There is a race against time now for adapting to the climate crisis, and those with better resources will adapt faster, whereas for others, it will be delayed. In every country the vulnerable will be the first to go down, and we are here to serve the reminder that delaying climate justice for the vulnerable is subjecting them to a death sentence, stated Senator Sherry Rehman, Federal Minister for Climate Change, at the Pakistan Pavilion at COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh. The senator was speaking at a panel discussion titled ‘The Lost & the Damaged: Pakistan’s Climate Catastrophe’, and was joined by Vicente Paolo, Thematic Coordinator Loss and Damage G77, Liane Schalatek, Associate Director, Heinrich Bol Stiftung, Amb. Shafqat Kakakhel, Chairperson Sustainable Development Policy Institute, and Paul V Desanker, Manager Adaptation Program, UNFCCC. The panel was moderated by environmental lawyer and activist Ahmad Rafay Alam, a news release said. Senator Sherry Rehman stated that her agenda at COP27 was to ensure that loss and damage moves beyond a ‘bumper sticker’ catchphrase for the Global South, and some bargain is broken with parties from the Global North. In response to a question on expectations from the loss and damage negotiations, Sherry Rehman stated that these were political decisions waiting to be taken by the negotiating parties, and not based on financial or economic convenience. “This is the time now to ask for clarity and timelines. We can’t be making the entire COP27 pivot on an adversarial ask, which is why we haven’t gone into the business of reparations. We are seeking to build consensus because the whole system hinges on it as every country has a veto. Without prejudice to longer goals, our ask is there should be enough appetite to hear us from the Global South, who are literally on the edge of a perilous new frontline to climate risk. It is time for us also to get our act together where we don’t have to wait for somebody else to define it for us,” she said. Shafqat Kakahel highlighted obstacles in the path to loss and damage that needed to be addressed. “The first obstacle will be how we define loss and damage; some of the losses are irretrievable and irreplaceable such as loss of lives, land and livelihoods, whereas damage is what can be brought back. There has never been a comprehensive definition that will encompass all areas, because only after such a definition, can we see how the international community deals with Loss & Damage,” he explained.