Paying the climate bill.

THE International Conference on Climate-Resilient Pakistan in Geneva has exceeded expectations. More than $9 billion have been pledged to help curtail the effects of last year's floods which have cost Pakistan over $30bn in 'loss and damage'. Pakistan's floods are a classic case of climate injustice.

But the devil lies in the details. Most of the support from the $9bn pledged is likely to be realised over a period of several years. It is yet to be determined how much of this amount will be in the form of grants (versus loans).

There have been several voices of late alluding to the possibility of such funds being diverted. It is a point that has frequently been raised as a pretext for the withholding of funds to Pakistan in the past. Corruption and misgovernance come up as crucial factors in shaping this argument.

Such a line of argumentation is difficult to tackle - from the perspective of both the donor and the recipient. There are tens of millions of flood victims in the country who are in dire need of support; but, at the same time, concerns about possible funding leakages also exist.

'Colonialism' is a crucial driver of climate change.

The 2022 floods also spurred debate on 'climate reparations' by the developed countries - with the latter being held responsible for the menace of climate change as historical emitters since the Industrial Revolution. In fact, recent scientific research also suggests 'colonialism' (which Pakistan is a victim of) as a crucial driver of climate change.

A recent report of the IntergovernAmAeAnAtal Panel on Climate Change, which revAiews the impact of climate change on populations, 'listed 'colonialism' not only as a driver of the climate crisis but also as an ongoing issue that is exacerbating communities' vulnerability to it', hence putting a greater burden of responsibility on the shoulders of the developed countries.

Believing that former colonies, such as Pakistan, after achieving independence have been free from the effects of their colonial past is to be deluded. The phrase 'out of the frying pan and into the fire' appears true for most successor states.

In South Asia, following independence, successor states were 'colonised' by their own leaders. Self-colonisation came about through the efforts of local rulers jumping in to fill the power vacuum that the colonisers left behind. They were quick to inherit the malpractices of their former masters and consolidated their control by corrupting the bureaus...

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