(CNN)Pakistan was already struggling when the devastating monsoon rains hit.

This year, economic and political crises have converged in the South Asian nation of more than 230 million, as food and fuel prices soared and former leader Imran Khan was forced from office. But the worst was yet to come.Swaths of Pakistan are now underwater, after the heaviest rains on record triggered some of the country’s worst floods in living memory. Some areas have seen five times their normal levels of rain. More than 1,100 people have died and the floods have impacted 33 million people — more than the population of Texas. Read MoreTorrents of water have smashed through entire villages and farmland, razing buildings and wiping out crops.Pakistan is responsible for less than 1% of the world’s planet-warming gases, European Union data shows, yet it is paying a hefty price for the climate crisis, not only with lives but destroyed schools, homes and bridges. Officials estimate the total bill will be $10 billion. The recovery could take years, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in Pakistan has said. And chances are any recovery will be interrupted by yet another disaster. In pictures: 'Unprecedented' flooding in PakistanIn pictures: 'Unprecedented' flooding in Pakistan Photos: 'Unprecedented' flooding in PakistanA man helps children navigate floodwaters using a satellite dish in Balochistan, Pakistan, on Friday, August 26.A man helps children navigate floodwaters using a satellite dish in Balochistan, Pakistan, on Friday, August 26. Photos: 'Unprecedented' flooding in PakistanA man helps children navigate floodwaters using a satellite dish in Balochistan, Pakistan, on Friday, August 26.Hide Caption 1 of 22Residents gather beside a road damaged by flooding in Kyhber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan, on Monday, August 29.Residents gather beside a road damaged by flooding in Kyhber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan, on Monday, August 29. Photos: 'Unprecedented' flooding in PakistanResidents gather beside a road damaged by flooding in Kyhber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan, on Monday, August 29.Hide Caption 2 of 22A displaced child sleeps under a mosquito net in a tent at a makeshift camp after in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on August 29.A displaced child sleeps under a mosquito net in a tent at a makeshift camp after in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on August 29. Photos: 'Unprecedented' flooding in PakistanA displaced child sleeps under a mosquito net in a tent at a makeshift camp after in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on August 29.Hide Caption 3 of 22A satellite image shows the scale of the flooding along the banks of the Indus River in Rajanpur, Pakistan, on Sunday, August 28.A satellite image shows the scale of the flooding along the banks of the Indus River in Rajanpur, Pakistan, on Sunday, August 28. Photos: 'Unprecedented' flooding in PakistanA satellite image shows the scale of the flooding along the banks of the Indus River in Rajanpur, Pakistan, on Sunday, August 28.Hide Caption 4 of 22People wade through floodwaters in Pakistan's Mirpur Khas district on August 28.People wade through floodwaters in Pakistan's Mirpur Khas district on August 28. Photos: 'Unprecedented' flooding in PakistanPeople wade through floodwaters in Pakistan’s Mirpur Khas district on August 28.Hide Caption 5 of 22Pakistani Army soldiers distribute food following a flash flood in Hyderabad, Pakistan, on August 28.Pakistani Army soldiers distribute food following a flash flood in Hyderabad, Pakistan, on August 28. Photos: 'Unprecedented' flooding in PakistanPakistani Army soldiers distribute food following a flash flood in Hyderabad, Pakistan, on August 28.Hide Caption 6 of 22Flooded land is seen in Mingora, a town in Pakistan's northern Swat Valley, on August 28.Flooded land is seen in Mingora, a town in Pakistan's northern Swat Valley, on August 28. Photos: 'Unprecedented' flooding in PakistanFlooded land is seen in Mingora, a town in Pakistan’s northern Swat Valley, on August 28.Hide Caption 7 of 22Volunteers load relief food bags on a truck in Karachi, Pakistan, on August 28.Volunteers load relief food bags on a truck in Karachi, Pakistan, on August 28. Photos: 'Unprecedented' flooding in PakistanVolunteers load relief food bags on a truck in Karachi, Pakistan, on August 28.Hide Caption 8 of 22Displaced people take refuge along a highway after fleeing from their flood-hit homes in Pakistan's Charsadda district on August 28.Displaced people take refuge along a highway after fleeing from their flood-hit homes in Pakistan's Charsadda district on August 28. Photos: 'Unprecedented' flooding in PakistanDisplaced people take refuge along a highway after fleeing from their flood-hit homes in Pakistan’s Charsadda district on August 28.Hide Caption 9 of 22Displaced people wade through a flooded area in Peshawar, Pakistan, on Saturday, August 27.Displaced people wade through a flooded area in Peshawar, Pakistan, on Saturday, August 27. Photos: 'Unprecedented' flooding in PakistanDisplaced people wade through a flooded area in Peshawar, Pakistan, on Saturday, August 27.Hide Caption 10 of 22A man carries his sick daughter along a road damaged by floodwaters in Pakistan's northern Swat Valley on August 27.A man carries his sick daughter along a road damaged by floodwaters in Pakistan's northern Swat Valley on August 27. Photos: 'Unprecedented' flooding in PakistanA man carries his sick daughter along a road damaged by floodwaters in Pakistan’s northern Swat Valley on August 27.Hide Caption 11 of 22A man swims in floodwaters while heading for higher ground in Charsadda, Pakistan, on August 27.A man swims in floodwaters while heading for higher ground in Charsadda, Pakistan, on August 27. Photos: 'Unprecedented' flooding in PakistanA man swims in floodwaters while heading for higher ground in Charsadda, Pakistan, on August 27.Hide Caption 12 of 22Flood-affected people stand in a long line for food distributed by Pakistani Army troops in Rajanpur on August 27.Flood-affected people stand in a long line for food distributed by Pakistani Army troops in Rajanpur on August 27. Photos: 'Unprecedented' flooding in PakistanFlood-affected people stand in a long line for food distributed by Pakistani Army troops in Rajanpur on August 27.Hide Caption 13 of 22A flooded area is seen from atop a bridge in the Charsadda district on August 27.A flooded area is seen from atop a bridge in the Charsadda district on August 27. Photos: 'Unprecedented' flooding in PakistanA flooded area is seen from atop a bridge in the Charsadda district on August 27.Hide Caption 14 of 22Volunteers prepare food boxes to distribute among flood victims in Peshawar on Friday, August 26.Volunteers prepare food boxes to distribute among flood victims in Peshawar on Friday, August 26. Photos: 'Unprecedented' flooding in PakistanVolunteers prepare food boxes to distribute among flood victims in Peshawar on Friday, August 26.Hide Caption 15 of 22A family carries their belongings through floodwaters in Jamshoro, Pakistan, on August 26.A family carries their belongings through floodwaters in Jamshoro, Pakistan, on August 26. Photos: 'Unprecedented' flooding in PakistanA family carries their belongings through floodwaters in Jamshoro, Pakistan, on August 26.Hide Caption 16 of 22People walk through floodwaters in Dagai Mukram Khan, Pakistan, on August 26.People walk through floodwaters in Dagai Mukram Khan, Pakistan, on August 26. Photos: 'Unprecedented' flooding in PakistanPeople walk through floodwaters in Dagai Mukram Khan, Pakistan, on August 26.Hide Caption 17 of 22A woman cooks food for her flood-affected family at a makeshift camp in Nawabshah, Pakistan, on Thursday, August 25.A woman cooks food for her flood-affected family at a makeshift camp in Nawabshah, Pakistan, on Thursday, August 25. Photos: 'Unprecedented' flooding in PakistanA woman cooks food for her flood-affected family at a makeshift camp in Nawabshah, Pakistan, on Thursday, August 25.Hide Caption 18 of 22Rescue workers carry out an evacuation operation for stranded people in Rajanpur on August 25.Rescue workers carry out an evacuation operation for stranded people in Rajanpur on August 25. Photos: 'Unprecedented' flooding in PakistanRescue workers carry out an evacuation operation for stranded people in Rajanpur on August 25.Hide Caption 19 of 22Villagers take shelter at a makeshift camp after their homes were damaged by flooding in Pakistan's Jaffarabad district on Wednesday, August 24.Villagers take shelter at a makeshift camp after their homes were damaged by flooding in Pakistan's Jaffarabad district on Wednesday, August 24. Photos: 'Unprecedented' flooding in PakistanVillagers take shelter at a makeshift camp after their homes were damaged by flooding in Pakistan’s Jaffarabad district on Wednesday, August 24.Hide Caption 20 of 22Workers load sacks of relief goods for flood victims in Balochistan, Pakistan, on August 5.Workers load sacks of relief goods for flood victims in Balochistan, Pakistan, on August 5. Photos: 'Unprecedented' flooding in PakistanWorkers load sacks of relief goods for flood victims in Balochistan, Pakistan, on August 5.Hide Caption 21 of 22A boy wades through his flooded house in Karachi on July 26.A boy wades through his flooded house in Karachi on July 26. Photos: 'Unprecedented' flooding in PakistanA boy wades through his flooded house in Karachi on July 26.Hide Caption 22 of 2201 pakistan flooding unf02 pakistan flooding unf03 pakistan flooding unf04 pakistan flooding unf05 pakistan flooding unf06 pakistan flooding unf07 pakistan flooding unf08 pakistan flooding unf09 pakistan flooding unf10 pakistan flooding unf RESTRICTED11 pakistan flooding unf12 pakistan flooding unf13 pakistan flooding unf14 pakistan flooding unf15 pakistan flooding unf16 pakistan flooding unf17 pakistan flooding unf18 pakistan flooding unf19 pakistan flooding unf20 pakistan flooding unf21 pakistan flooding unf22 pakistan flooding unf“We consistently see climate devastation in the forms of floods, monsoons, extensive droughts, extreme heat waves,” Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said in an interview with CNN’s Eleni Giokos on Tuesday. “And frankly, the people of Pakistan, the citizens of Pakistan, are paying the price in their lives, their livelihoods for the industrialization of rich countries that has resulted in this climate change.” The stark inequity of the climate crisis, which is bearing down hardest on nations that have historically had the least to do with causing it, is raising questions over who should pay for it, particularly for the damage that countries like Pakistan are coming to terms with. The United Nations issued an appeal for $160 million in emergency funds on Tuesday, barely enough to scratch the surface of the $10 billion needed. Countries from the United States to Turkey are pitching in with aid, rescue helicopters, food and medical supplies. Yet the need is greater than what the world is giving. These devastating scenes and eye-watering recovery costs are what the climate crisis looks like at 1.2 degrees Celsius of global warming since industrialization. But the world is on track for warming of more than 2 degrees Celsius, analyses show, and scientists warn every fraction of a degree of warming will worsen the impacts of the crisis. Fahad Saeed, a climate scientist with the group Climate Analytics, who is based in Islamabad, told CNN that Pakistan was in a Catch-22 situation. The country needs money to adapt to the crisis, yet because it has to pay for the damage that extreme weather is already causing it will struggle to find the funds it needs to adjust. “What is happening right now at 1.2 degrees centigrade of warming is not because of the poor people in Pakistan,” he said. “They are not responsible for it, and this brings out the issue of climate justice in a very clear form.”He added that Pakistan, like so many developing nations, needed to bring more people out of poverty, a difficult thing to do in the midst of back-to-back extreme weather events with such little financial support from abroad. Saeed said Pakistan was in “a position to present a strong case” at the COP27 international climate talks in Egypt this November that other nations should help it pay to pick up the pieces. Developed and developing nations have remained generally divided over the issue for years. The developed world agreed more than a decade ago to transfer at least $100 billion a year by 2020 to developing nations to help their transitions away from fossil fuels, but also to help them adapt to climate change. That amount has never been delivered in full.More controversial is the issue of who should pay for the destruction. At the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow, the US was one of several advanced nations that showed opposition to obligatory payments for “loss and damages” — essentially climate compensation — particularly for schemes based on historic responsibility. Historically, the US accounts for the most greenhouse gas emissions in the world.

Source Link:
https://www.cnn.com/2022/08/30/asia/pakistan-climate-crisis-floods-justice-intl/index.html

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