‘Let’s stop sleepwalking’: UN chief’s warning on Pak floods and climate change

South Asia is one of the world’s major climate crisis hotspots, United Nations chief António Guterres said on Tuesday as he raised concerns about floods in Pakistan that have killed more than 1 000 people since June. Millions of people have been affected in the country, where, according to the UN chief, “every province” has been affected.

Sounding a warning, the UN chief – in a statement – said: “People living in these (climate crisis) hotspots are 15 times more likely to die from climate impacts.”

“As we continue to see more and more extreme weather events around the world, it is outrageous that climate action is being put on the back burner as global greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, putting us everyone – everywhere – in growing danger,” added António Guterres.

“Let’s stop sleepwalking into the destruction of our planet by climate change. Today it is Pakistan. Tomorrow it could be your country,” the UN chief said in forceful remarks.

On Tuesday, Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said the country was grappling with the worst deluge in Pakistan’s history. “I want to give my solemn promise and my solemn commitment…every penny will be spent very transparently. Every penny will reach the needy,” he said.

The country – Sharif was quoted by the AFP news agency – would need at least 1 billion dollars to rebuild itself. It is estimated that about a third of the country is submerged due to the deluge, which affected more than 33 million people.

(With contributions from AFP)


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