changes on human welfare.

According to a UNDP press release, the new data shows the need to act qui­ckly, not only to mitigate climate cha­nge but also to adapt to its consequences.

“For instance, in Faisalabad, Pakistan, even with moderate mitigation, additional deaths due to climate change would average 36 per 100,000 people each year between 2020-2039. Without substantially expanding adaptation efforts, Faisalabad could expect annual climate change-related death rates to nearly double, reaching 67 deaths per 100,000 by midcentury. An increment almost as deadly as strokes, currently Pakistan’s third leading cause of death,” the statement says.

The latest warnings corroborate findings and concerns that have been raised by local experts over the past several years, who have long been insisting that climate change is no longer an approaching challenge, rather it is “happening right now”.

“In the very recent past, the Pakistan Meteorological Depart­ment (PMD) conducted a thorough research for an international organization, which should also have set alarms bell ringing,” says Nadeem Faisal, former director of the Climate Data Processing Centre — a key unit within the PMD.

He referred to the findings of a previous study, which suggested that Pakistan has warmed considerably since the early 1960s, with more warming witnessed in daytime maximum temperatures than night-time minimum temperatures.

“An analysis of the data revealed that the annual mean temperature has risen for the country as a whole by 0.74°C over the last 58 years by 2019, which is quite alarming,” he said. “The recent changes in weather conditions very much manifest the authenticity of this finding.”

The change in the mean temperature has been accompanied by a large increase in extreme temperatures. Since 2011, the number of extreme heat records being set in Pakistan has increased significantly. The frequency of very warm months (May–August) has also increased manifold over the recent decade.

While high-temperature extremes have increased significantly, low-temperature extremes are less frequent, the report says. The observation supplements a warning in latest UN reports, which predict that Hyderabad in Sindh is likely to become the hottest city in the world by the year 2100, with its highest average temperature reaching 29.9°C to 32°C. It is expected to outrank Jacobabad, Bahawal­nagar and Bahawalpur by that time.

Riaz Haq said…
Flood-hit Indus Highway to be completely restored within five days, SHC told


Larkana Commissioner Ghanwar Ali Leghari informed the bench that dewatering efforts were hampered as SCARP’s pumping stations in about 12 talukas — badly affected by flooding during the recent unprecedented rainfall — could not be operated for want of uninterrupted electric supply.

The irrigation secretary assured the bench that all talukas would be cleared of stagnant water within the next 30 days.

The court asked the Sukkur Electric Supply Company (Sepco) chief executive officer to make sure that pumping stations were supplied uninterrupted power till the draining of water in these talukas. The officials were also asked to arrange for power generators to run the pumping stations and also identify the areas where Sepco should ensure proper power supply.

National Highways Authority (NHA) officials submitted in court that barring a few sections, Indus Highway was opened for vehicles. They said the remaining sections would be mended within the next four-five days.

The bench was also informed that the ‘ring bund’ raised to save Dadu and Mehar towns from ravage of floodwaters had since been removed.

The bench appreciated the irrigation department, NHA and local administration for their efforts in restoring the Indus Highway between Mehar and Kakar, though except for a few sections.

The court also asked the deputy commissioners of Larkana, Shikarpur, Jacobabad, Kandhkot-Kashmore and Dadu, in their capacity as district directors of Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA), to ensure provision of food and health facilities to displaced people living in tent cities. Larkana district health officers were directed to provide adequate medicines to these people.

Riaz Haq said…

Negotiators at COP27 have mandate to discuss funding for climate damages with Pakistan as focal point
The World
Nov. 7, 2022 · 4:59 PM EST
Carolyn Beeler


COP27 started on Sunday, and for the first time, funding for climate losses and damages is on the agenda. The World's Carolyn Beeler visits a region in Pakistan still reeling from this year's historic floods to see what damages they incurred. And, she lays out the arguments that developing countries are pushing for at the climate summit in Sharm el-Sheikh.
Riaz Haq said…
Parties at COP27 Add Loss and Damage to the Agenda, But Won’t Discuss Which Countries Are Responsible or Who Should Pay
After enduring unprecedented climate disasters, Pakistan pushed talks about the costs of climate change onto the agenda. The U.N. secretary general calls the discussions a “moral imperative.”
Zoha Tunio
By Zoha Tunio
November 7, 2022


SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt—The United Nations climate summit officially opened on Sunday with the addition of negotiations over funding to compensate nations for “loss and damage” funding as an official agenda item.

Inclusion of the controversial topic—which poorer countries that are enduring the greatest harms from climate change see as critical to fairness in addressing global warming, and wealthy nations that have produced the vast majority of the emissions driving those damages have long resisted—required negotiations through the night leading up to the opening of the conference. And the victory is only partial for the parties advocating to include loss and damage in the negotiations, as the agenda item does not include discussions of how to determine liability or payments for the harms of human-caused climate change.

The agenda item was proposed by Pakistan, which in recent months incurred heavy losses in unprecedented floods that covered a third of the country, during talks in Bonn earlier this year in the leadup to the U.N.’s 27th Conference of the Parties opening this week. It is the first time in the history of the U.N. climate summits that parties in the negotiations have reached a consensus to include funding for loss and damage as an official agenda item.

“My country, Pakistan, has seen floods that have left 33 million lives in tatters and have caused loss and damage amounting to 10 percent of the GDP,” said Ambassador Munir Akram, the 2022 chair of the G77—a group of 134 developing countries, many of which are on the front lines of climate change—at the opening ceremony for COP27, where he urged that a finance mechanism be dedicated to addressing losses and damages. Pakistan recently has experienced a series of extreme weather events, including an extended heatwave in March when temperatures in the south rose close to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

In his opening remarks at the conference, United Nations Secretary General Anotonio Gutteres called for international solidarity, but also a recognition that the populations that have done little to cause global warming bear the brunt of its impacts. “Those who contributed least to the climate crisis are reaping the whirlwind sown by others,” he said.

But even as loss and damage discussions are now expected to feature prominently during this year’s conference, the adoption of the agenda item did not come without caveats. To reach consensus, negotiators had to take discussions of liability and compensation off the table. That’s prompted concerns that the damages from climate change to developing nations could continue to be paid for with humanitarian aid, rather than from funds set aside by the wealthy nations that have done the most to cause the warming.

But civil society organizations and environmental activists say financial support for countries at the frontlines of climate change should not be charity.

“It has to come from reparations,” said Mohamed Adow, founder and director of Power Shift Africa, a civil society organization geared toward mobilizing climate action.

Riaz Haq said…
Parties at COP27 Add Loss and Damage to the Agenda, But Won’t Discuss Which Countries Are Responsible or Who Should Pay
After enduring unprecedented climate disasters, Pakistan pushed talks about the costs of climate change onto the agenda. The U.N. secretary general calls the discussions a “moral imperative.”
Zoha Tunio
By Zoha Tunio
November 7, 2022


Loss and damage was highlighted earlier this year in the Sixth Assessment Report released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and became a topic of intense discussion across the globe following the devastating floods in Pakistan. But the countries in the Global North are yet to accept responsibility. In a statement prior to COP27, U.S. climate envoy John Kerry expressed concern about how the shifting focus on loss and damage “could delay our ability to do the most important thing of all, which is [to] achieve mitigation sufficient to reduce the level of adaptation.”

Still, as science increasingly shows how costly disasters in the developing world are driven by global warming caused by wealthy nations, those advocating to attribute liability for losses and damages for climate change and determine appropriate reparations are pressing their arguments.

“Climate attribution is on our side, we can now say Pakistan’s floods were triggered by climate change, which is largely caused by the Global North, but that translates into nothing until they admit fault,” Ahmad Rafay Alam, environmental lawyer and member of the Pakistan delegation at COP27, told Inside Climate News.

Pakistan’s floods this year caused more than $30 billion in damages. The climate catastrophe triggered conversations about loss and damage financing and climate reparations across the Global South. While the adoption of loss and damage as an agenda item is being hailed as a win for Pakistan and the G77, delegates, activists and civil society members remain skeptical about the outcomes of the conference.

“If the liability is not there then who will finance these loss and damage mechanisms?” said Muhammad Arif Goheer, the lead negotiator for Pakistan and the principal scientific officer in the nation’s Ministry of Climate Change. “We may not reach a decision on this anytime soon.”

Despite the skepticism, Pakistan’s delegation is determined to highlight loss and damage financing through the negotiating process. And they have significant support.

U.N. Secretary General Guterres, in a joint press conference alongside Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, urged nations to make global commitments towards loss and damage. “The international community has a duty towards Pakistan,” he said.

But, as with many other issues in the climate negotiations, success in the discussions of loss and damage will be measured by the concrete steps that all the nations agree to take—consensus that historically has been hard to come by.

“The litmus test of this and every future COP is how far deliberations are accompanied by action,” said Simon Stiell, executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, at the opening plenary. “Everybody, every single day, everywhere in the world, needs to do everything they possibly can to avert the climate crisis.”

For the Pakistan delegation, and many others from developing nations, this means pushing for a roadmap to establish loss and damage financing mechanisms. “If we’re able to push the conversation forward that will be a move in the right direction,” said Goheer.

This story was produced as part of the 2022 Climate Change Media Partnership, a journalism fellowship organized by Internews’ Earth Journalism Network and the Stanley Center for Peace and Security.

Riaz Haq said…
These Countries Have Pledged Loss & Damage Finance at UN Climate Change Conference COP27


On Monday, Belgium’s Minister for Development Cooperation Frank Vandenbroucke said the country would provide €2.5 million (around US$2.5 million) in loss and damage funding for Mozambique, with the money expected to provide the climate-vulnerable East African nation with storm warning systems and advanced intel on at-risk coastal areas.

Austria’s Climate Ministry announced it would allocate €50 million from its existing budget over the next four years to fund loss and damage in the world’s most vulnerable countries, with Climate Minister Leonore Gewessler claiming her country was “becoming a pioneer in international climate financing.”

New Zealand joined Belgium and Austria, committing NZ$20 million (almost US$12 million) to loss and damage globally.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Germany would provide €170 million to the Global Shield Against Climate Risks initiative — a fund dedicated to providing climate risk insurance and prevention support for at-risk nations. Just over €80 million will be devoted to the “central financing structure” of the shield, with the rest for “complementary” climate risk programs.

On Wednesday, Canada joined Belgium, Austria, New Zealand, and Germany by redefining its climate spending, announcing that $24 million (about US$18 million) from the nation’s former $5.3 billion International Climate Finance Commitment would be dedicated to the “needs and priorities of developing countries.”

Taoiseach (Prime Minister) of Ireland Micheál Martin committed €10 million to the Global Shield initiative.

Riaz Haq said…
COP27: India thwarts attempt to club it with historical polluters
In the run-up to COP27, India had said the MWP cannot be allowed to "change the goal posts" set by the Paris Agreement


Supported by other developing countries, India blocked an attempt by rich nations to focus on all top 20 emitters of carbon dioxide during discussions on the 'Mitigation Work Programme' at the ongoing U.N. climate summit in Egypt, sources said on Monday.

During the first week of the climate talks, developed countries desired that all top 20 emitters, including India and China, discuss intense emission cuts and not just the rich nations which are historically responsible for climate change, they said.

There are developing countries in the top 20 emitters, including India, that are not responsible for warming that has already occurred.

According to the sources, India pushed back the attempt with the support of like-minded developing countries, including China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bhutan.

The "MWP should not lead to the reopening of the Paris Agreement" which clearly mentions that climate commitments of countries have to be nationally determined based on circumstances, India and other developing countries reportedly said.

At COP26 in Glasgow last year, parties acknowledged that a 45% reduction in global CO2 emissions by 2030 (as compared to 2010 levels) is required to limit average global temperature rise to 1.5 degree Celsius.

Accordingly, they agreed to develop a Mitigation Work Programme (MWP) to "urgently scale up mitigation ambition and implementation". Mitigation means reducing emissions, ambition means setting stronger targets and implementation means meeting new and existing goals.

Coming into COP27, developing countries had raised concerns that rich nations, through the MWP, will push them to revise their climate targets without enhancing the supply of technology and finance.

In the run-up to COP27, India had said the MWP cannot be allowed to "change the goal posts" set by the Paris Agreement.

"In the Mitigation Work Programme, best practices, new technologies and new modes of collaboration for technology transfer and capacity building may be discussed fruitfully," the Union Environment Ministry had said.

An analysis by Carbon Brief shows the U.S. has released more than 509 Gt CO2 since 1850 and is responsible for the largest share of historical emissions, with some 20% of the global total. China is a relatively distant second, with 11%, followed by Russia (7%). India is in seventh place, with 3.4% of the cumulative total.

Earth's global surface temperature has increased by around 1.15 degree Celsius as compared to the pre-industrial (1850–1900) average and the CO2 spewed into the atmosphere since the start of the industrial revolution is closely tied to it. Major damage had already been done before 1990 when economies like India started to develop.

According to "Global Carbon Budget Report 2022", more than half of the world's CO2 emissions in 2021 were from three places — China (31%), the U.S. (14%), and the European Union (8%). At the fourth spot, India accounted for 7% of the global CO2 emissions.

However, at 2.4 tCO2e (tonne carbon dioxide equivalent), India's per capita greenhouse gas emissions are far below the world average of 6.3 tCO2e, according to a report released by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) last month.

Per capita emissions in the U.S. (14 tCO2e) are far above the global average, followed by Russia (13 tCO2e), China (9.7 tCO2e), Brazil and Indonesia (around 7.5 tCO2e each), and the European Union (7.2 tCO2e).
Riaz Haq said…
As the Cop27 global climate conference began its second week in Sharm El Sheikh on Monday, a new funding initiative to help poorer nations handle the effects of climate change was launched by G7 nations.


Called Global Shield, the new mechanism is backed by the V20 group of climate-vulnerable nations and will initially receive more than €200 million ($206m) in funding, mostly from Germany.

At Cop27, the issue of loss and damage was listed on the agenda for the first time ever at a UN climate conference.

Climate-vulnerable countries say wealthy industrialised nations should help to pay for irreversible damage from floods, storms and rising seas, after decades of emissions caused global temperatures to rise.

The Global Shield, co-ordinated by G7 president Germany, aims to provide climate-vulnerable countries with rapid access to insurance and disaster protection funding after floods or drought.

It is being developed in collaboration with 58 climate-vulnerable economies to bring together climate risk finance and preparedness.

The fund will both help nations prepare for climate change and respond to natural disasters sparked by rising temperatures.

"Climate-related disasters have devastating impacts on poor people in particular," said Svenja Schulze, Germany's Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development.

"They often do not have the means to protect themselves and their homes, fields or businesses against extreme weather and can lose their entire possessions when a disaster strikes."

She stressed that the scheme was not "a tactic" to sidestep calls for a specific loss and damage funding mechanism.

"The Global Shield isn't the one and only solution for loss and damage, certainly not," she said, adding that more funding will be needed to cover more countries.

"Those most affected by climate impacts need practical action now."

Ireland's Taoiseach Micheal Martin also committed €10 million, telling the gathered diplomats and world leaders that what were "once exceptional events are now occurring with increased frequency and ferocity. People in the poorest parts of our planet are being driven from regions that can no longer support and sustain them”.

France stumped up an initial $20 million, saying its total commitment would be $60 million over three years. Canada and Denmark will contribute $7 million and $4.7 million respectively.

US President Joe Biden has also backed the plan.

As the conference continues, Germany will be hoping for more contributions, but some are sceptical.

EU negotiator Jacob Werksman said talks were not ready to agree on a single funding solution, but he hoped the Cop27 summit would achieve more than just scheduling further talks on climate compensation.

"We don't think that this process is ready to agree in principle that a new fund or facility is the right or the only way forward," he said.

A statement issued by Germany on Monday listed Bangladesh, Costa Rica, Fiji, Ghana, Pakistan, the Philippines and Senegal as some of the initial recipients of Global Shield packages, although 58 nations are in talks over the programme.

Those packages would be developed in the coming months, Germany said.
Riaz Haq said…
As the Cop27 global climate conference began its second week in Sharm El Sheikh on Monday, a new funding initiative to help poorer nations handle the effects of climate change was launched by G7 nations.


A statement issued by Germany on Monday listed Bangladesh, Costa Rica, Fiji, Ghana, Pakistan, the Philippines and Senegal as some of the initial recipients of Global Shield packages, although 58 nations are in talks over the programme.

Those packages would be developed in the coming months, Germany said.

Ghana’s Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta called it “a path-breaking effort” that would help protect communities when lives and livelihoods are lost.

But civil society groups were sceptical, warning that the programme should not be used as a way to distract from the much broader effort to get big polluters to pay for the loss and damage they have already caused with their greenhouse gases.

Poorer, vulnerable nations also want financing to help them shift to clean energy and for projects to adapt to global warming.

Teresa Anderson of ActionAid International said the scheme showed that the global community recognised the need to act on loss and damage, but said it was a "distraction" from negotiations on a dedicated funding mechanism for climate damages.

"Everyone knows that insurance companies, by their very nature, are either reluctant to provide coverage, or reluctant to pay out," she said. "But when it comes to loss and damage, this is a matter of life and death."
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan's lost city of 40,000 people


In the dusty plains of present-day Sindh in southern Pakistan lie the remains of one of the world's most impressive ancient cities (Moenjo-Daro)that most people have never heard of.


Now, several thousand years later, the city is once again in danger after devastating super floods hit Pakistan in August 2022. Dr Asma Ibrahim, an archaeologist and museologist who's been involved in preservation work all over the country, confirmed that while Mohenjo-daro had been damaged, the flooding to the site was less than archaeologists had originally feared.


I was about an hour outside of the dusty town of Larkana in southern Pakistan at the historical site of Mohenjo-daro. While today only ruins remain, 4,500 years ago this was not only one of the world's earliest cities, but a thriving metropolis featuring highly advanced infrastructures.

Mohenjo-daro – which means "mound of the dead men" in Sindhi – was the largest city of the once-flourishing Indus Valley (also known as Harappan) Civilisation that ruled from north-east Afghanistan to north-west India during the Bronze Age. Believed to have been inhabited by at least 40,000 people, Mohenjo-daro prospered from 2500 to 1700 BCE.

"It was an urban centre that had social, cultural, economic and religious linkages with Mesopotamia and Egypt," explained Irshad Ali Solangi, a local guide who is the third generation of his family to work at Mohenjo-daro.

But compared to the cities of Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, which thrived around the same time, few have heard of Mohenjo-daro. By 1700 BCE, it was abandoned, and to this day, no-one is sure exactly why the inhabitants left or where they went.

Archaeologists first came across the ancient city in 1911 after hearing reports of some brickwork in the area. However, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) dismissed the bricks as not having any kind of antiquity and the site remained undisturbed for several more years. It wasn't until 1922 that R D Banerji, an ASI officer, believed he saw a buried stupa, a mound-like structure where Buddhists typically meditate. This led to large-scale excavations – most notably by British archaeologist Sir John Marshall – and the eventual naming of Mohenjo-daro as a Unesco World Heritage Site in 1980. The remains they uncovered revealed a level of urbanisation not previously seen in history, with Unesco lauding Mohenjo-daro as the "best preserved" ruin of the Indus Valley.

Perhaps the city's most surprising feature was a sanitation system that was far beyond its contemporaries. While drainage and private toilets were seen in Egypt and Mesopotamia, they were luxuries of the rich. In Mohenjo-daro, concealed toilets and covered drains were everywhere. Since excavations began, more than 700 wells have been recovered, in addition to a system of private baths, including a 12m x 7m "Great Bath" for communal use. Incredibly, toilets were found in many private residences, and waste was covertly disposed of through a sophisticated, city-wide sewage system.


Mohenjo-daro's ability to master the arts of sanitation and sewage disposal were not the only advanced features that set the inhabitants apart from other early civilisations. Archaeologists have noted the use of standardised building materials, despite a dearth of machines.

"All the bricks have a ratio of 4:2:1, even if they are not of the same shape," Rizvi explained. "It's important to recognise that all these bricks are following a sensibility of sorts. There's a sense of what they want their city to look like. If you make everything to a ratio, even the spaces that you are walking through then inherently follow a certain sensibility of a ratio as well."
Riaz Haq said…
A deal was struck at the #COP27 climate talks to set up a fund that would pay for #climate-related damage in countries deemed particularly vulnerable. #Pakistan #lossanddamage #floods




SHARM EL SHEIKH, Egypt—A deal was struck at United Nations climate talks on Saturday to set up a fund that would pay for climate-related damage in countries deemed particularly vulnerable, officials said, handing a victory to poorer nations that have pushed for the move for years and removing a major sticking point in broader negotiations to address global warming.

The fund would earmark money for what is known as loss and damage: When rising seas, more powerful storms and other effects that scientists link to climate change cause destruction that is sudden or potentially irreparable.

Negotiators representing developed and developing countries agreed to the measure in the final hours of the COP27 U.N. climate summit held in this Egyptian seaside resort. Officials cautioned that the deal on loss and damage was part of a broader agreement that is still under negotiation. Wealthy nations want stronger commitments from developing countries to cut emissions in the coming decade in hopes of meeting the climate targets of the Paris accord. Those call for governments to limit temperature increases to well under 2 degrees Celsius and preferably 1.5 degrees compared with the preindustrial era.

The fund would be targeted toward poorer countries deemed most vulnerable, delegates said, a key demand from wealthy nations that didn’t want money flowing to China and other higher-income countries that are deemed to be developing under the U.N. climate treaty. As part of the process for creating the fund, countries would identify new sources of financing, officials said. Wealthy countries want China, oil-rich Persian Gulf states and other higher-income countries in the developing world to contribute.

Small island countries and low-lying nations such as Bangladesh have for decades sought money to pay for loss and damage. Wealthy countries, which are responsible for most of the greenhouse-gas emissions that have caused the earth to warm, have long resisted, fearing that agreeing to make payments would leave their governments and companies at risk of lawsuits.

A senior Biden administration official said Saturday’s deal wouldn’t create legal liability.

Heading into the talks, the U.S., Europe and other rich nations said that a new fund wasn’t necessary and that money for loss and damage can flow through existing institutions that provide climate finance for the developing world.


European negotiators asked whether that was the position of AOSIS, whose members are also members of the Group of 77. The Maldives’ environment minister, representing AOSIS, asked for a 30 minute break to discuss the issue with the Group of 77.

Negotiators from the two groups returned to the room saying they were willing to support a fund that would be targeted to particularly vulnerable countries as the EU wanted.

In recent years, the demand for a separate fund became a rallying cry for poorer countries seen as most vulnerable to climate change. Many developing countries have pointed to the scale of monsoon rains and floods in Pakistan this year, which have left the country with losses and rebuilding costs assessed by the government and World Bank at $30 billion, as an example of what vulnerable countries could increasingly contend with. Less than half of Pakistan’s $816 million international emergency appeal has been funded.

Riaz Haq said…
#India, the world's 3rd largest polluter, binges on #coal, outpaces #Asia. India's coal-fired #electricity output has increased much faster than any other country in the Asia since #Russia's invasion of #Ukraine. #Carbon #cop27egypt #SharmElSheikh https://www.thedailystar.net/business/global-economy/indian/news/india-power-binges-coal-outpaces-asia-3173761#.Y3l3eKKhEsI.twitter

Coal fuels nearly three-quarters of the power output of India, which presented its decarbonisation strategy at the United Nation's COP27 climate summit this week - the last of the world's five largest economies to do so.

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Use of coal globally, including in power generation, has grown since Russia's invasion of Ukraine in late February sent prices of other fossil fuels surging, derailing efforts to transition to cleaner fuels.

But the increase in India's coal-fired power output has outstripped its regional peers, data from the government and analysts showed.

India's coal-fired power output increased more than 10 per cent year-on-year from March to October to 757.82 terawatt hours, an analysis of government data shows, as electricity demand increased off the back of a heatwave and pickup in economic activity.

The government expects this output to grow at the fastest pace in at least a decade in the current fiscal year ending March 2023.

An analysis of data from independent think tank Ember shows India's surge in coal-fired output for the March-to-August period was 14 times faster than the average in Asia Pacific.

The heat wave and economic revival following the pandemic meant overall electricity demand grew twice as fast as rest of the region, Ember's data shows.

The European Union was the only region where coal-fired power output grew at a rate faster than India, the Ember data says, as nations in the region scrambled to reduce their reliance on Russian supplies.

India is also the only major country in Asia, besides Japan, where the contribution of coal-fired power in overall electricity production increased in the six months since March, the data shows.

India wants countries to agree to phase down all fossil fuels at the COP27 summit, rather than a narrower deal to phase down coal as was agreed last year.

State-run Coal India, the country's dominant coal miner, ramped up production to meet the utility demand. It reported a 13.5 per cent year-on-year increase in its coal output in March-October to a record high of 432 million tonnes.

Imports of thermal coal, predominantly used in power generation, rose by more than a quarter in the same period, double the pace seen in the pre-Covid years between 2017 to 2019, data from consultancy Coalmint showed.

"Like in China, Indian coal-fired generation will be correlated with Indian power demand – if total demand increases, then more coal-fired generation will be needed," said Jake Horslen, an analyst at Energy Aspects.

In China, the government's strict "Covid-zero" policy and resulting restrictions, plus increased use of renewable and hydro sources of power generation, led to a decline in coal use.

Consultancy Wood Mackenzie expects India's coal-fired power output to grow 10 per cent in 2022 compared to the previous year. China's generation from the polluting fuel is expected to decline marginally.

India's government has said it was committed to achieve net zero emissions by 2070, and official data reviewed by Reuters shows that renewable energy generation grew 21 per cent in March to October, even as coal use for power increased.

India is expected to add up to 360 gigawatts of power generation capacity from clean energy sources to its overall output over the next decade, said Hetal Gandhi, director of research at CRISIL Market Intelligence. "This would help lower coal's contribution in generation by 40-45 per cent by fiscal 2032," he said.

Riaz Haq said…
In a First, Rich Countries Agree to Pay for Climate Damages in Poor Nations - The New York Times

“Pakistan, which spearheaded a group of 134 developing nations pushing for loss and damage payments, provided a fresh reminder of the destructive forces of climate change.”


After 30 years of deadlock, a new U.N. climate agreement aims to pay developing countries for loss and damage caused by global warming. But huge questions remain about how it would work.

SHARM EL SHEIKH, Egypt — Negotiators from nearly 200 countries agreed for the first time to establish a fund that would help poor, vulnerable countries cope with climate disasters made worse by the pollution spewed by wealthy nations that is dangerously heating the planet.

The decision regarding payments for climate damage marked a breakthrough on one of the most contentious issues at United Nations climate negotiations. For more than three decades, developing nations have pressed for loss and damage money, asking rich, industrialized countries to provide compensation for the costs of destructive storms, heat waves and droughts fueled by global warming.

But the United States and other wealthy countries have long blocked the idea, for fear that they could be held legally liable for the greenhouse gas emissions that are driving climate change.

The agreement hammered out in this Red Sea resort town says nations cannot be held legally liable for payments. The deal calls for a committee with representatives from 24 countries to work over the next year to figure out exactly what form the fund should take, which countries should contribute and where the money should go. Many of the other details are still to be determined.

The creation of the a loss and damage fund was almost derailed by disputes that ran into the dawn hours of Sunday over other elements of a broader agreement, including how deeply countries should cut their emissions and whether to include language that explicitly called for a phaseout of fossil fuels, including coal, natural gas and oil. By 5 a.m. in Egypt, negotiators were still debating those other measures.

Developing nations — largely from Asia, Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean and South Pacific — fought first to place the loss and damage fund on the formal agenda of the two-week summit. And then they were relentless in their pressure campaign, arguing that it was a matter of justice, noting they did little to contribute to a crisis that threatens their existence. They made it clear that a summit held on the African continent that ended without addressing loss and damage would be seen as a moral failure.

“The announcement offers hope to vulnerable communities all over the world who are fighting for their survival from climate stress,” said Sherry Rehman, Pakistan’s minister for climate change. “And gives some credibility to the COP process.”

Pakistan, which spearheaded a group of 134 developing nations pushing for loss and damage payments, provided a fresh reminder of the destructive forces of climate change. Over the summer, Pakistan suffered devastating flooding that scientists say was made worse by global warming, resulting in more than 1,500 deaths, plunging one-third of the country underwater and causing $30 billion in damages, even as Pakistan contributes less than 1 percent of the world’s planet-warming emissions.

As the summit was nearing an end, the European Union consented to the idea of a loss and damage fund, though it insisted that any aid should be focused on the most vulnerable nations, and that aid might include a wide variety of options such as new insurance programs in addition to direct payments.
Riaz Haq said…
‘We couldn’t fail them’: #Pakistan brought that resolve to negotiations at #COP27 &, as president of the #G77 plus #China negotiating bloc, succeeded in keeping developing countries united on #lossAnddamage, despite rich nations' strong opposition. #Floods https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/nov/20/loss-and-damage-pakistan-flooding-climate-justice-cop27?CMP=share_btn_tw

With the deadly devastation fresh in the world’s mind, Pakistan pushed for damage funds with other frontline countries

Nina Lakhani

In early September, after unprecedented rainfall had left a third of Pakistan under water, its climate change minister set out the country’s stall for Cop27. “We are on the frontline and intend to keep loss and damage and adapting to climate catastrophes at the core of our arguments and negotiations. There will be no moving away from that,” Sherry Rehman said.

Pakistan brought that resolve to the negotiations in Sharm el-Sheikh and, as president of the G77 plus China negotiating bloc, succeeded in keeping developing countries united on loss and damage – despite efforts by some rich countries to divide them. Its chief negotiator, Nabeel Munir, a career diplomat, was backed by a team of savvy veteran negotiators who had witnessed the devastation and suffering from the floods, which caused $30bn (£25bn) of damage and economic losses. Every day, Munir repeated the same message: “Loss and damage is not charity, it’s about climate justice.”

It was the first time the G77, which includes a diverse range of countries with an array of climate, economic and security challenges, had shown such unity since 2009, when they rejected the Copenhagen accord at Cop15, according to Asad Rehman, of the UK charity War on Want. “Without the leadership of Pakistan, we wouldn’t have the outcome,” he said. “Their diplomats are experienced in maintaining G77 discipline and unity, and prevented attempts by the EU and others to turn the least developed countries group and the Alliance of Small Island States against the other countries and accept a narrow fund.”

Meena Raman, the director of Third World Network and an expert on the UN climate summits, agreed: “We saw attempts to split the G77, with overtures made by the rich countries to the vulnerable 20, in an effort to put pressure on countries like China and India to contribute to the fund. We have seen such divide-and-control efforts time and time again. But when the G77 remains strong, we get good outcomes; if they are divided, developing countries lose.”

Despite the multitude of disappointments at Cop27, failing on loss and damage was not an option, according to Munir. “Our resolve came from seeing the victims of the catastrophic floods that we faced,” he said. “The thought that it might not happen came many times, but the whole country – and developing world – was watching us and we couldn’t fail them.”

But Pakistani officials cannot take all the credit. Zaheer Fakir, a South African negotiator, singled out the Egyptian diplomat Mohamed Nasr for getting loss and damage over the line. “He was doing the consultations with all the groups [parties] and fixing the cover [final] decision,” he said.

Fakir cautioned against premature celebrations. “It’s not really a victory yet. All that was decided has been the establishment of funding arrangements and the fund … [There are] no specific contributions or notion on size, which will need to be unpacked.”

Civil society pressure was critical in building and unifying momentum around loss and damage since Cop26 in Glasgow, as part of the growing campaign for climate justice.

Despite Egypt’s best efforts to silence dissent, small but powerful protests demanding climate justice took place almost every day inside the negotiating zone, and the world’s media broadcast activists and experts calling out the US, UK, EU and other world leaders.

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The National Assembly Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs was informed that following the UN Flash appeal, Pakistan has received $3.4 billion for flood relief operations and reconstruction.


“The committee was informed that in response to UN Flash appeal, pledges worth $270 million have been made. Of these pledges, $170 million has been converted to firm commitments. On members’ queries regarding cumulative assistance received, it was informed that Pakistan has received $3.4 billion for flood relief operations and reconstruction,” said a press release issued by the office of the chairman of NA Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs.

In the summary presented to the committee, it was told that in response to UN Flash Appeal for USD 816 million, pledges worth USD 304.4 million have been made. Of these pledges, USD 174 million has been converted to firm commitments (donors concluded agreements with UN Agency/INGO for the disbursement of funds).

The international friends/partners have committed financial aid worth USD 277 million (mostly for in-kind relief goods) which are not part of UN Flash Appeal.

It was further informed that the multilateral financial institutions have also allocated funds/loans for the flood relief assistance.

The World Bank has repurposed a loan worth USD 281 while AIIB has offered a USD 500 million loan. ADB has repurposed USD 475 million loans as well as granted a 3 million new funding.

The committee was informed that the total multilateral lending amounts to USD 1259 million.

It was further told that the sum of all pledges under UN Flash Appeal, bilateral and multilateral assistance amounts to USD 1807.4 million.

Pakistan has received 140 planeloads, 13 trainloads and 6 shiploads of relief goods from our international friends and partners like Turkey, China, the USA, KSA, the UAE, Qatar, the EU etc.

Till date, the International Assistance received by NDMA includes 25187 tents, 2205 tarpaulins, 16, 352 blankets, 1493 sleeping mats, nearly 8000 kitchen sets, 54826 food packs and 182 ration, 1030 units of baby food, 31 tons of medicine, 4722 hygiene kits, 87 water pumps and 58 boats.

The panel was told that assistance is also being received from Pakistani citizens and diaspora through various mechanisms such as directly to the PM Flood Relief Fund, to NGOs, relatives, individuals, etc. To date, an amount of 3,925 million Pak Rupees (equivalent to USD 18 million) has been received in the PM Flood Relief Accounts, including PKR 1942 million (8.93 million USD) donations from overseas, according to a summary shared with the panel.

In response to the members’ concerns whether the Flash Appeal was successful in meeting the desired targets, it was observed that the appeal was “mildly successful” against the ambitious target set; however, given the international community’s shift in attention to Ukraine, Flash Appeal was a success.

Riaz Haq said…
Chinese medical team concluded 14-day aid in Pakistan


GUILIN, Nov. 29 (China Economic Net)-"After the 14-day aid in Pakistan, we are ready to continue giving full play to our professional strengths and enhance exchanges with Pakistan and contribute to the reconstruction of Pakistan’s health system", said Mr. Huang Wenxin, head of China (Guangxi) Medical Expert Team for Aiding Pakistan in Flood Relief.

The team has concluded its work in Pakistan from Oct. 28 to Nov. 11 for post-flood medical treatment and infectious disease prevention
During the trip, the expert team, consisting of experts on gastroenterology, infectious diseases, respiratory medicine, dermatology, general surgery, nursing, monitoring, analysis and prevention of infectious diseases, drinking water sanitation, mosquito vector monitoring and transmission, environmental elimination, and laboratory testing, visited Islamabad, Karachi, and the badly-hit Khaipur District in Sindh Province.

In Gambat Relief Camp, the team donated medical supplies to Khaipur, including antibiotics and antiviral drugs for respiratory tract infections and infectious diarrhea, dermatological topical medication for infection, anti-allergy medicine, anti-diarytic medicine, mosquito repellent medicine, antimalarial medicine, malaria detection kits, protective clothing, medical masks, etc.

Experts in the team together with local doctors provided free medical care to the flood affectees. “We also checked the water source and impact of mosquitoes and flies in the camp, and discussed with the health officials of Heilbul County on how to strengthen health education for the flood victims and promote a healthy lifestyle”, Mr. Huang Wenxin told China Economic Net (CEN).

“I’m deeply impressed by the patients saying thanks to us, the hospitable local doctors, and the full support from local health officials and security personnel”, Mr. Huang Wenxin recalled.

The team also met with Pakistan’s national and local health and disaster management authorities and put forward suggestions on post-disaster medical treatment, sanitation and epidemic prevention. It is suggested that national health campaign, medium- and long-term plans regarding the construction of hydraulic projects, and epidemic surveillance can be carried out to improve urban and rural sanitation, enhance the capacity for flood control, drought resistance, and disaster prevention, and control epidemics effectively.

Riaz Haq said…
How political will often favors a coal billionaire and his dirty fossil fuel
The tale of Gautam Adani’s giant power plant reveals how political will in India bends in favor of the dirty fuel
By Gerry Shih, Niha Masih and Anant Gupta


GODDA, India — For years, nothing could stop the massive coal-fired power plant from rising over paddies and palm groves here in eastern India.

Not objections from local farmers, environmental impact review boards, even state officials. Not pledges by India’s leaders to shift toward renewable energy.

Not the fact that the project, ultimately, will benefit few Indians. When the plant comes online, now scheduled for next week, all of the electricity it generates is due to be sold at a premium to neighboring Bangladesh, a heavily indebted country that has excess power capacity and doesn’t need more, documents show.

The project, however, will benefit its builder, Gautam Adani, an Indian billionaire who according to Global Energy Monitor is the largest private developer of coal power plants and coal mines in the world. When his companies’ stock peaked in September, the Bloomberg Billionaires Index ranked Adani as the second-richest person on the planet, behind Elon Musk.


One of the power projects would be built by Adani, who had provided a corporate jet for Modi to use during his political campaign and accompanied the newly elected prime minister on his first visits to Canada and France. After Modi’s trip to Bangladesh, that country’s power authority contracted with Adani to build a $1.7 billion, 1,600-megawatt coal power plant. It would be situated 60 miles from the border, in a village in Godda district.

At the time, the project was seen as a win-win.

For Modi, it was an opportunity to bolster his “Neighborhood First” foreign policy and promote Indian business. Modi asked Bangladesh’s prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, to “facilitate the entry of Indian companies in the power generation, transmission and distribution sector of Bangladesh,” according to an Indian Foreign Ministry readout of their meeting.

For her part, Hasina envisioned lifting her country into middle-income status by 2020. Electricity demand from Bangladesh’s humming garment factories and booming cities would triple by 2030, the government estimated.


Facing a looming power glut, Bangladesh in 2021 canceled 10 out of 18 planned coal power projects. Mohammad Hossain, a senior power official, told reporters that there was “concern globally” about coal and that renewables were cheaper.

But Adani’s project will proceed. B.D. Rahmatullah, a former director general of Bangladesh’s power regulator, who also reviewed the Adani contract, said Hasina cannot afford to anger India, even if the deal appears unfavorable.

“She knows what is bad and what is good,” he said. “But she knows, ‘If I satisfy Adani, Modi will be happy.’ Bangladesh now is not even a state of India. It is below that.”

A spokesman for Hasina and senior Bangladeshi energy officials did not respond to a detailed list of questions and repeated requests seeking comment.
Riaz Haq said…
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said on Wednesday that Pakistan’s economic outlook for the fiscal year ending in June 2023 has “deteriorated under heavy flooding” while the “economy was already struggling to regain macroeconomic and fiscal stability”.


In the supplement report titled ‘Asian Development Outlook 2022 Supplement’, ADB said flood disruption and damage in the country are “expected to slow real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth in combination with a tight monetary stance, high inflation, and an un-conducive global environment”.


the ADB report highlighted that flood damage in Pakistan threatened the upcoming agricultural season as well, as wheat is usually planted from mid-October.

It said the flooding is expected to have spillover effects on industry — notably textiles and food processing — and on services, in particular wholesale trade and transportation.

The report added that the floods had adversely affected cotton, rice and other important crops that are grown in the country.

The fiscal year 2023 forecast for Pakistan has been revised to reflect a “weaker currency [and] higher domestic energy prices” along with “flood-related crop and livestock losses and supply disruption, which have caused transitory food shortages and price spikes”, ADB elaborated in the report.

It further explained that transportation difficulties had “exacerbated these shortages and disrupted other domestic supply chains, broadening inflationary pressures and imposing production challenges”.

Growth and inflation outlook in South Asia
According to the ADB, South Asia is on track to meet the growth forecast of 6.5pc in 2022 but the forecast for 2023 has been downgraded slightly from 6.5pc to 6.3pc.

It further said sub-regional revision for 2023 largely reflected “lower forecasts for Bangladesh and Pakistan” as recovery in Bangladesh was also “hampered by external imbalances and unexpectedly high inflation”.

It projected inflation for South Asia — comprising of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka — to increase from 8.1pc in September to 8.2pc in the recent December update.

However, the estimated inflation figures for the year 2023 had a more substantial increment from 7.4pc to 7.9pc.

The report said that the sub-regional revision for 2023 largely reflects higher inflation forecasts for Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Inflation forecasts for elsewhere in the sub-region in 2023 remained unchanged while inflation in India is expected to rise to 6.7pc before falling back to 5.8pc in the fiscal year 2022.
Riaz Haq said…
World Bank approves $1.69 bln for Pakistan flood relief projects


Pakistan's already stressed economy took a further hit after severe floods earlier this year submerged large swathes of the country, killing nearly 1,700 people, damaging farmlands and infrastructure.

The World Bank financing is aimed at relief projects in the south-eastern Sindh province, which it said was worst-affected by the floods.
Riaz Haq said…
UNICEF Pakistan Humanitarian Situation Report No. 8 (Floods): 15 December 2022


Situation in Numbers

33 million
People affected by heavy rains and floods

9.6 million
Children in need of humanitarian assistance

20.6 million
People in need of humanitarian assistance

Pakistan Floods Response Plan 2022


Around 5.4 million people remain displaced as per the latest available data. In some locations of Sindh province, and in parts of Balochistan, water has yet to recede and may remain for several months into the new year, protracting the dire humanitarian situation for people in these areas.

Based on damage severity, and propensity for severe cold weather, 35 districts across the country (14 of Sindh, 10 of Balochistan, 9 of KP and 2 of Punjab) have been identified as most exposed to difficult winter conditions.

Under the nutrition programme, a total of 58,530 severely wasted children (12,010 new) have been enrolled for treatment.

UNICEF has reached 1,053,429 people (193,852 new) with access to safe drinking water.

Through UNICEF health programme, 1,453,429 people benefitted from primary healthcare services and 1,059,092 (40,018 new) children have been immunized against measles.

UNICEF education programme has established 834 Temporary Learning Centers in Balochistan, Punjab and Sindh, and is supporting 101,222 children (743,008 new) via diverse modalities.

Situation Overview and Humanitarian Needs

The humanitarian situation in Pakistan has deteriorated since the monsoon season due to unprecedented flooding, especially impacting already vulnerable populations. Compounded by the political volatility, economic deterioration, the residual impact of COVID-19 and the protracted nutrition emergency, with high rates of global acute malnutrition (on average 23 per cent in the districts most affected by floods), children have been pushed to the brink. During the monsoon season, rainfall was equivalent to nearly 2.9 times the national 30-year average, causing widespread flooding and landslides with severe repercussions for human lives, property, and infrastructure. An estimated 20.6 million people, including 9.6 million children, need humanitarian assistance. To date, 94 districts have been declared ‘calamity hit’ by the Government of Pakistan. Many of the hardest-hit districts are amongst the most vulnerable districts in Pakistan, where children already suffer from high malnutrition, poor access to water and sanitation, low school enrolment, and other deprivations.

In mountainous and high altitude areas of Pakistan, many also affected by the floods, have received snowfall and temperatures have fallen below 0 Celsius, particularly in the northern and northwestern parts of Pakistan including Khyber Pakhtunkwa (KP), Gilgit Baltistan (GB), Pakistan Administered Kashmir (PAK) and northern Balochistan. The coldest place in Pakistan usually are the glacial parts of GB, where in winters the average temperature remains below -20. Currently, as per Pakistan Metrological Department, mainly cold and dry weather is expected in most parts of the country, while very cold weather is expected in northern areas of the country (KP, GB, and PAK) and northern Balochistan.

Riaz Haq said…
Flooding triggers fresh migrations in Sindh
Thousands leave Dadu district as floodwaters surround Dadu city


Thousands of panicked citizens have left a densely-populated district in Pakistan, following a fresh spell of floods, adding to the growing number of displaced people, officials and local media reported on Sunday.

The Dadu district of Sindh province has been surrounded by floodwaters, leaving only one passage for the residents to leave the city as the water level in Manchar Lake, the country's largest freshwater body, is continuously rising.

Gushing floodwaters have washed away the first defence line of the city – home to over one million people – forcing the administration backed by the army troops to strengthen the remaining embankments, local media reported.

Footage aired on local TV channels showed thousands of stranded people lodged in tents or under open skies along the main highway that leads to Hyderabad, the second largest district of Sindh after Karachi.

Either side of the highway could be seen inundated in floodwaters for miles.

Another footage showed hundreds of flapped citizens, on mini trucks, wagons, and auto rickshaws, leaving the city. Many others along with their livestock were also spotted trudging along the road under the baking sun.

The huge flooding also forced the administration to shift nearly 400 prisoners from Dadu district jail to the Hyderabad prison.

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah told reporters on Sunday that the rescue agencies are trying their best to save the city.

The recent downpours – 500% higher than average – and massive floods have left 125 million people homeless in Sindh alone, aside from causing a colossal loss of Rs350 billion ($1.5 billion) to agriculture and another Rs50 billion ($221 million) to the livestock.

The severity of the situation also prompted Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa to air dash to the literally besieged Dadu city on Saturday evening, directing the troops to accelerate the relief and rescue operations.

Riaz Haq said…
Support for Pakistan has ebbed away – yet its deadly floodwaters have not
By Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif


Climate disasters continue to ravage our country – more international aid is urgently needed to save millions from misery

The apocalyptic rains and floods that hit Pakistan last summer claimed 1,700 lives, left a swathe of territory the size of Switzerland under water and affected 33 million people – more people than live in most European countries.

International attention has receded, but the waters have not. Large parts of Sindh and Balochistan provinces remain inundated. The number of food-insecure people in Pakistan has doubled to 14 million; another 9 million have been pushed into extreme poverty. These flooded areas now look like a huge series of permanent lakes, transforming forever the terrain and the lives of people living there. No amount of pumps can remove this water in less than a year; and by July 2023, the worry is that these areas may flood again.

Pakistan is suffering not just from flooding but from recurring climate extremes – earlier in spring 2022, the country was in the grip of a scorching, drought-aggravating heatwave that caused forest fires in the west. The fact that some of the same areas that received record temperatures were subsequently submerged underlines the sharp swings in weather patterns that are becoming a norm.

Pakistanis have responded to this latest calamity with exemplary resilience. Already facing severe economic headwinds, the government scrambled to generate funds enabling direct cash transfers of more than $250m (£200m) to more than 2 million households. In all, we managed to mobilise about $1.5bn in emergency relief out of our own meagre resources.

We are grateful to the international community and friends of Pakistan for their generosity in helping us to avoid the worst. While the World Health Organization had designated the situation as a high-level health emergency, the feared water-borne diseases and localised epidemics did not break out due to the efficient working of our vast network of medical camps. Similarly, we were able to restore the damaged communication networks between cities and villages very quickly.

Yet more than 2 million homes, 14,000km of roads and 23,000 schools and clinics have been destroyed. A post-disaster needs assessment (PDNA), carried out in collaboration with the World Bank and the EU, estimated that the damage caused by floods exceeded $30bn – a 10th of Pakistan’s entire GDP.

These numbers only scratch the surface of the challenge at hand. They demand a response that would stretch and overwhelm the resources of any country. The UN secretary general, António Guterres, witnessed the “unimaginable” destruction first-hand during a visit to Sindh province in September. Terming it “climate carnage”, the secretary general found himself at a loss for words – “a flooded area that is three times the total area of my own country, Portugal”. This devastation has been greater than that caused by the 2010 floods in Pakistan, which the UN then described as the worst natural disaster it had ever responded to. Pakistan simply cannot do this alone.

Riaz Haq said…
Support for Pakistan has ebbed away – yet its deadly floodwaters have not
By Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif


This is why the secretary general and I are co-hosting the International Conference on Climate Resilient Pakistan in Geneva on 9 January. We will be joined by world leaders, representatives of international development and humanitarian organisations, and friends of Pakistan to signal support and solidarity with a country that is grappling with a natural disaster not of its making.

A newborn held aloft in Pakistan sums up the sheer injustice of the climate crisis
Fatima Bhutto
Fatima Bhutto
Read more
We will also present a comprehensive roadmap for post-flood reconstruction and rehabilitation, developed with the assistance of the World Bank, the UN, the Asian Development Bank and the EU. The resilient recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction framework (or 4RF) essentially envisages a two-pronged response. The first part relates to meeting the immediate challenges of recovery and reconstruction, requiring minimum funding of $16.3bn over a period of three years. Pakistan would meet half the funding from its own resources. But we will count on the continued assistance of our bilateral and multilateral partners to bridge the gap.

The second part of the 4RF outlines Pakistan’s long-term vision for building climate resilience. This would require an investment of $13.5bn over a 10-year period. Building better communications infrastructure and a more robust irrigation system, and designing efficient early warning systems to mitigate the effects of future natural disasters is not a luxury for Pakistan but an absolute imperative.

Of course, I am conscious that the Geneva conference marks only the beginning of a long and arduous journey. But a substantive outcome will reassure millions of imperilled people – who have already lost everything – that they have not been forgotten; that the international community will help them to rebuild their lives.

It will also remind us that we are all – increasingly – at the mercy of forces of nature that do not respect borders and can only be tamed by joining hands. It is, therefore, my sincere hope that our gathering in Geneva comes to symbolise our common humanity and generosity of spirit – a source of hope for all people and countries who may face natural adversity in the future.

Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif is Pakistan’s prime minister

Riaz Haq said…
Dozens of countries and international institutions on Monday pledged more than $9 billion to help Pakistan recover and rebuild from devastating summer floods, with the sum set to balloon further at a U.N.-backed conference to help the country through what the U.N. chief called “a climate disaster of monumental scale.”


The flooding killed more than 1,700 people, destroyed more than 2 million homes, and covered as much as one-third of the country at one point, causing damage totaling more than $30 billion, officials say. Large swaths of the country remain under water, with millions living near contaminated or stagnant waters, the U.N. says.

After a midday break, Pakistani Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb tweeted that $8.57 billion had been offered up to that point — exceeding an initial target to meet half of the government’s estimated needs of some $16.3 billion to respond to the flooding. The other half is expected to come from the Pakistani government itself.

She listed the top donors as the Islamic Development Bank, with $4.2 billion; the World Bank, at $2 billion; the Asian Development Bank, at $1.5 billion. She said the European Union had pledged $93 million, Germany $88 million, China $100 million, and Japan $77 million. The United States said separately was doubling its allocation, announcing another $100 million on top of a similar amount already committed to Pakistan.

The interim tally from Aurangzeb did not include, for example, a pledge of $1 billion from Saudi Arabia. Wealthy and traditionally generous Nordic countries and others were continuing to announce their commitments Monday afternoon.

The conference has shaped up as a test case of just how much wealthy nations would pitch in to help developing-world countries like Pakistan manage the impact of climatic swoons, and brace for other disasters.

Pakistani Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif and U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres attended in-person and other world leaders such as French President Emmanuel Macron and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan took part virtually.

“We need to be honest about the brutal injustice of loss and damage suffered by developing countries because of climate change,” Guterres told the gathering. “If there is any doubt about loss and damage — go to Pakistan. There is loss. There is damage. The devastation of climate change is real.”
Riaz Haq said…
Donors pledge more than $10b to help Pakistan flood recovery: Official


GENEVA - Pakistan said on Monday that donors have committed to give more than US$8 billion (S$10 billion) to help it recover from last year’s devastating floods in what is seen as a major test for who pays for climate disasters.

Officials from some 40 countries as well as private donors and international financial institutions are gathering for a meeting in Geneva as Islamabad seeks help covering around half of a total recovery bill of US$16.3 billion.

Waters are still receding from the floods caused by monsoon rains and melting glaciers which killed at least 1,700 people and displaced around 8 million.

Pakistan Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb sent a tweet saying that pledges have reached US$8.57 billion - more than it had initially sought.

Among the donors were the Islamic Development Bank (US$4.2 billion), the World Bank (US$2 billion), the Asian Development Bank (US$1.5 billion) as well as the European Union and China, she said.

France and the United States also made contributions.

Earlier, United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres called for massive investments to help Pakistan recover from what he called a “climate disaster of monumental scale”.

“Pakistan is doubly victimised by climate chaos and a morally bankrupt global financial system,” he added. He later elaborated saying the current system is “biased” towards the rich countries who conceived it.

Additional funding is crucial to Pakistan amid growing concerns about its ability to pay for imports such as energy and food and to meet sovereign debt obligations abroad.

Pakistan’s finance minister is meeting an International Monetary Fund delegation on the sidelines of the Geneva meeting.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said the country is committed to the IMF programme but that he is asking the IMF for “breathing space” to meet its commitments, without elaborating.

In comments to the conference earlier on Monday, Mr Sharif said Islamabad is willing to provide around half of the US$16.3 billion bill but wants donors to contribute the rest.

“I am asking for a new lifeline for people who need to power our economy and re-enter the 21st century with a future that is protected from such extreme risks to human security,” he said.

Millions of homes, tens of thousands of schools as well as thousands of kilometres of roads and railways still need to be rebuilt, the UN says.

Efforts to secure funding for the initial emergency phase of the disaster response were disappointing with a humanitarian aid package of US$816 million less than half funded , UN data showed.

United Nations’ Development Programme Administrator Achim Steiner said the next phase of the Pakistan response represents a “monumental moment of reckoning for the entire world”. REUTERS
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan Receives $10 Billion Commitment for Devastating Floods
Fundraising exceeded $8 billion that prime minister sought
Floods killed more than 1,700 people and cut growth by half


Pakistan has received commitments for more than $10 billion from the global community that it requested at a conference in Geneva to help the country rebuild houses and farms along with rehabilitating people impacted by floods.

That exceeded the $8 billion over three years that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had sought.
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistanis build climate-resilient homes in aftermath of devastating floods | PBS NewsHour


For mass shelter projects, she (Yasmeen Lari) found a game-changing substitute in lime, an abundant mineral that, mixed with traditional mud, becomes stable and water-resistant, she says.


Pakistan is struggling to recover from last year’s cataclysmic flooding that killed more than 1,700. It was the latest in a string of weather-related disasters the country has faced over the past two decades, prompting calls to make hard-hit communities more resilient as they rebuild. Fred de Sam Lazaro reports from the flood-ravaged Sindh province, in partnership with the Pulitzer Center.

Fred de Sam Lazaro:

On a recent morning here in rural Sindh Province, workers, including residents of Pano (ph), a model village, were building bamboo frames for construction.

The need for durable shelter is overwhelming in a country still grappling with an enormous rebuilding effort. Last year's unrelenting rains wiped away hundreds of thousands of mud huts across rural areas. Standing water still covers acres of land once home to villages of mostly sharecroppers and farm laborers.

The village of Pano and 12 others are the brainchild of globally acclaimed architect Yasmeen Lari, the first female to qualify as an architect in Pakistan; 82-year-old Lari has won several awards in a career that focused at first on designing modern buildings, like the Finance and Trade Center in Pakistan's commercial capital, Karachi.

Yasmeen Lari, Architect:

You must about the architect that we're all trained to control everything, nothing should be different from what we have decided, what we design.

And here was a different way of working altogether, where you have to lose your ego.

Fred de Sam Lazaro:

In retirement, she found her calling at the intersection of architecture and social justice, she says, beginning with the devastating 2005 earthquake in Kashmir, where she planned to spend three months doing relief work.

Yasmeen Lari:

While it didn't quite work out that way. I found there was plenty to do there.

Fred de Sam Lazaro:

Her focus shifted with the urgent need for structures that can be built quickly and sustainably in a country slammed in recent years by extreme climate events, moving away from concrete and steel, and using more local low-carbon and low-cost materials.

Yasmeen Lari:

When I was a practicing architect, I built some huge, monster buildings with a lot of concrete and steel.

And I found that 40 percent of carbon emissions are because of the conventional construction.

Fred de Sam Lazaro:

Among her signature projects is this pedestrian-only street in the heart of Karachi, emphasizing green space and terra-cotta tile, which drain rainwater much faster than the usual concrete.

Yasmeen Lari:

Concrete is the worst thing, because everything becomes totally impervious.

Fred de Sam Lazaro:

For mass shelter projects, she found a game-changing substitute in lime, an abundant mineral that, mixed with traditional mud, becomes stable and water-resistant, she says.

Yasmeen Lari:

I found it was an absolutely miracle material, because it stabilized the earth completely and could last for years if you submerge it in water. And we have tested that.

Fred de Sam Lazaro:

Lari's structures incorporate climate-smart design and materials with traditional ones. The key is to build on higher ground, add a short platform for additional protection from floodwaters, and use a sloped, thatched roof.

Yasmeen Lari:

It's made out of eight prefab panels. And then it has a structure, a roof which is like an umbrella. So, there's a huge amount of air movement. So it's very comfortable inside.

My own dream is really that if I could just save people from displacement, if they could be just these structures which will make sure that people can stay in them.
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan is at risk of default
A balance of payments crisis is tipping a fragile economy over the edge


The floods and job losses are thought to have pitched between 8.4m and 9.1m more people into poverty, mostly in the countryside. In Dadu, an especially inundated district of Sindh, thousands are still languishing in tents. “Only those who had savings or outside help can afford to fix their houses”, says Rasheed Jamali, an aid worker. Foreign donors pledged $9bn in relief in January; less than $800m of a previous set of pledges had at that time arrived. With only half of Pakistan’s soggy fields sufficiently recovered to sow with winter wheat, much of the country is facing another lost harvest.

These political, economic and environmental crises are mutually reinforcing. Payments from the bailout programme agreed in 2019 were suspended a year ago after Mr Khan, facing a growing prospect of parliamentary defeat and ejection from office, reintroduced fuel subsidies. Mr Sharif’s government vowed to fulfil the fund’s conditions but backtracked in September when, panicked by the floods, it sacked Miftah Ismail, its pragmatic finance minister. His successor reversed some of his policies, prompting another suspension of payouts. “If the floods hadn’t happened I might have kept the job and we might have been OK,” Mr Ismail says.

Mr Sharif’s government seems to be bowing to the inevitable. In late January it stopped trying to prop up the rupee and raised fuel prices, as the imf had requested. If the current negotiations in Islamabad unlock the bailout funds, it might encourage other external creditors to extend credit lines or defer payments on existing loans. Unlike Sri Lanka, which owed a higher percentage of its debt to foreign creditors, Pakistan may be able to stabilise its position without its creditors being forced to accept a “haircut”.

Yet any relief is likely to be temporary. The current imf programme expires in June; Mr Sharif’s term will expire in August. A caretaker administration will then preside over what promises to be a two-month political vacuum before the scheduled elections. They will be messy. It is hard to think of Pakistan in such circumstances carrying out the additional reforms, including raising taxes and electricity tariffs, required to secure more imf funding. They would inflict more short-term pain on the country’s wretched people than even an astute Pakistani government might dare to. And especially if Mr Khan, currently nursing his wounds after a failed assassination attempt, has his way, the next government may be even worse than the current one.
Riaz Haq said…
After Floods, Pakistani Architect Wants to Give Up Concrete


The Heritage Foundation of Pakistan, founded by Lari in 1980, is training villagers in Sindh province to build their own flood-resilient homes from cheap, locally available, low-carbon materials. Lari’s designs use bamboo panels, which are reinforced with earth and lime, and sit on raised platforms—small twists on traditional mud huts that make them waterproof. Once they have the skills, residents can expand their villages and train others. Between mid-September and the end of 2022, the foundation helped build 3,500 homes in 60 villages. Now, Lari is trying to persuade NGOs, banks, and foreign donors to directly fund her trained artisans and local communities, with the aim of building one million homes by 2024.


The timing is urgent. Pakistan is about to launch into one of its most intense periods of rebuilding in its history. Authorities say at least two million people are in need of shelter. And money is on the way: in January, a group of banks and countries pledgedsome $9 billion in recovery funds.

If those resources are channeled into millions of concrete homes, built without the participation of the people who will live in them, Lari says, Pakistan will only continue in its cycle of crisis. “We have to be talking about: How will you deal with the next disaster? How do we train people to be able to defend themselves?

Lari was not always a champion of Pakistan’s vernacular architecture. When she began her career in Karachi in the 1960s, elites in a newly independent Pakistan were still deeply influenced by British colonialism. Lari had just graduated from the U.K.’s Oxford Brookes University, and her father had been a civil servant in the colonial government. “We grew up thinking that whatever was in the West was something that we all had to emulate,” she says.

Lari spent her first four decades as an architect designing in the western-influenced, globalized palate of concrete, steel, and glass. And she was good at it. Her striking brutalist homes and hotels and other structures won a slew of national and international awards. Her most famous building is probably the headquarters for Pakistan’s state-owned oil company, a sleek, imposing, carbon-intensive behemoth that opened in downtown Karachi in 1991. “The 1980s were a very wasteful time—you could get any material in the world that you wanted,” she says. “And as a designer you do enjoy that freedom.”
Pakistan is home to one of the ancient world’s most impressive examples of flood-resilient design. The ruins of Mohenjo-Daro, a bronze age city in the southeastern province of Sindh, sit on raised platforms with sophisticated drainage systems that protected them from annual monsoon rains. Those features have helped the remains of these earthen buildings survive for 4,500 years—and weather the devastating floods that have repeatedly struck Pakistan over the last decade, most recently submerging a third of the country in August 2022.

And yet, according to Pakistani architect Yasmeeen Lari, those tasked with rebuilding the country from the floods tend to look not to Mohenjo-Daro, but to the West. “I call it the international colonial charity model: international NGOs and UN agencies say, ‘let’s bring in concrete, let’s bring burnt brick’,” she says. “Well, those are alien materials for people in these areas.”
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistani villages recover slowly from epic floods


With houses still damaged and water scarce, farm families in south Punjab tend surviving animals and parched fields

RAJANPUR, Pakistan — Cradling his infant son in one arm, a village farmer brought out a wooden trough he had nailed together from broken boards. His brother poured grain into it. Hearing the sound, the family cow trotted across the yard and buried her nose in the feed. The little boy waved his arms, and everyone laughed.

Rajanpur, a rural district of southwestern Punjab province, sits at the edge of a vast fertile belt that has long been known as the breadbasket of Pakistan, growing much of its wheat, sugar, feed corn and cotton, as well as mangoes and green vegetables.

But seven months after the Indus River overflowed its banks and the picturesque Sulaiman Hills unleashed torrents of water amid heavy monsoon rains, decimated farm communities are still recovering from Pakistan’s worst natural disaster since its founding in 1947. Nationwide, more than 1,700 people died and over 30 million were displaced. More than a million farm animals also perished, swept away in fast waters or succumbing to hunger and cold.

In another hamlet nearby, two men on motorbikes unloaded heavy metal containers full of water, which they had filled at a town pump several miles away. Since the floods, the local water has remained too salty for either humans or farm animals to drink.

“It’s going to take a long time before things recover here,” said Mohammed Ali, a day laborer in his 40s who helps fetch the containers every morning. “It’s still hard to grow anything on the land. People have lost their homes and their belongings. But at least this way they can have some sweet water in the morning.”

Although most of the flooding affected other provinces, Rajanpur and next-door Dera Ghazi Khan were among 84 districts across the country to be declared “national calamity” areas. In Rajanpur alone, according to news reports and officials, 12 people were killed — including a woman bitten by a cobra that washed down from the hills. Another 3,000 were injured, 300,000 acres of cropland were ruined and 28,000 houses were damaged or destroyed, along with 425 schools, 16 hospitals and numerous bridges.

On a recent visit to several villages, the only access was along narrow, raised dirt tracks between endless fields. The surrounding landscape looked as if a tornado had roared through it erratically, leaving a few areas lush and green but turning many others into barren, lifeless patches of cracked brown earth that no ordinary plow could till.

Along the way, large puddles of dirty brown water sat stagnant, covered with green scum. A few sandpipers scuttled around the edges — shorebirds from afar that had arrived with the floods and remained behind afterward for reasons of their own.
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistani villages recover slowly from epic floods


As the villages came into view, they appeared grim and silent at first. Many mud-brick houses and farm sheds were still in ruins. Roofs were missing, doorways were hung with tarps or jute tents, and piles of nearby rubble had not been moved. Children and baby goats scampered in dirt yards, but little else seemed to be happening.

Under a shady tree, Mohammad Asghar, 35, was tending to his most valuable possession, a brown and white dairy cow named Honesty. Unlike many of his skeptical neighbors, he had planned ahead when the first flood warnings came, walking her to a high paved road before the water rose and taking a supply of fodder as well. “I wanted to make sure nothing happened to her,” he said. “She gives me 3.5 liters [about a gallon] of milk every day.”

Planting and tending new crops, however, has proved to be far more challenging. Most of the farmers’ stored seeds and tools were washed away or ruined. The surrounding cropland was submerged for several months afterward, leaving a soggy, useless mess.

A variety of government and private agencies have brought help to the area since the floods, but the bulk of it was devoted to initial emergency rescues. As in many other parts of Pakistan, thousands of Rajanpur residents fled their flooded villages or were evacuated in boats, then marooned for weeks on elevated paved roads. Aid teams provided tents and blankets, food and water, medical and veterinary services, and other immediate needs.

“Our first priority was to save lives,” said Mohsin Issaq, the south Punjab coordinator for a private charity called Muslim Hands, which delivered food, supplies and medical aid to more than 14,000 stranded people. Now that most have returned home, he said, the group is focusing on permanent needs to sustain farming and daily life, such as water pumps and desalination kits. It also offers families a Quran if theirs was washed away or damaged. Every home needs to have one, he said. “It is an important cultural value.”

But long-term support for farm rehabilitation across millions of unusable acres is far more expensive than emergency food and medicine, and the floods struck at a time when Pakistan was already facing a long list of economic woes — rampant inflation, dwindling foreign reserves, record-low currency rates, and a heavy foreign debt burden that raised the prospect of financial default.

One estimate by Pakistani and U.N. officials put the total costs for flood damage recovery and reconstruction at $16.3 billion. Early international response was low, in part because of reports of aid misuse during Pakistan’s last major floods, in 2010. A conference in Geneva in January, however, donors from 40 countries and institutions, including the European Union, the United States and Saudi Arabia, pledged over $9 billion to help Pakistan recover from the floods, exceeding its request for $8 billion.
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistani villages recover slowly from epic floods


Still, Abid Qaiyum Suleri, an environmental expert in Islamabad, the Pakistani capital, noted in an essay in the News newspaper in January that millions of poor people in flood-affected areas feel “as helpless today … as they were yesterday,” with their land useless, their homes still in ruins and scant prospects for the future. Physical reconstruction, he added, “is only part of what is required for a dignified recovery for flood survivors.”

One determined farmer in Rajanpur, a man in his 60s named Hamidullah, decided to take a chance two months ago and plant wheat on his four acres of land. He said he felt lucky because he and his wife and children had been saved from the flood by clinging to their large male buffalo, who was heavy and able to swim through the rushing water to higher ground.

“I used to grow cotton and rice, but none of that can grow here now. The land is too dry and they need a lot of water,” he said. He pointed to his small patch of emerald green outside the village, surrounded by larger, barren ground. “So far it is coming along,” he said. “We lost everything; our beds, our cooking pots, our clothes. But we survived, because of our buffalo,” he said. “If this wheat crop does well, maybe I can rebuild our house.”
Riaz Haq said…
Rebuilding Pakistan: how much should rich nations help?


The disastrous floods offer a test case for what wealthy, polluting nations owe those at the mercy of extreme weather events

After months of living in a camp for displaced people, Rajab and Jado are rebuilding a home that they already know may not last.

The married couple haul wheelbarrows of mud through barren fields and stagnant water, sombre reminders of the historic floods that last year washed away their village of Khoundi in southern Pakistan. They daub it on to the wall surrounding their half-built brick bungalow and makeshift tarpaulin tents.

“We don’t have enough money to buy cement or proper bricks,” says Rajab, whose family of 12 is eating one meal a day. “We know that this will go down. But what can we do?”

Pakistan is still reeling from the floods that inundated the country of 220mn people between June and October. The floods, exacerbated by climate change, caused an estimated $30bn in damages and economic losses, destroyed millions of homes and farms and pushed the country — already struggling financially — to the brink of default.

As it rebuilds, Pakistan will be a test case for an issue of growing global importance: how vulnerable countries, many of which have contributed little to global greenhouse gas emissions, recover from the havoc wreaked by increasingly frequent and extreme weather events — and how much polluting rich nations should help them.

These questions dominated last year’s COP27 climate summit in November, at which nearly 200 nations agreed to the creation of a fund to finance the “loss and damage” caused by global warming.

With details of how that fund will work still being thrashed out by global negotiators, Pakistan has independently raised $9bn in loans and other financing at a conference in Geneva in January to pay for recovery, reconstruction and climate resilience.

The success or failure of its reconstruction plan, which the Pakistan government expects to take five to seven years, could influence the appetite of donors to direct financial support to countries or small island nations bearing the brunt of a warming planet.

But channelling climate financing to Pakistan — and ensuring it is well spent — is complicated, not least because of the country’s perennial political instability and economic mismanagement.

Pakistan relies on regular international bailouts, with prime minister Shehbaz Sharif currently trying to unlock the next $1bn tranche of a $7bn IMF loan programme that analysts say the country needs to avoid bankruptcy. Its foreign reserves have fallen to about $3bn, less than one month’s worth of imports.

Beyond the long-term challenge of tackling climate-change, Pakistan is facing an overwhelming list of immediate challenges. There are growing shortages of food, fuel and other basic essentials. Poverty is rising and millions of people in flood-hit areas are going hungry, out of school or displaced. With the next rainy season just a few months away, people like Rajab and Jado — beneficiaries of a pilot scheme run by Islamic Relief and the United Nations Development Programme — do not have the luxury of time.

Pakistani authorities and donors are also trying to look further ahead and direct funds into projects designed to withstand future climate shocks. Examples range from better early warning systems to, in the case of the Khoundi pilot, toilets built on elevated plinths to make it harder for contamination to spread during floods.

“The challenge is to start implementing a long-term approach and strategy to climate risks,” says Alexandre Magnan, senior research fellow at the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations. “It is the responsibility of the national decision-makers and probably also of regional and international partners to push for that . . . We really need examples that show that it is possible.”

Riaz Haq said…
Rebuilding Pakistan: how much should rich nations help?


Adapting to extreme weather
The world has already warmed by about 1.1C since pre-industrial times, and any additional increase will bring more frequent and extreme weather events, scientists warn. Many of them will occur in developing countries that lack the resources to build back from floods, fires or hurricanes.

Whether — and how — rich countries should help poorer nations cope with such destruction remains an open question. The world’s most advanced economies have long resisted the notion of providing “loss and damage” financing because they worry doing so could constitute a tacit admission of guilt.

That position became untenable in 2022, partly due to the pressure generated by Pakistan’s floods. Animesh Kumar, head of the UN’s Office for Disaster Risk Reduction in Bonn, says it was “an eye-opener” that laid bare the world’s lack of preparedness for the onslaught of climate crises coming down the line. A study by the World Weather Attribution group estimated that the country’s monsoon rains last year were up to 50 per cent more intense than they would have been without climate change.

At the peak of the disaster, 33mn people and more than half of the country’s districts were affected. In Sindh, the worst-hit province where Khoundi is located, the majority of the rice, cotton and sugar cane crops were lost. The floods knocked at least 2.2 per cent off Pakistan’s gross domestic product last year, the World Bank estimated.

The loss and damage fund agreed at COP 27 was a breakthrough— although finalising which nations pay into it is a subject that will be wrestled over in the coming months. A decision is unlikely to be made this year. Countries, including EU members, are anxious that others such as China and Saudi Arabia — which are technically classified as developing countries under the UN system despite growth over the past 30 years — contribute their share.

Many countries say it cannot be governments alone footing the bill and are calling for multilateral development banks to provide more support to impoverished nations suffering from climate shocks. The World Bank, whose president abruptly announced his resignation in February, is under particular pressure to overhaul its operations and integrate climate into its development work.

Another hurdle is quantifying the scale of expected destruction. Researchers at the Basque Centre for Climate Change have estimated that developing countries could suffer losses of $580bn in 2030. During the first half of 2022 alone, there were at least 187 disasters from natural hazards across 79 countries that caused more than $40bn worth of damage, according to the Em-Dat international disasters database.

Without more financial help, developing countries say they risk being caught in a cycle of disasters and poverty. At the World Economic Forum in Davos in January, Pakistan’s climate change minister, Sherry Rehman, warned of “recovery traps”. Rebuilding takes time and money, she said, and “by the time you do that the next crisis is on you”.

But how to distribute recovery money fairly is a politically fraught discussion. “Will funding go to the people who’ve lost the most or to the people who didn’t have anything to lose originally?” asks Daniel Clarke, director of the Centre for Disaster Protection.

Pakistan estimates that it needs about $16bn for recovery, more than half of which it secured in Geneva from international donors including the Islamic Development Bank, World Bank and USAID. “The financial pledges were much more than we thought,” says Knut Ostby, the UN Development Programme’s regional representative in Pakistan. “Now is the time to follow up.”

Riaz Haq said…
Rebuilding Pakistan: how much should rich nations help?


In the district of Dadu, where Khoundi is located, large-scale reconstruction work is yet to begin. The village of Ibrahim Chandio has been reduced to rubble. Its former residents now live in tents nearby, with little expectation of that changing anytime soon. Displacement is pushing them into more precarious situations, as farmers struggle to grow crops on the inundated soil and families run low on funds for food.

Syed Murtaza Ali Shah, the district’s most senior local official, says the authorities want to reinforce a number of roads and embankments to prevent them breaking, but they don’t yet have the funds to do so. “The next monsoon could be heavier than this one,” he says. Work is “a stop-gap arrangement . . . Somebody is building 50 houses, someone else is trying to build 10 houses with whatever funds are available.”

Much of the money will come in the form of loans and they are tied to the financing of specific projects rather than budgetary support. The World Bank, for example, plans to lend about $2bn to rebuild houses and improve irrigation among other projects in Sindh.

Because the speed at which financing arrives varies from donor to donor, it can lead to frustrations and crucial delays for the communities that need it most.

In the district of Dadu, where Khoundi is located, large-scale reconstruction work is yet to begin. The village of Ibrahim Chandio has been reduced to rubble. Its former residents now live in tents nearby, with little expectation of that changing anytime soon. Displacement is pushing them into more precarious situations, as farmers struggle to grow crops on the inundated soil and families run low on funds for food.

Syed Murtaza Ali Shah, the district’s most senior local official, says the authorities want to reinforce a number of roads and embankments to prevent them breaking, but they don’t yet have the funds to do so. “The next monsoon could be heavier than this one,” he says. Work is “a stop-gap arrangement . . . Somebody is building 50 houses, someone else is trying to build 10 houses with whatever funds are available.”

Some experts like Ali Tauqeer Sheikh, a climate change consultant in Islamabad, are wary of “pledged” funds, which he says often recounts money committed for existing programmes.

Disbursements were also subject to crippling, sometimes permanent, delays, as projects conceived on paper struggle to get off the ground in practice.

While Pakistan’s fundraising is “a very important building block”, Sheikh says, “in real life, the answer [to where the money goes] will be complex”.

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Crisis after crisis
Even before the floods, Pakistan was already in crisis.

Inflation has soared, with a price index of everyday items last week rising 41 per cent year on year. With upcoming elections, Sharif’s government is engaged in toxic political squabbling with rival Imran Khan, who was ousted as prime minister last year and recently survived an assassination attempt. The threat of violent extremism is rising, with a mosque bombing in January killing about 100 people.

Sharif’s government argues that the floods means it should be exempt from some of the austerity conditions the IMF wants to see implemented to restart lending, which ranged from raising taxes to cutting subsidies. The conditions, the NGO Human Rights Watch has warned, “hit hardest on the people already most heavily affected.”

Riaz Haq said…
Rebuilding Pakistan: how much should rich nations help?


“No country has taken the hit like Pakistan of a $30bn climate disaster,” says Ahsan Iqbal, the country’s planning minister. “There has to be this understanding that the economy does not need more shocks.”

Yet critics at home and abroad say many of Pakistan’s woes are self-inflicted. A succession of weak governments have prioritised short-term, politically motivated spending, they say, while promoting import-friendly policies that disproportionately benefit the wealthy. The authorities have also cracked down on NGOs, which critics say has hobbled civil society and limited its ability to respond to crises.

The country’s political system is also destabilised by its powerful army, who have long exerted control behind the scenes, and Pakistan ranks 140 out of 180 on Transparency International’s corruption perception index.

“Ours is a very elite captured society,” says Miftah Ismail, who was finance minister before resigning in September. “The elite is happy with the status quo . . . Politics is all about everybody wanting to be in power, at great cost to the nation.”

Pakistan’s government has acknowledged the need for institutional reforms in its blueprint for reconstruction. Examples include improving building regulations to prevent hazardous construction in flood plains, as well as creating a third-party monitoring system to ensure the funds are well spent.

Yet Sharif’s days in office may be numbered, with many analysts predicting Khan would win if elections later this year are a free contest. While Khan has professed the importance of climate resilience, long-term plans like these have consistently struggled to survive the country’s frequent and turbulent power transitions.

“Money alone is not enough,” says Germany’s climate envoy Jennifer Morgan. “It’s crucial that governance structures and processes in the recipient countries exist to ensure that the money is going to reach the people who need it the most. That’s a key question in loss and damage: how do we make sure that funds actually get to the local level.”

Some experts within Pakistan are not optimistic. Dysfunctional relationships between rival federal, provincial and district-level governments could prevent funds from reaching projects and making real change. “Will these funds touch the ground? [And] to what extent are . . . [local] government structures resilient enough to enable the flow of funds in a transparent fashion?” says Nausheen Anwar, an urban planning expert at the Institute of Business Administration in Karachi.

There is also the risk that poorly planned projects could inadvertently cause future problems, which some researchers refer to as “maladaptation”. In February, local activists in Badin, in Sindh, organised a conference to discuss the decades-old Left Bank Outfall Drain project, part financed by the World Bank, which they said had made the flooding worse after it burst. An independent inspection in 2006 identified numerous “shortcomings” in the $1bn project.

Riaz Haq said…
Rebuilding Pakistan: how much should rich nations help?


Nowhere is the disillusionment greater than in flood-hit areas. In Khoundi, the village’s only government school has been a ruin since 2010, another year of disastrous flooding in the region.

Imdad Ali, a 38-year-old teacher, holds classes for handfuls of students on a bench outside. About 80 children are enrolled, but only 15 to 20 attend each day, locals say, with others going to a locally run NGO school or not studying at all. At 23mn, Pakistan has one of the world’s second-highest population of children out of school.

Sindh is the base of the Bhutto dynasty, whose Pakistan People’s Party is in the country’s ruling coalition. But people have little faith in them or any of the other parties. “There are no facilities, no chairs, no tables,” Ali says. “We have asked several times for help. But it doesn’t come.”

An academic paper about the 2010 recovery effort, published in the International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment in 2020, concluded that “the local administration returned to day to day operations with no community resilience or long-term recovery related programmes.”

Sobia Kapadia, an architect who helped with the recovery effort a decade ago, says planning this time “requires a resolve for change, and a complete [overhaul] of existing systems” to change how local and federal authorities interact with each other, as well as shifting the balance of power and resources.

“Unless and until you do things at the ground level with the community, things will not change,” she adds.

Few locals believe that will happen. Some laugh bitterly when asked whether they expected their hometowns to become resilient to climate shocks.

Nazeer Hussain, a 43-year-old wheat miller in Khoundi, says the country’s leaders only care about securing power for themselves. “We have been hearing in the media that the government has been having meetings [to raise money to] build homes and shelters,” he adds. “But there is zero chance of that.”
Riaz Haq said…
UNICEF Pakistan Humanitarian Situation Report No. 10 (Floods): 28 February 2023


Moving into 2023, urgent and significant humanitarian needs remain which require continued focus and support, even as reconstruction and rehabilitation begin under the Post-Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) and Resilient, Recovery, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Framework (4RF).

The 2022 flood was equivalent to nearly 2.9 times the national 30-year average – and a combination of riverine, urban, and flash flooding led to a record flood in which 94 districts were declared calamity-hit. The widespread flooding and landslides resulted in major losses of human lives and damage to property and infrastructure. Around 33 million people were affected, nearly 8 million people were reportedly displaced, and as per UN Satellite Centre imagery around 4.5 million people are still exposed to or living close to flood water. As per the last NDMA situation report, 1,739 people lost their lives (of which 647 were children), 12,867 were injured (including 4,006 children) and more than 2.28 million houses were damaged (partially damaged: 1,391,467 and fully damaged: 897,014).

An estimated 20.6 million people, including 9.6 million children, need humanitarian assistance. Many of the hardest-hit districts are amongst the most vulnerable districts in Pakistan, where children already suffer from high malnutrition, poor access to water and sanitation, low school enrolment, and other deprivations. Moreover, the effects of the floods have worsened pre-existing vulnerabilities to key child-protection issues and gender-based violence (GBV). Children, particularly those living in poverty, are at a higher risk of being forced into child labour, child marriage and violence. The affected area in need of community-based psychosocial support and specialized interventions. As per the PDNA, beyond the increase in monetary poverty, estimates indicate an increase in multidimensional poverty from 37.8 per cent to 43.7 per cent, meaning that an additional 1.9 million households will be pushed into non-monetary poverty. This entails significantly increased deprivations around access to adequate health, sanitation, quality maternal health care, electricity, and loss of assets. Multidimensional poverty will increase by 13 percentage points in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), followed by 10.9 in Balochistan, and 10.2 in Sindh province.

As per the latest available reports, more than 5.4 million people do not have access to safe or potable water in flood-affected districts. An estimated 1.1 million people are at risk of sliding from acute food and livelihood crisis (IPC3) situations to humanitarian emergency (IPC4) food security situations due to insufficient support. Malaria outbreaks have been reported in at least 12 districts of Sindh and Balochistan. Over 7 million children and women need immediate access to nutrition services. An estimated 3.5 million children, especially girls, are at high risk of permanent school dropouts.
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistani Village Seen as Model of Climate Resilience (designed by Architect Yasmeen Lari_


The village of Pono in Pakistan's southern Sindh province is so small it’s difficult to find on Google maps, but it’s still getting international attention. That’s because the village is designed to show how communities that are most vulnerable to climate change can become climate resilient and self-sustaining using old techniques. VOA's Pakistan Bureau Chief Sarah Zaman visited Pono and brings this report.
Riaz Haq said…
#US meteorologists' new scales for ‘atmospheric rivers’: Storms that hit #California this winter reached AR-4 (clouds carrying as much water as the Mississippi), while the atmospheric river responsible for #Pakistan’s devastating #floods in 2022 was AR-5 https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/apr/06/scientists-devise-scale-rank-intensity-atmospheric-rivers?CMP=share_btn_tw

Clouds carrying as much water as the Mississippi have caused misery in the US. Now meteorologists can compare such events

For skiers it has been an epic winter in California, with more than 16 metres of snow recorded at the Donner Pass in the Sierra Nevada. But for many people the excessively stormy winter has brought misery, submerging homes in snow, and causing widespread flooding and landslides across the state. The source of this string of powerful storms has been an “atmospheric river”, with clouds carrying as much moisture as the Mississippi.

Atmospheric rivers are nothing new, but they do appear to be growing more intense and frequent, driven by warmer temperatures and faster evaporation from the world’s oceans. Now scientists have devised an intensity scale for atmospheric rivers, enabling forecasters to rank the severity and identify extremes. The scale, described in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, mirrors the hurricane scale and runs from AR-1 to AR-5, with AR-5 being the most intense.

The storms that hit California this winter reached AR-4, while the atmospheric river responsible for Pakistan’s devastating floods in 2022 was AR-5. The scale enables meteorologists to compare atmospheric river events around the world, map out the most probable locations and help people better prepare. Strong El Niño years are more likely to have intense atmospheric rivers, and current forecasts indicate an El Niño is likely to develop by the end of this year.

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Yasmeen Lari, 'starchitect' turned social engineer wins one of architecture's most coveted prizes - CNN Style


The Royal Gold Medal is awarded to a person (or group of people) who has had "significant influence on the advancement of architecture" and, RIBA says, "acknowledges Yasmeen Lari's work championing zero-carbon self-build concepts for displaced populations."

Yasmeen Lari, widely recognised as Pakistan's first female architect, has become the first woman since Zaha Hadid to win the prestigious Royal Gold Medal, awarded by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).

Lari, described by RIBA as "a revolutionary force in Pakistan," was recognized for the socially conscious work, creating accessible, environmentally friendly homes for the country's most marginalized people — those living below the poverty line and in communities displaced by natural disasters and the impact of climate change.
The Royal Gold Medal is awarded to a person (or group of people) who has had "significant influence on the advancement of architecture" and, RIBA says, "acknowledges Yasmeen Lari's work championing zero-carbon self-build concepts for displaced populations."

The award is personally approved by the British monarch and this year's is the first to be signed off by King Charles III.

"I was so surprised to hear this news and of course totally delighted! I never imagined that as I focus on my country's most marginalised people — venturing down uncharted vagabond pathways — I could still be considered for the highest of honours in the architectural profession," Lari said in a statement. "There are innumerable opportunities to implement principles of circular economy, de-growth, transition design, eco-urbanism, and what we call Barefoot Social Architecture (BASA) to achieve climate resilience, sustainability and eco justice in the world."
Born in Pakistan in 1941, Lari studied at Oxford Brookes University before returning to Pakistan in 1964 where she overcame "considerable challenges" to establish Lari Associates, her own architecture firm, creating glitzy buildings for major government, business, and financial institutions. But she developed a deepening sense of guilt over the amount of concrete and steel used, and has said she has been "atoning" ever since, now working to a mantra of "low cost, zero carbon, zero waste."

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The 82-year-old female architect working to flood-proof Pakistan


Yasmeen Lari, the country’s first female architect, is making bamboo houses for people living on the front lines of climate change.

At 82, architect Yasmeen Lari is forging a path in fortifying Pakistan’s rural communities living on the front lines of climate change.

Lari, Pakistan’s first female architect, ditched a lifetime of multimillion-dollar projects in the megacity of Karachi to develop pioneering flood-proof bamboo houses.

The few pilot settlements already constructed are credited with saving families from the worst of the catastrophic monsoon flooding that put a third of the country underwater last year.

“We continued to live in them,” said Khomo Kohli, a 45-year-old resident of Pono Colony village, located a few hundred kilometres outside of Karachi.

“The rest of the residents had to move onto the road where they lived for two months until the water receded.”

Now, Lari is campaigning to scale up the project to one million houses made from affordable local materials, bringing new jobs to the most vulnerable areas.

“I call it a kind of co-building and co-creation because the people have an equal part in embellishing it and making it comfortable for themselves,” she said.

The architect, who trained in the United Kingdom, is behind some of Karachi’s most notable buildings, including brutalist constructions such as the Pakistan State Oil headquarters, as well as a string of luxury homes.

As she was considering retirement, a series of natural disasters – including a massive 2005 earthquake and 2010 floods – stiffened her resolve to continue working with her Heritage Foundation of Pakistan, which manages her rural projects.

“I had to find the solution, or find a way by which I could build up the capacities of people so that they could fend for themselves, rather than waiting for outside help,” she told AFP news agency.


Lari recalls working on social housing in Lahore in the 1970s when local women pored over her plans and probed her on where their chickens would live.

“Those chickens have really remained with me, the women’s needs are really the uppermost when I am designing,” she said.

This time around, the redesign of traditional stoves has become a significant feature – now lifted off the floor.

“Earlier, the stove would have been on the ground level and so it was immensely unhygienic. The small children would burn themselves on the flames, stray dogs would lick pots and germs would spread,” said Champa Kanji, who has been trained by Lari’s team to build stoves for homes across Sindh.

“Seeing women becoming independent and empowered gives me immense pleasure,” Lari said.

Lari’s work has been recognised by the Royal Institute of British Architects, which awarded her the 2023 Royal Gold Medal for her dedication to using architecture to change people’s lives.
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2022 Pakistan Floods


According to the Pakistan Education Sector Working Group, the floods affected 2.2 million children and damaged a total of 34,204 schools in 126 districts. As of early March 2023 there was a 40% gap in funding and low coverage to support school rehabilitations.

According to UNOCHA in their Feb. 6, 2023 Situation Report, “An estimated 3.5 million children, especially girls, are at high risk of permanent school dropout. The longer that the children are away from school, the less likely they are to return, and prolonged education disruptions are increasing learning disparities.”

Pakistan has a long history of major disasters disrupting education for children. Work to cleanup and restore educational facilities damaged by the flooding is ongoing and temporary learning centers are used to continue children’s education as recovery continues. As of April 15, there were 1,586 temporary learning centers (TLCs) in operation. A lack of funding is delaying rehabilitation and the provision of structures and transitional school shelters to damaged schools in flood-affected areas.
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GLOBALink | China donates hybrid rice seeds to flood-hit Pakistani province


Hybrid rice seed donation from China will play a major role in rebuilding the agriculture sector of Pakistan's southwest Balochistan province, which was badly affected by devastating floods last year, a Pakistani official said on Tuesday.

Addressing the seed donation ceremony, Balochistan's legislative assembly speaker Jan Muhammad Jamali said that the government and people of China extended great help to Pakistan in rehabilitation work after the flood, and through the seed donation, it will help the people who lost all their fortune in the calamity.

Jamali said 85 percent to 90 percent of Balochistan was affected by the floods last year, and the donated seeds will revive rice plantations in the province, where rice is a major crop.

Highlighting the friendship between the two countries, Bao Zhong, counselor of political affairs of the Chinese Embassy in Pakistan, said China-Pakistan friendship is deeply embedded in the hearts of the two peoples.

She said China is willing to encourage enterprises of the two countries to carry out agricultural cooperation under the framework of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

China is ready to share its advanced agricultural development technology and experience with Pakistan to help lift its agricultural development level, the Chinese counselor said.

"China will as always help Pakistan improve the livelihood of the people of Balochistan province, promote exchanges between sister provinces and cities, and encourage the development of local industries to benefit the local people," she added.

Zhou Xusheng, director of the international business department of Wuhan Qingfa Hesheng Seed Co. Ltd, which is the donor, said the Chinese company is willing to continue to provide training on hybrid rice cultivation techniques to Pakistani farmers to help increase agricultural output and their income.

Launched in 2013, CPEC is a corridor linking Pakistan's Gwadar Port with Kashgar in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, which highlights energy, transport, and industrial cooperation.

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Pakistan: EU mobilises over €16.5 million in humanitarian aid for most vulnerable


The Commission is providing €16.5 million to assist the most vulnerable people in Pakistan who have been affected by conflict as well as climate-induced disasters.

Of the overall allocation, €15 million will fund humanitarian organisations in Pakistan to provide food assistance, shelter, water and sanitation services as well as supporting Afghan refugees and their host communities. The other €1.5 million will focus on disaster preparedness programmes to promote climate resilience, foster coordination with local authorities and enhance the response.

The EU mobilised €30 million in humanitarian aid and coordinated the incoming assistance from Member States channelled through its Civil Protection Mechanism in response to the devastating floods that hit Pakistan in summer 2022. A year after, the funding announced today will also ensure continued support to those who lost resources and struggle to recover from the flood disaster.


In summer 2022, Pakistan faced the worst floods in its recent history which affected 33 million people, killing over 1700 people, and destroying at least 2.2 million houses. The floods submerged almost a third of the country and massively impacted agricultural production, resulting in a dramatic heightening of humanitarian needs.

The spillover of the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan is also affecting neighbouring countries, especially Pakistan and Iran, which also continue to deal with cross-border displacement. Pakistan has hosted refugees for over four decades. The estimated Afghan population in Pakistan amounts to around 3.7 million, including a deemed 1.6 million undocumented Afghans and those of other status.

The EU has allocated over €136 million in humanitarian assistance for Pakistan since 2016 and has been supporting the country since the 1990s, offering support in the wake of major disasters such as the 2005 earthquake and the 2010 and 2015 floods.
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After the floods, the future looks bright: truck art in Pakistan – a photo essay


Ali Salman Anchan and his team of artists travelled to meet some of the people affected by last year’s devastating monsoon rains in Sindh province. They set to work covering an aid truck with vibrant images to share people’s stories of resilience and recovery

by Sanam Maher in Sindh and Liz Ford. Photographs by Zoral Khurram Naik

Pakistan artist Ali Salman Anchan has received commissions from across the world. His “truck art” – known as Phool Patti in Urdu – appears in buildings in Europe, North America, the Middle East and Asia. Most recently, his vibrant designs have brightened up the Pakistan embassy in Beijing.

But it was a commission to paint a van used to transport medical supplies after last year’s devastating floods in his home country that has been the most fulfilling, he says, adding: “It was an honour to be part of this project.”

Truck art dates back to the 1920s, when Bedford trucks imported from the UK were embellished with colourful floral patterns and landscapes, animals and birds. Over the years, the indigenous art form has become a method of storytelling, used to share messages or celebrate moments and milestones. The designs, often painted by hand and largely by self-taught artists, can be seen on vehicles across the country, including tuk-tuks and buses.

In January, Anchan was asked by the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), an umbrella group of UK charities that coordinates funding appeals, to tell the stories of some of the survivors of Pakistan’s worst floods on the sides of a vehicle that was used as a mobile clinic.

Between June and August last year, monsoon rains killed at least 1,700 people, damaged 2m homes, and destroyed crops and livelihoods. Sindh and Balochistan provinces were worst affected.

Anchan, founder of the Phool Patti, a social enterprise project to promote Pakistani truck art around the world, was sent photographs of potential subjects to paint, and in May he and his team of artists travelled to Sindh to meet them. Anchan says hearing their stories was “eye-opening”.

Maula Dinno*, a farmer in Sindh, says he thought he was “witnessing judgment day” when the floods arrived. “So much water entered our homes. We could not even sit on our charpoys [woven beds] as the water rose above them.

“Everything was destroyed in the water. The cotton crops we had sown, the animals … we lost it all. I saw people falling so ill. We were compelled to seek shelter in tents on the nearby main roads. My family – my mother, my wife, Nusrat, and our children – spent two months living on the road.

“My land was inundated, and by the time the water dried, the land was barren and unusable. We did not have the funds to plough the land or purchase the seed. The situation was so dire that I gave up. I felt as if I would never be able to use the land again.”

Dinno received saplings, seeds and fertiliser from the NGO Concern Worldwide, and one year on, crops are beginning to grow back. “Yesterday, I carried mountains of troubles and trials, but now I am relieved [of them] and I am in a happy phase,” he says.

Arslan, 11, remembers flood waters reaching as high as his neck. “I had never seen so much rain in my life,” he says. “I felt really scared. I didn’t know what would happen.”

He says there was little food. “We could not get food like vegetables or rice or oil. I love to eat bhindi [okra] but nothing like that was available. The water had some dead fish in it but we were scared we would get sick if we ate that. Even flour was so expensive. Our school was damaged and we were really worried that we would not be able to continue our education.”
Riaz Haq said…
After the floods, the future looks bright: truck art in Pakistan – a photo essay


Arslan, whose family are still living in a tent after their home was destroyed in the floods, is studying in a temporary school set up by Save the Children.

“I remember my first day at the tent school. I was so happy, I felt as if my dream of becoming a police officer was still possible. When it felt like we would not receive an education, I thought I would lose that and I would have to do manual labour to earn a living like most of the people in the village.”

When Lakshmi, 35, returned to her village six months after the floods, she found it in ruins – homes had been destroyed, crops gone and livestock killed. But she says the tragedy formed new bonds between people.

“Everyone was so devastated by loss that the distinctions were erased,” says Lakshmi, who lives with her husband and seven children. “Whether you were Hindu or Muslim, it didn’t matter. We forgot all the things that separated us or made us different and we had to come together as a community to take care of ourselves. We had all lost everything – that was the common factor.”

Sultana says her house was “inundated with water” that stayed for about four months. “The water was as high as my knees and it was everywhere. We were afraid to go out on to the roads to seek shelter because there was so much water surrounding us,” she says.

She worries how much damage could occur during this year’s rainy season, which has already killed more than 50 people.

Sultana’s daughter, Arya Fatima, 10, had to be taken to a clinic after she contracted malaria from the mosquitoes that bred in the stagnant water surrounding their home. She also became malnourished. “I vividly remember carrying her in my arms into the clinic. She was not conscious, and I feared for her life,” says Sultana.

Arya Fatima recovered and Anchan says he remembers the excitement and joy on her face when she saw her portrait on the van.

“She was excited, but also the whole village was excited. She was a celebrity on that day because everyone, all the other girls, were congratulating her,” he says. “She was still recovering from malaria, but after everyone saw her, she felt better.”

Painting the van was a “brilliant idea”, says Anchan, “because the villagers in the affected areas are suffering a lot of things. But when we parked the truck up, the villagers celebrated and were all so excited.

“Everyone came to see the truck to see if they could recognise who has been painted, if they knew someone.”

Anchan says the project has changed his life. “I’ve decided I want to do more social projects after this. Sometimes projects change your thinking. I saw this devastation my own people suffered and I decided I can do more, not just through painting and art, but through any type of voluntary work.”
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In its first official assessment for 2023-24 (May-April), the government of Pakistan is forecasting the country’s wheat production to grow 6% to a record 28 million tonnes, according to a Global Agricultural Information Network report from the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) of the US Department of Agriculture.


“In recent years, abnormally hot and humid weather near harvest negatively affected output,” FAS Post Islamabad said. “This year, however, the weather was favorable throughout the growing season, resulting in record output. Government policies ensured adequate supply of seeds and other inputs throughout the growing cycle.”

Punjab, the major wheat-growing province, produced more than 1 million tonnes than last year, reaching 21.2 million tonnes. Production in other provinces — Sindh (3.8 million), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (1.4 million) and Baluchistan (1.6) — was almost the same as last year.

The record harvest will help lower the country’s forecasted import needs from 3 million to 2 million tonnes in 2023-24 even as total consumption grows to 30.2 million tonnes from 29.2 million tonnes. Pakistan imported 2.6 million tonnes last marketing year.

“Domestic demand continues to expand with population growth, and the record crop production will still be insufficient to meet domestic needs,” the FAS said.

The government has procured about 6 million tonnes of wheat from the domestic market to replenish its strategic reserves, and government stocks as of mid-June were about 10 million tonnes, the FAS said. The government is expected to start releasing wheat to millers in August, which is later than last year. Until then, millers will buy wheat from the open market.

Prospects for the 2023-24 rice crop remain good, and the production forecast is unchanged. Weather during seeding and transplanting in May through June was optimum in the rice-growing areas. Rainfall was good, which reduced the need for irrigation water. The 9-million-tonne forecast, if realized, will be the second-largest crop ever, slightly less than the record 9.3-million-tonne crop in 2021-22.

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