Joint efforts with India proposed to counter climate change

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Adviser to Prime Minister on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam speaks at a debriefing on ‘COP24: Poland and way forward for Pakistan’. — APP
Adviser to Prime Minister on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam speaks at a debriefing on ‘COP24: Poland and way forward for Pakistan’. — APP

ISLAMABAD: Adviser to Prime Minister on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam Khan on Friday said climate change was a reality and it was essential to initiate joint efforts with India to counter it.

“We should have dialogue with India on the issue of melting glaciers, air pollution and smog as climate change knows no boundaries,” the adviser said at a debriefing on ‘COP24: Poland and way forward for Pakistan’.

The global community met in Katowice, Poland, earlier this month to discuss progress towards a climate resilient future.

We should have dialogue with India on melting glaciers, air pollution and smog, PM’s adviser says

The adviser spoke on Pakistan’s contributions to global climate negotiations. He said despite being the least polluter to world environment, Pakistan was highly vulnerable to climate change due to its geographical location.

Ranked 8th among the top 10 vulnerable countries, second in terms of economic loss due to the impacts of climate change, Pakistan lost around $4 billion due to climate change during the last 20 years, he said.

Since Himalaya and other mountain ranges in the north of the country are vulnerable to the impact of climate change, all countries of the region need to contribute for research work in this regard.

“Climate change is a stark reality for us and we cannot ignore it but have to adapt and prepare ourselves to fight it,” he said.

This year, owing to proactive participation and contributions in climate talks, Pakistan has been elected as the vice president of Conference of the Parties (COP), United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The adviser said this year Pakistan took the smallest-ever delegation of eight members to COP24, four each from the Foreign Office and the Ministry of Climate Change.

“With the small delegation we have contributed a lot in the meeting,” he said, adding the Pakistani delegation participated in eight events and chaired three of them.

“It was realised by the world that Pakistan was a capable nation and understood the issue of climate change.”

He said Pakistan also secured a seat in the Executive Board of Clean Development Mechanism, which was an important institute of climate finance where Pakistan can have opportunities to secure fund for climate related projects.

The briefing was held in collaboration with the Ministry of Climate Change, Climate Action Network South Asia Pakistan and Zalmi Foundation.

Executive Director SDPI Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri said Pakistan was already witnessing a change in the weather pattern such as erratic rainfalls, droughts, heat and cold waves and the issue of smog but these were the challenges that the whole world was confronting and not an issue of a single country.

Published in Dawn, December 22nd, 2018