Carla Denyer speaking at a People's Assembly demonstration with a Bristol Trades Union Council banner behind her

Pakistan is currently experiencing devastating floods as a result of what UN secretary general Antonia Guterres has described as a “monsoon on steroids”. The floods have killed over 1,000 people and have been triggered by heavier than usual rainfall and the melting of glaciers following a heatwave. Both of these have been intensified by the climate crisis.

Co-leader of the Green Party of England and Wales Carla Denyer described the floods as “almost beyond comprehension”. She said,

The scale of the floods in Pakistan – with an area the size of the UK under water – are almost beyond comprehension. It resembles a disaster movie, but tragically this is the reality of the climate crisis. We’re all seeing the impact of this emergency more and more at home in the UK, but as climate scientists have warned, the most brutal impacts are being experienced by poorer countries who have actually contributed a lot less to global CO2 emissions.

Denyer went on to argue that the global north must provide additional funding to poorer countries more at risk of climate-induced damage and called for the UK government to provide climate reparations as a result of its colonial legacy. She said,

Not only must richer countries honour previous pledges to provide “loss and damage” funding for poorer countries, but the issue must be centre stage at this year’s climate talks in Egypt. We need to see a commitment to much greater levels of funding for poorer countries – delivered as grants, not loans, to prevent over-burdening these countries with debt.

With its strong ties to Pakistan, and being one of the top 10 historical polluters, the UK has a particular responsibility to support the country to cope with this unprecedented tragedy affecting millions of people. The colonialism of the past also means the UK government needs to ensure it pays for ‘climate reparations’.

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Image credit: Matthew Phillip Long – Creative Commons