The magnitude of the climate catastrophe looming ahead can no longer be ignored or set aside because countries like Pakistan are a window into the present human suffering and extensive damage to livelihoods caused by the consequences of global warming. The recent floods in Pakistan have pushed one third of the country under water, putting millions of lives in limbo. Climate change has triggered droughts, forest fires, floods and heatwaves, which have adversely affected the countries that contribute the least to the world’s carbon emissions. More than any other region in the globe, the small island nations of the Pacific are particularly susceptible to the severe effects of climate change. Year in, year out they are confronted with the rising sea levels that make their land uninhabitable, wiping out economic, political and cultural significance. At the 77th UN General Assembly last week, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged member states to tax fossil fuel firms' unforeseen gains and divert the money to nations experiencing loss and damage due to climate crises. Denmark has been the first UN member state to pledge money to the developing nations affected by climate change ahead of the 2022 UN Climate Change Conference (COP27). For her part, Rwanda has and continues to show the way. More than 30 per cent of the country’s territory is covered by forests, the mountain gorilla population has grown by 26 per cent over the last six years, Nyandungu Eco-Park just opened and more urban parks are in the books, and Akagera National Park is now a ‘Big Five’ destination following the recent re-introduction of lions and rhinos. If Rwanda can do it, with her limited resources, others can, too. From the current global food crisis, to the Russia–Ukraine war, the devastating climate change disasters, and an inflation that is 40-year high, nations need to act and to act now, otherwise the world is on the brink of a permanent state of emergency. The challenges are great, but they are not insurmountable. Solutions can be found and lives can be saved, but only if countries – especially the richest economies – act with a sense of urgency.