Call to action: #PakistanIsOurStory – 9th September

A third of Pakistan is underwater, over a thousand person were killed, homes and land destroyed.

Pakistan is in the midst of an unprecedented climate catastrophe. Monsoon rains in the country are 2.87 times higher than the national 30-year average — the UN calls it a “monsoon on steroids.” It is estimated that the widespread devastation caused by the floods will cost Pakistan at least 10 billion Dollars. Moreover, over 2 million acres of agricultural land have been destroyed and hundreds of thousands of livestock have been destroyed, triggering fears of massive food shortages in the coming months. At least 35 million people were displaced (roughly 90% of the population of Canada). Major parts of the affected regions are areas with vulnerable and marginalised communities, such as in Balochistan: the floods have increased the inequalities, lack of access to humanitarian support, discrimination and repression that these communities face.

This follows months of multiple catastrophes. In March, the country was thrown head first into heatwaves, combined with long power outages, causing tens of thousands people to be hospitalised and triggering protests. Meanwhile the IMF imposed austerity measures including a 16% tax increase on electricity bills despite frequent power cuts which meant people did not have power during the extreme temperatures. June came with early monsoon rains. In July, the rains combined glacial caps bursting led to a major bridge being knocked out by the floods in Hunza Valley. In August, unprecedented floods hit like never before. Millions of acres of crop land, homes, schools and hospitals have been wiped off the face of the earth as heat, rain and glacial ice melting together have culminated in the climate catastrophe unraveling before our eyes.

These events not only herald the dystopian future that lies ahead, but also show that much of that future is already a reality today.

Pakistan is one of the countries least responsible for the climate crisis, yet it’s suffering the most.

Pakistan causes just 0.4% of all global CO2 emissions, but is the 8th most vulnerable country to the climate crisis. In fact, while rich countries are responsible for over 90% of excess carbon emissions above the save planetary boundary, countries like Pakistan have not even fully used their fair share of emissions. Yet, while some countries and companies in the Global North are wreaking havoc on the planet, countries like Pakistan are bearing the brunt of others’ criminal recklessness and unfettered greed.

The fossil fuel industry and the capitalist system it supports are directly responsible. We must overthrow this system and stop the ones responsible now, rising in rage and international solidarity!

End Fossil Fuels Now.

This is how 1.2ºC looks like. We have no time to waste. These disasters, caused by a system driven by greed for profit and growth, will keep happening and will affect hundreds of millions more until we take urgent action. What is happening in Pakistan is the future that awaits the rest of the world and it will become unimaginably worse if we don’t stop burning fossil fuels and hold polluters accountable.

They never stopped and they never will, unless we stop them!

Climate Reparations For Pakistan, starting with the unconditional cancellation of all external debts.

Under such a catastrophic situation, the role of international financial institutions, integral component of the Global North-led pillaging of the planet, becomes even more questionable. Instead of coming to Pakistan’s rescue, the IMF is pushing the country into a punitive programme that demands draconian austerity measures and exorbitant taxes on working class people. According to the IMF, Pakistan’s external public debt is projected to reach $28.3 billion in 2022-23. These numbers will only increase as a result of the $10 billion in losses the country has already incurred and the enormous expenditures required for reconstruction and rehabilitation. In the current moment of floods, unemployment, hyper-inflation and huge costs of reconstruction, demands for austerity and higher taxation are nothing but an outright attack on life itself in Pakistan.

It is time for the countries that have colonised and exploited for decades and centuries and for the companies profiting from climate destruction to pay reparations. The time has come for countries in the Global North to take responsibility for the ecological crisis they have caused. Consequently, they must unconditionally end all of Pakistan’s debt obligations, invest in climate-resilient infrastructure in the country and hold their own fossil fuel companies, global agribusinesses and all their industries exacerbating climate change accountable for their crimes against humanity.

Corporate greed and predatory financial speculation have proven themselves incompatible with life on our planet. Today, affirming our common humanity means putting all the resources needed at the disposal of the Pakistani people, who are suffering from the consequences of a crisis for which they are not even marginally culpable. Reparations, including debt write-offs, are the necessary and urgent point of departure for meaningful solidarity with flood victims, undoing historical wrongs and beginning the process of healing our planet.

We are calling for a global day of action on the 9th of September – Pakistan is our story, the climate crisis our time, solidarity is our power.

On the 9th of September we call upon people everywhere to go to the streets in solidarity and rage. We call upon climate justice and social movements everywhere to hold direct action (targeting fossil infrastructure or financial institutions) or a public demonstration/gathering, to fight for the end of fossil fuels and for climate reparations for Pakistan, starting with the International Monetary Fund unconditionally canceling Pakistan’s debt payments.

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