Pakistan PM warns dire floods signal global crisis
Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif questions, "Why are my people paying the price of such high global warming through no fault of their own?
In the aftermath of floods that devastated the South Asian giant, Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif warned the United Nations on Friday that climate disasters will not be limited to his country.
"What happened in Pakistan will not stay in Pakistan," he said in his first address to the General Assembly, adding that life had "changed forever."
Sharif underlined the crisis' inherent injustice, with his country located at "ground zero" of climate change but responsible for less than 1% of carbon emissions.
"Why are my people paying the price of such high global warming through no fault of their own? Nature has unleashed her fury on Pakistan without looking at our carbon footprint, which is next to nothing," he said.
"It is therefore entirely reasonable to expect some approximation of justice for this loss and damage, not to mention building back better with resilience," he said, urging financial compensation from rich polluters.
According to the most recent government figures, unprecedented monsoon downpours have flooded a third of Pakistan, an area the size of the United Kingdom, and killed nearly 1,600 people.
Over seven million people have been displaced, many of whom are living in makeshift tents without mosquito protection and often with little access to clean drinking water or washing facilities.