NEW YORK: As Pakistan deals with the deadly floods that have claimed over 1,500 lives and affected more than 33 million people, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto on Thursday called for a “Green Marshal Plan” to assist and support the most climate-vulnerable countries at the United Nations.
The top Pakistani diplomat attended the Closed-Door Leaders’ Roundtable on CoP-27 on the sidelines of the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York where he floated the idea.
Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif is also in the US to attend the UNGA session and has discussed the flood devastation during his interaction with the world leaders.
Stressing the need for collective and urgent action to build back better, in a greener and climate-resilient manner, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto proposed a number of actions for addressing the issue of climate change at the global level including in the context of the forthcoming CoP-27 called for a “Green Marshal Plan” to assist and support the most climate-vulnerable countries.
The foreign minister underscored that climate change was an existential threat for all nations and peoples and its implications were becoming more pronounced, frequent and severe, such as the ones manifested in the recent catastrophic floods in Pakistan.
Bilawal Bhutto emphasized that even with a minimal contribution to the global greenhouse gas emissions, Pakistan was facing the brunt of natural calamities in the form of heat waves, glacial outbursts, droughts, torrential rains and unprecedented monsoons, causing both human and economic losses.
The foreign minister highlighted the devastation caused by the recent climate-induced floods in Pakistan, including loss of lives and livelihoods as well as massive damage to critical infrastructure.
He noted that the loss to the economy was expected to run over $30 billion.
Bilawal thanked the UN Secretary-General for his solidarity visit to Pakistan earlier this month, and appreciated the sentiments expressed during the meeting by other participating countries.
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