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Monday February 26, 2024

‘Climate Justice March’ asks wealthy countries to fulfil their climate finance obligations

By Our Correspondent
December 10, 2023

A large number of fishermen, climate activists, trade union workers and human rights advocates took part in a Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum’s ‘Climate Justice March’ on Saturday, which began at the Sindh Assembly Chowk and ended at the Karachi Press Club.

The march aimed to expose failures and schemes and generate pressure on governments, corporations and other institutions that participated in the Dubai Climate Conference (COP28) and to express solidarity with the people of Palestine.

Saeed Baloch, the PFF’s general secretary, emphasized that the success of a rapid and equitable phase-out of fossil fuels depends primarily on leaders of developed nations with significant historical responsibility for the climate crisis. 

A worker cutting steel pipes near a coal-powered power station in China. — AFP/File
A worker cutting steel pipes near a coal-powered power station in China. — AFP/File

He stressed the need for wealthy countries to fulfil their climate finance obligations to enable developing nations, which bear the brunt of the climate crisis despite being the least responsible, to transition swiftly to efficient and renewable energy sources.

Fatima Majeed, PFF’s senior vice-chairperson, highlighted the fishermen’s participation in these mobilisations to demand an end to the era of fossil fuels, which has caused environmental damage, polluted air and water, and exploited communities for profit. She stressed that there should be no further expansion of oil, gas, and coal operations in Pakistan or anywhere else in Asia.

Nasir Mansoor, general secretary of the National Trade Union Federation, expressed concern about the failure to meet the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting global temperature rise to below 1.5 degrees. He emphasized the urgent need to transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy while securing workers’ jobs, noting that false solutions like carbon capture, hydrogen, and gas as transition fuels are being promoted contrary to scientific recommendations for a sustainable planet.

Qazi Khizer, vice chairperson of the HRCP, referred to recent data confirming that no new fossil fuel extraction can be developed if we are to limit warming to 1.5°C. He advocated the early closure of over half of existing fields and mines while ensuring protection for workers and communities.

He emphasized the global efforts by climate advocates to push world leaders toward a rapid, equitable, and just phase-out of fossil fuels to protect people and the planet, the increased urgency due to the escalating climate crisis and called out governments for their low ambition and backtracking on already weak commitments.