WEF: Pakistan Climate Change Floods are the British Empire’s Fault?

Essay by Eric Worrall

Climate Reparations Required? According to the World Economic Forum, the Sukkur Barrage, a British built diversion dam which unexpectedly withstood the recent floods and saved lives, despite decades of neglect, is a scar of Pakistan’s colonial past.

What does colonialism have to do with climate change?

Sep 9, 2022

John Letzing
Digital Editor, Strategic Intelligence, World Economic Forum

Minji Sung
Data Visuals and Content Specialist, Strategic Intelligence, World Economic Forum

Flooding in Pakistan has revived interest in the relationship between the colonial past and the present climate crisis. 

When flooding amplified by climate change began to submerge nearly a third of Pakistan recently, a remnant of the country’s colonial past stood between the deluge and hundreds of thousands of people: the Sukkur Barrage.

It wasn’t certain that the 90-year-old diversion dam, a onetime engineering triumph designed by local British rulers but since cited for safety issues and described as “decrepit”, would endure – making it a potentially fatal burden and a symbol of the corrosive impact of colonialism on much of the world.

The dam held, despite Pakistan’s “monsoon on steroids”. Other outcomes have been less fortunate. A German non-profit’s list of the 10 countries most affected by climate change-related extreme weather events during the first two decades of this century includes eight former colonies (one isn’t technically a country, and remains a US territory sometimes described as a colony).

The British Raj, which included present-day Pakistan, is far from the only historical example of an exploitative colonial presence.

One means of addressing the disparity might be through reparations

Read more: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2022/09/colonialism-climate-change-pakistan-floods/

Given the dam was built 90 years ago, and it has been 75 years since the fall of the British Raj, I suggest it is probably time for the Pakistan government to pick up the tab for flood management, and do their own dam building and repairs.

via Watts Up With That?


September 11, 2022 at 08:50AM

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s