BRUSSELS: US President Joe Biden (on screen) speaks as European Council’s President Charles Michel attends the summit on climate change via a video conference app on Thursday.—AFP
BRUSSELS: US President Joe Biden (on screen) speaks as European Council’s President Charles Michel attends the summit on climate change via a video conference app on Thursday.—AFP

WASHINGTON: Pakistan assured the international community on Thursday that it would shift to 60 per cent clean energy and 30pc electric vehicle use by 2030.

Addressing the US-initiated Leaders Summit in Washington, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam also urged developed nations to fulfil their commitment to help others make this transition from carbon-based to clean energy.

“We have committed ourselves to 60pc clean energy and 30pc electric vehicle transition by 2030. So, Pakistan is clearly doing more than its share for the climate change issue,” he said.

“Now, the world needs to do more on climate finance. It needs to deliver climate finance for countries in energy transition, for countries who need to adapt, like Pakistan,” Mr Aslam added. “It needs to honour the commitment of $100 billion a year” to this cause, as promised.

PM’s aide asks international community to honour commitment of $100bn assistance

Leaders from 40 countries are attending this two-day virtual summit, which started on Earth Day with big pledges from the world’s major carbon emitters, China, the US, India and Russia.

US President Biden, who is hosting this two-day virtual summit, made the biggest pledge — promising to cut his country’s carbon emissions by 50 to 52pc from 2005 levels.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga raised Japan’s target for cutting emissions to 46pc by 2030, up from 26pc.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledged to reduce his country’s emissions by 40 to 45pc by 2030 below 2005 levels, up from 30pc.

Chinese President Xi Jinping said China expects its carbon emissions to peak before 2030 and the country will achieve net zero emissions by 2060.

Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed giving preferential treatment for foreign investment in clean energy projects, but also blamed the US for the climate crisis. “It is no secret that the conditions that facilitated global warming and associated problems go way back,” he said.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he and President Biden were launching the India-US Climate and Clean Energy Agenda 2030 partnership to “help mobilise investments, demonstrate clean technologies, and enable green collaborations”.

Later, US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack invited Pakistan’s representative, Mr Aslam, to share with the world what a water-stressed country like Pakistan was doing to manage its water resources.

Mr Aslam pointed out that Pakistan contributes less than 1pc to global emissions, yet it’s one of top 10 on the list of most vulnerable countries because of its topography and geography.

“We face the Himalayan glaciers which are melting in the north, the arid zones which are getting heat waves like never before, cyclones in the south and rising sea levels and floods in the plains,” he said.

The Pakistani representative informed the world that in recent years the frequency and intensity of these disasters had gone up, affecting 220 million people. “So, Pakistan is really at the forefront of this climate disaster,” he said.

Pakistan, he said, was a strong and resilient nation and was doing its best to cope with this disaster. “We are planting 10bn trees and restoring nearly 1m hectares of forests, including the mangroves in the south,” he said. “Pakistan is the only country in the world with an increasing mangrove cover.”

Published in Dawn, April 23rd, 2021

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