Sherry Rehman, the feminist and ecologist minister who carries the voice of a wounded Pakistan

Sherry Rehman, the feminist and ecologist minister who carries the voice of a wounded Pakistan

Sherry Rehman, the feminist and ecologist minister who carries the voice of a wounded Pakistan

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While international aid is being organized to save Pakistan, a victim of historic floods that killed more than 1,300 people, Climate Change Minister Sherry Rehman relentlessly warns of north / south inequalities and holding the most polluting societies accountable.

It is at the forefront of the crisis facing Pakistan. Omnipresent in the international media, the Minister for Climate Change, Sherry Rehman, has recently become the spokesperson for the countries most vulnerable to climate change.

“The priority is to feed, host and care for millions of climate refugees,” the senator and former ambassador to Washington explained Wednesday in an interview with the BBC.

About 33 million people were affected by colossal floods caused by heavy monsoon rains that occurred after several months of drought.

If today’s emergency is humanitarian, Sherry Rehman rarely misses an opportunity to recall the other emergency: that of the climate and its very concrete consequences for the poorest countries on the planet.

“Climate change knows no borders. The time for responsibility has come. What we are experiencing is the new normal,” he warned in a press conference.

Pakistani political figure

Appointed Minister of Climate Change in April by former Prime Minister Imran Khan, Sherry Rehman is a familiar face in Pakistani political life. A member of the civilian government that succeeded the military regime of Pervez Musharraf, this figure of the Pakistani People’s Party (PPP) was the spokesperson for Benazir Bhutto, the former prime minister who was assassinated in 2007.

In 2010 he gained international notoriety against his will by campaigning for the abolition of the death penalty from the blasphemy law, in the wake of the Asia Bibi affair, this Christian woman sentenced to death for an alleged crime against the prophet Mohammed. For this fight, Sherry Rehman is threatened with death and must live under the constant protection of the police.

>> To see : Interview with Asia Bibi “I have forgiven all those who have hurt me”

Committed to the fight against honor killings, Sherry Rehman continues to actively campaign for women’s rights. You recently published “Womensplaining”, a collective work on the history of Pakistani women’s activism.

COP27 in sight

If the feminist struggle is never far away, now it is climate issues that monopolize the new minister. “The big polluters who are trying to green their emissions can no longer turn a blind eye and companies whose profits exceed the GDP of many countries have to shoulder their responsibilities”, explains the former journalist in an interview with the British newspaper. The Guardian.

Sherry Rehman intends to impose the theme at the upcoming UN climate change conference, COP27, which will take place in November in the Egyptian city of Sharm el-Sheikh. According to her, “the agreement concluded between North and South does not work”.

In 2009, the countries of the North promised to increase their climate aid to the South to 100 billion per year starting in 2020. But this promise has not yet been honored.

>> Read also: Underwater, Pakistan risks bankruptcy like Sri Lanka?

Although the poorest countries are the most exposed to climate change, they represent only a marginal share of global CO2 emissions.2. According to a study by the NGO Germanwatch, Pakistan ranks eighth among the countries most threatened by extreme weather phenomena.

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