Sherry Rehman speaks during the interview. File / AFP
Pakistan’s Minister for Climate Change Senator Sherry Rehman has been named among the “100 Most Influential People of 2023” by TIME, said a report.
The list has chosen the “influential people” under six categories — artists, icons, pioneers, leaders, titans, and innovators.
Jennifer Morgan, American German environmental activist specialising in climate change policy, wrote Rehman’s profile for TIME’s 100 most influential people issue, lavishing praise on the minister for her efforts during cataclysmic floods that hit Pakistan in June last year.
The author recalled that 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.
She mentioned that 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,” she noted, adding that there, as Pakistan’s Minister for Climate Change, she gave a voice to those who had lost everything to the floods.
Lavishing praises on the Pakistani minister, Morgan wrote: “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.”
The American German activist highlighted that this was a big step towards climate justice, “but we still have a long way to go.” “We will need more people like Sherry Rehman along the way,” Morgan concluded.
The TIME list also included names of Janet Yellen, Joe Biden, Bella Hadid, among several others.
Born in Karachi, Sherry Rehman received her BA from Smith College and her MA in art history from the University of Sussex.
Last month, Pakistani climate activist Ayisha Siddiqa made it to TIME’s Women of the Year 2023.
She’s featured alongside the likes of Angela Bassett, Cate Blanchett and Phoebe Bridgers.
"For creating solutions to an existential crisis, for embodying the possibilities and the perils of the age of tech titans, for driving society's most daring and disruptive transformations, Elon Musk is TIME's 2021 Person of the Year," the magazine's editor-in-chief, Edward Felsenthal, said.
On her selection, Al Amiri tweeted, "Thanks to @TIME for naming me on their 100 Next list, it's a mark of recognition I accept on behalf of the entire Emirates Mars Mission team, many of whom deserve the accolade a great deal more than I."
She lives in the 180,000 hectares of virgin jungle belonging to her indigenous Waorani tribe, which she has been fighting to protect from exploitation by oil prospectors.
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