Senator Sherry Rehman, Federal Minister of Climate Change, Parliamentary Leader of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) in the Senate and Vice-President of the Party, Founding Chair of the Jinnah Institute, as well as Founding Chair of the Senate Parliamentary Caucus on Climate Change, former Ambassador of Pakistan’s to the United States, Sherry Rehman is Building the World’s Voice of the Future: 2022.
Leading to political achievements, Rehman began as a journalist for The Herald, a prominent news source in Pakistan. Rehman attended Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, USA, and received that college’s distinguished Smith College Medal. During the Smith College ceremony, Rehman stated that a leader’s success must be judged by the success of policies that serve and empower “the most un-empowered and vulnerable.” (Smith College, 2013). Rehman received the Freedom Award from the Association of Television Journalists, and the Human Rights Commission’s International Peace Award.
At this year’s COP27, it was Senator Rehman who led a landmark step towards environmental justice, working with nations gathered in Sharm el-Sheikh to establish the historic Loss and Damage Fund. It was an economic and diplomatic achievement. Nations that have caused the most carbon and greenhouse gas emissions through industrial activity and fossil fuel energy use have resisted the topic, not to mention the establishment of a fund. For decades, there has been talk, but with Senator Sherry Rehman’s leadership, talk advanced to commitment, and a plan for action.
The history leading to Rehman’s Loss and Damage Fund achievement is long. COP19 in 2013 founded the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage. At COP21, the Paris Agreement produced Article 8 addressing loss and damage, with a purpose of minimizing the worst consequences of climate change by emissions reduction Another important step was the 2017 COP23’s establishment of the Fiji Clearing House for Risk Transfer, a United Nations repository on information regarding climate insurance and risk: among the provisions: Climate Risk and Early Warning Systems (CREWS), working in partnership wi the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). COP25 founded the Santiago Network to add technological assistance to the outreach of loss and damage. COP 26 noted the need for facilitation of the proposal.
Rehman turned the page from consideration to commitment. While discussions and stated intentions to empower nations most vulnerable to climate change have a history, thanks to Senator Sherry Rehman, they have a hopeful future. And, now, so do those nations.
Rehman, Sherry. https://sherryrehman.com
United Nations. “Climate Risk & Early Warning Systems (CREWS).” https://www.crews-initiative.org
United Nations. “Fiji Clearing House for Risk Transfer.” http://unfccc-clearinghouse.org
United Nations. “Paris Agreement, Article 8.” https://unfccc.int/files/adaptation/groups_committees/loss_and_damage_executive_committee/application/pdf/ref_8_decision_xcp.21.pdf
United Nations. “Santiago Network.” https://unfcc.int/santiago-network
United Nations. “Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage associated with Climate Change Impacts (WIM).” https://unfcc.int/topics/adaptation-and-resilience/workstream/loss-and-damage/warsaw-international-mechanism
United Nations. World Meteorological Organization. https://public.wmo.int
Building the World Blog by Kathleen Lusk Brooke and Zoe G. Quinn is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Un