World must unite to avert climate catastrophe, Pakistan minister says at Davos

World must unite to avert climate catastrophe, Pakistan minister says at Davos
Short Url
Updated 24 January 2023
Follow

World must unite to avert climate catastrophe, Pakistan minister says at Davos

World must unite to avert climate catastrophe, Pakistan minister says at Davos
  • Sherry Rehman says countries must end silo mentality and cooperate or ‘what is happening in Pakistan will come to Davos’

DAVOS: Pakistan’s climate change minister has told a Davos panel that the world faces catastrophe unless global leaders and businesses collaborate to tackle climate change.

Sherry Rehman appealed for more work on the world’s most pressing problems during the discussion hosted by the Maryam Forum during the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting. Climate change and the loss of biodiversity were critical issues that needed better collaboration, she said.

Her comments come as Pakistan continues to battle the aftermath of last summer’s mass flooding that killed more than 1,500 people and left millions homeless.

“We must build coalitions for climate action,” she said. “So far, we have mostly been talking and working in silos due to the boundaries we have set on ourselves. 

“Everyone is speaking about the individual actions they are taking but we need to move beyond that to achievable collective action targets and then pledge to meet them.”

The panel also discussed the issue of climate change denialism, and criticized the “collective failure” of corporations and governments to take action to the required level.

“Our models of business and government need to change for the critical mass needed to shift the needle on biodiversity loss and climate action… we are way off the mark,” Rehman said.

Panelists also agreed that action was stymied by an out of date global financial system rooted in the 20th century. 

“We need (to) make climate financing agile and easily available for countries that are at the forefront of climate stress,” Rehman said. 

“If we do not take collective and radical actions within this decade, what is happening in Pakistan will come to Davos someday.”

The Maryam Forum was launched at Davos in 2020 by the former vice-chairman of the WEF’s Arab Business Council, Khalid Abdulla Jahani, and focuses on “accelerating the kind of leadership the world needs.” 

It works in partnership with the London School of Economics’ Institute of Global Affairs.

Janahi also launched his new book, From Rulership to Leadership in the Arab World, at the event.