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Interview

'The country is broken': Pakistan climate minister urges justice

Rehman says floods have taken nuclear-armed nation 'back half a century'

Sherry Rehman, Pakistan's minister for climate change, says that global warming poses an existential threat to the country and that "this calamity has not been triggered by anything we have done."   © AP

NEW YORK -- Reeling from the most catastrophic floods in its history, Pakistan is demanding climate justice from the Global North, or the world's richest industrialized countries.

The disaster has displaced 33 million people, plunged an area larger than the U.K. underwater, and caused over $30 billion in estimated damage. Officials blame global warming and insist that as one of the world's lowest carbon emitters -- as well as one of Asia's poorest nations -- Pakistan is entitled to compensation. Research, too, has linked the devastation to climate change.

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