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While international aid is being organized to rescue Pakistan, the victim of historic floods that have killed more than 1,300 people, Climate Change Minister Sherry Rehman is relentlessly alerting to North / South inequalities and holding companies responsible for them to account. more polluting.
She is on the front line Pakistan’s crisis. Omnipresent in the international media, the Minister of Climate Change, Sherry Rehman, has become in recent days the spokesperson for the countries most vulnerable to the climate deregulation.
“The priority is to feed, house and care for millions of climate refugees,” the senator and former ambassador to Washington explained on Wednesday in an interview with the BBC.
Of course we could develop better, but that does not detract from the climate science of the issue: that we did not create this or deserve this, nor can we cope alone. The issue right now is feeding, housing and healthcare for what are millions of climate refugees. @BBCWorld pic.twitter.com/5Icief6Fps
— SenatorSherryRehman (@sherryrehman) September 7, 2022
Around 33 million people have been affected by colossal floods triggered by heavy monsoon rains after several months of drought.
If the emergency today is humanitarian, Sherry Rehman however rarely misses an opportunity to recall the other emergency: that of the climate and its very concrete consequences for the poorest countries on the planet.
“Climate change knows no borders. The time for accountability has come. What we are experiencing is the new normal,” she warned at a press conference.
Figure of Pakistani politics
Appointed Minister of Climate Change in April by former Prime Minister Imran Khan, Sherry Rehman is a well-known face in Pakistani politics. A member of the civilian government who succeeded the military regime of Pervez Musharraf, this figure of the Pakistani People’s Party (PPP) was spokesperson for Benazir Bhutto, the former Prime Minister assassinated in 2007.
In 2010, she gained international notoriety in spite of herself by campaigning for the removal of the death penalty from the blasphemy law, in the wake of the Asia Bibi case, this Christian sentenced to capital punishment for an alleged offense against the Prophet Muhammad. For this fight, Sherry Rehman is threatened with death and must live under constant police protection.
Committed to the fight against honor killings, Sherry Rehman continues to actively campaign for women’s rights. She recently published “Womensplaining”, a collective work on the history of Pakistani women’s activism.
COP27 in sight
If the feminist fight is never far away, it is now the climate issues that monopolize the new minister. “Big polluters trying to green their emissions can no longer turn a blind eye and companies whose profits exceed the GDP of many countries must take responsibility,” says the former journalist in an interview with the British daily The Guardian.
Sherry Rehman intends to impose the subject at the next United Nations conference on climate change, COP27, which will take place in November in the Egyptian city of Sharm el-Sheikh. According to her, “the deal concluded between the North and the South does not work”.
In 2009, the countries of the North promised to increase their climate aid to the South to 100 billion per year from 2020. But this promise has still not been honored.
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While the poorest countries are the most exposed to climate change, they only represent a marginal share of global CO2 emissions.2. According to a study by the NGO Germanwatch, Pakistan is in eighth position among the countries most threatened by extreme weather phenomena.