The tyranny of climate change is that those countries who contribute the lowest amount of carbon emissions globally are at a risk and most vulnerable to the destruction climate breakdown has in store. The Global North is responsible for more than 90 per cent of the global emissions, and because of this, people from the Global South have to suffer its worst consequences. As per the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s report released this year titled “Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability,” 46 per cent of the population, which approximately translates into 3.5 billion people, presently settled in areas that are most susceptible to the brutality of climate change. These people mostly belong to regions such as West-Central- and East Africa, South Asia, Central, and South America, small island developing states, and the Arctic. The people hailing from these regions are not only threatened but also encounter the cataclysmic effects of climate change i.e. severe heatwaves, droughts, floods, rising sea levels, food and water insecurity, air pollution, and community displacements. Among the list of the top contributors to global carbon emissions, China ranks at the number one spot, while India bags the number three position. Both these countries happen to be neighbours of Pakistan, which faced the worst floods since its inception. One-third of the country was underwater due to massive floods. These floods have caused devastation at an unprecedented level, affecting more than 33 million people, which is 15 per cent of the total population, destroying hundreds and thousands of houses along with millions of acres of crops, killing more than a thousand people and about a million livestock. Debt cancellation should be Pakistan’s first and foremost demand as climate reparation from the Global North. Pakistan is facing the consequences of climate change, despite pitching in less than one per cent in global carbon emissions. According to the National Flood Response Coordination Centre (NFRCC), floods have inflicted losses worth more than 40 billion dollars. This begs the question: How is Pakistan going to afford these losses and where will it get this elephantine amount from? The answer is Pakistan is helpless at the moment. The IMF recently made Pakistan fight tooth and nail to secure a meagre 1.16 billion dollars. As of now, Pakistan has only received word of aid from the international community worth a few hundred million dollars, which is quite frankly inadequate compared to the losses. Pakistan might get offers of climate financing to help rebuild its infrastructure washed away by the floods but that would be just another attempt by the Global North to mint money by exploiting a climate disaster. So, while Pakistan appeals to the world for help and assistance in cash and kind, it should also demand climate reparations from the Global North Countries, especially those who contribute the most to global carbon emissions i.e. the US, UK, France, Japan, Russia, Germany, Canada, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Debt cancellation should be Pakistan’s first and foremost demand as climate reparation from the Global North. This may sound radical, but this is how climate justice ought to be. Pakistan won’t be the first or the last one to demand climate reparations, other developing countries from the Global South, including Bangladesh, Barbados, Venezuela, India, China, and Bolivia, together with many African countries, have also voiced this demand at various climate conferences, more specifically at COP26 in Glasgow. Debt cancellation is just one of many key points of climate reparation. We can’t look at the current neo-colonial imperialistic global power structure and climate reparations separately. It is precisely because of this system that counties like Pakistan are trapped in a vicious debt cycle and will continue to be so because climate crises will force us to borrow money from those who are responsible for the climate crisis and its dreadful impacts. The Global North must be made to acknowledge its role in the climate crisis we face today as they have built its empires at the expense of the suffering of the Global South. Colonising them and looting away their wealth and then lending them their own money so they could build what was left of their country is the perfect neo-colonial recipe to keep countries from growing and prospering. As Franz Fanon said: “Colonialism and imperialism have not settled their debt with us once they have withdrawn from our territory. The wealth of the imperialist countries is also our wealth. Europe is the creation of the third world.” Therefore, the Global North must not only cancel debts but also pay climate reparations to the Global South. This is the only way to ensure a just future, one in which climate disasters could be avoided, fairer economies could be built and inequalities addressed. Pakistan, being ground zero, must champion this cause and lead the Global South at the CoP27 in Egypt. The writer is a youth activist and has studied international relations. He tweets @mustafa_wynne.