PM seeks ‘climate justice’ from international community

Published December 2, 2022
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif meets Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Nong Rong to condole the death of former Chinese president 
Jiang Zemin.—APP
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif meets Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Nong Rong to condole the death of former Chinese president Jiang Zemin.—APP

ISLAMABAD: Calling Pakis­tan one of the worst victims of global warming due to emission of greenhouse gases by developed states, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif urged the international community on Thursday to fulfil its commitment and do climate justice to a country which recently faced colossal floods that caused a damage of over $30 billion to its economy.

“We need [climate] justice and not charity,” Mr Sharif said while addressing a ceremony, “COP27 and Beyond: Pakistan’s Resilience Challenges”, at the Prime Minister’s Office.

The event was attended by diplomats, cabinet members, bureaucrats and journalists.

“Our friends in the global north, they should, and they have, realised the importance of this challenge. That is why a remarkable agreement was reached at Sharm El Sheikh (climate summit). ‘Loss and Damage’ is now a reality.

“But then it’s not about these agreements and understanding. It’s about implementation,” the PM said while praising the ministers, officials and experts whose efforts led to an agreement on Loss and Damage Fund at the Sharm El Sheikh summit.

“Loss and Damage was like a sleeping beauty for the last decade and for the first time, it was articulated by our team, led by the ministers for foreign affairs and climate change,” he added.

“Unprecedented floods in Pakistan affected 33 million, left 800 dead, and inflicted around $30 billion loss to the country’s agriculture, industry, infrastructure, and livestock,” he said.

Pakistan sought justice as it was a victim of climate change even though its contribution to carbon emission was lower than one percent, the prime minister added.

No silver bullet, says Sherry

Sherry Rehman, the Minister for Climate Change, said climate financing could bridge the gap between survival and extinction for many.

“It is no silver bullet, but it is the difference between subsistence and sustainability. The dilemma is clear. Every single rupee for rebuilding with resilience, even funds that come via the Climate Ministry, are repurposed to service humanitarian needs from climate shock that we sustained.

“An amount of $30 billion is needed to start recovery from floods while altogether, $348 billion is needed according to the World Bank’s new Country and Climate Development Report for Pakistan,” the minister said.

“Pakistan will continue fighting to keep the 1.5C benchmark alive as we commit to our mitigation targets, and also seek to build a national adaptation plan as a core commitment to local climate resilience.

“The only real lag will be climate resilience financing. For that we will continue our work. Winter is already here. Do not leave us alone to suffer growing climate storms.”

Meeting with Khar

Hina Rabbani Khar, the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, met Shehbaz Sharif and apprised him about her recent visit to Afghanistan.

Ms Khar, who paid a day-long official visit to Kabul on Tuesday, informed the prime minister about the outcome of her meetings with the interim Afghan leadership.

The premier said Pakistan desired a peaceful Afghanistan and vowed to extend every possible support to the Afghan brethren.

He called upon the international community to play its role in improving the situation in Afghanistan as the warn-torn country faced the challenges of economy and security.

The prime minister later visited the Chinese embassy to offer his condolences over the death of former president Jiang Zemin.

In a conversation with Chinese Ambassador Nong Rong, the prime minister expressed sorrow over Jiang Zemin’s death and said he would always be remembered as a great leader who played a key role in strengthening relations between Pakistan and China.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif urged the ministry of health to focus on raising awareness about AIDS through testing, prevention, and treatment to fight the scourge.

“On World Aids Day today, let us all vow to end the stigma attached to HIV,” the PM said in a tweet.

Jamal Shahid also contributed to this report

Published in Dawn, December 2nd, 2022

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