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Activists from Islamabad, Rawalpindi demand climate justice

ISLAMABAD: Over 200 activists and citizens across Islamabad and Rawalpindi organized a Climate Action at the Amphitheatre, Fatima Jinnah Park.

The event included performances, awareness-raising activities and fundraising for flood victims.

Activists demanded climate action and reparations from the Global North – nations that have historically high emissions and are the main cause behind climate change.

The event was organized to stimulate conversation and awareness around climate change and how it affects Pakistan.

The organizers said that as a result of being one of the most impacted countries by the climate crisis, Pakistan has undergone floods, heatwaves, Glacial Lake Outburst Floods (GLOFs) and
wildfires, since the start of 2022. Climate change is already here and is affecting Pakistanis severely.

Activists across the world held a Global Climate Strike to demand reparations and loss and damage finance to compensate the suffering of nations like Pakistan.

Anam Rathor, an activist and organizer from Climate Action Pakistan, led the conversation around demands of climate activists from the Government of Pakistan and the Global North.

She said that in addition to addressing our loss and damage, Global North needs to facilitate developing countries in terms of mitigation and adaptation through financial and technical means.

Moreover, the Government of Pakistan must immediately shift focus toward climate adaptation, not just in the form of policy or framework but through real, on-ground community led initiatives.

Young climate activists including Hania Imran, Rida Rashid and Pervez Ali recited poems and who spoke on climate action.

Tooba Syed from Women Democratic Front and Mustafa Wynne from Progressive Student Federation all spoke on different aspects of the climate crisis.

Academic experts also joined the discussion to talk about climate justice and water management systems. A musical performance was presented by Arieb Azhar, followed by a
theatre performance organized by Laal Hartal. The event was rounded up by activists and affectees who talked about first-hand experiences of being impacted by the climate crisis.

Ammar Rashid from Awami Workers Party led the conclusion with a talk on structural and policy changes to address the climate breakdown in Pakistan.

With global conversations around climate change at forums such as the UNGA and UNFCCC, it is pertinent that Pakistan leads its own narrative. 33 million people have been affected by the floods this year alone.

Estimates of losses are in the tens of billions of dollars and more may be
required for rehabilitation and reconstruction. On top of international aid, reparations, and loss and damage finance, Pakistan also need internal system strengthening and capacity building
to prevent future losses from climate change impacts.

Raja Furqan Ahmed

Raja Furqan Ahmed is the News Editor of The Pakistan Daily.

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