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COP-24 a daunting challenge, Pakistan’s work plan in order: Adviser on Climate Change

ISLAMABAD – Prime Minister’s adviser on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam Khan has said the Katowice Climate Conference is going to be a daunting challenge whereas Pakistan has its work-plan to apprise the world about its efforts in mitigating climate change effects.

Speaking at a seminar on ‘Road to Katowice: Setting Pakistan’s Agenda for Climate Negotiations COP-24’ by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) in the federal capital on Thursday, Khan said that Pakistan is spending 8 percent of its GDP on climate change reduction projects.

He said the successful million tree tsunami, now turned into Billion Tree Tsunami across the country, and indigenous renewable energy projects have been appreciated by international donors who remarked those efforts as, “Pakistan is spending its own resources to cope with the climate change impacts.”

The adviser said in the prevailing international scenario where developed countries are retreating from their pledges made under Paris Agreement on Climate Change, the climate politics is lagging behind climate science and is reversing its position at their part. The US position on Paris accord and Brazilian election’s outcome is evident to the fact, he added.

“World Wildlife Fund’s Living Planet Report claims that Pakistan has lost its 60 percent wildlife species due to climate change impacts and it is high time to have a unanimous strategy at the global level in this respect because we are at the moment where if steps avoided implementing Paris Agreement now then it is not going to happen by 2020,” he further said.

He went on to say that Climate Change is a phenomenon that Pakistanis are living with and there are a lot of things to share with the world on the country’s efforts in Climate Change reduction and its impact on the country. “We have the right projects for Climate Change mitigation with project cycle (PC-1) approved and all provinces on board and it will be easy to get funds from donors for the purpose,” he added.

The Common but differentiated responsibilities (CBDR) principle was broken in the Paris Agreement through Nationally determined contributions (NDCs) and Pakistan will address the issue on the forum of COP-24, he said.

Polish ambassador Piotr Opalinski, on the occasion, said the Polish Presidency has basic priorities to be addressed under COP-24 including efficient implementing of the dialogue, high-level dialogue of ministries for climate change finance along with an implementation of the Paris Agreement.

Executive Director, SDPI Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri said Pakistan is not among the biggest polluters and contributors of Climate Change but it is directly facing the global environmental impact. “Even a half degree increase in global warming would have serious impacts on the countries like Pakistan. It might cause sea level rise, unpredicted monsoon rainfall, food insecurity, and many other disasters,” he remarked.

Amin Khan said the COP-24 has important agendas to be implemented including climate change finances. “We are still far from the desired position where we have to emphasize more transparency of finances, technology transfer to implementing countries and mitigation measures adaptation”, he added.

Climate Finance Expert Kashmala Kakakhel said there is a lot of need to push developed countries for a clear vision as under Paris Agreement, there is no clarity and commitment after 2025 for financing climate change projects in the implementing countries. Pakistan has got two projects each for climate change adaptation and mitigation whereas the Green Climate Fund (GCF) is accessible through international forums as its National Rural Support Programme (NRSP) has got international accreditation, she added.

“Pakistan needs to focus on right projects and policy frameworks to demand its share for finance of climate change projects,” she maintained.

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