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Demand the UK government pays Pakistan climate reparations

Flooded houses in Pakistan. Photo provided by our partner Labour Education Foundation, Pakistan. 

Floods in Pakistan, caused by heavy rain and melting glaciers, have taken over 1,000 people’s lives and left close to half the country under water. This is what the climate crisis looks like: homes flooded, crops destroyed, and lives ruined. But Pakistan bears little responsibility for the unfolding crisis — contributing only 1% of global carbon emissions.  

It is the rich countries of the Global North that have fuelled climate breakdown, making trillions from extracting and burning fossil fuels. Even as the UK government sends its condolences to Pakistan, it is announcing more oil and gas projects. It is time rich countries like the UK do their fair share and pay climate reparations for the destruction they are causing.  

The UK and the US have offered £1.5 million and $1 million in emergency humanitarian aid to Pakistan. That is nowhere near covering the estimated $10 billion of damage caused by the flooding, and emergency relief is not a long-term solution. In order to recover and protect itself from the next inevitable climate catastrophe, Pakistan needs to invest in climate adaptation — improving infrastructure and reducing poverty to make its people less vulnerable to climate catastrophe. But the UK and the US have been blocking the call for urgently needed climate finance to the Global South. 

Deprived of climate finance, countries like Pakistan are forced to take debt-creating loans. A vicious cycle which ultimately makes rich countries, those most responsible for the climate crisis, even richer. In 2020, Pakistan paid a whopping $12 billion just to service foreign debt — more than it spent on the health systems or the infrastructure needed to prepare for the climate disasters its lenders are fuelling. 

The UN has warned that we are heading for a “climate apartheid” ‚ where the rich seek safety and leave the poor to die. We refuse to accept this. Write to the Prime Minister today to demand that the UK pushes for cancellation of Pakistan's illegitimate debt and commits to climate reparations.  

Email the Prime Minister now

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