Pakistan’s Climate Change Minister, Sherry Rehman, has been named in Time magazine’s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world.
Rehman was recognized for her efforts in handling the catastrophic floods that struck Pakistan in 2022, just months after she assumed the role of Climate Change Minister.
Germany’s State Secretary Jennifer Morgan, in her write-up for the magazine, highlighted the injustice faced by countries least responsible for the climate crisis, stating that Pakistan is responsible for only a fraction of global emissions but suffered floods that affected more than a third of the country.
She praised Rehman for her passionate speeches and tireless negotiations at the COP27 UN climate summit in Egypt, where she helped establish new funding arrangements to support the most vulnerable countries.
— TIME (@TIME) April 13, 2023
“There are many terrible sides to the climate crisis, but one of the most distressing is that it is hitting hardest those countries that are least responsible for it. Pakistan is responsible for only a fraction of global emissions, but the climate crisis led to more than a third of the country being flooded last year.
The water had not yet fully receded when Sherry Rehman arrived in Egypt for COP27, the UN climate summit, in November. There, as Pakistan’s Minister for Climate Change, she gave a voice to those who had lost everything to the floods.
Through impassioned speeches and tireless engagement in negotiations, she convinced many of the delegates that the blatant injustice must come to an end. COP27 ended with a historic decision—the world community agreed for the first time to establish new loss and damage funding arrangements to support the most vulnerable countries.
This is a big step toward climate justice, but we still have a long way to go. We will need more people like Sherry Rehman along the way,” Morgan said.
Why does adaptation become the Cinderella issue at big global forums? It’s the only real seat belt we have for vulnerable countries facing compounded and serial climate onslaughts. Resilience funding and capacity deficits r very real,centred around human suffering. @Davos #WEF23 pic.twitter.com/EoC1ckLIFE
— SenatorSherryRehman (@sherryrehman) January 21, 2023
Rehman’s name was included among other notable figures, including Indian superstar Shah Rukh Khan, TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew, Argentine footballer Lionel Messi, First Lady of Ukraine Olena Zelenska, American model Bella Hadid, and American actor Michael B Jordan.
The floods caused by heavy rainfall displaced over 33 million people and affected Pakistan’s economy. The country secured more than $10 billion at the Climate Resilience Conference.
During a discussion at a session of the World Economic Forum in Davos earlier this year, Minister Rehman urged countries not to walk away from their pledges to reduce carbon emissions and spoke about the importance of resilience funding and capacity deficits to alleviate human suffering in the face of the climate crisis.