ISLAMABAD: Temperatures will rise by more than 1°C in Pakistan if there is a 1°C rise in temperatures in the rest of the world, if the effects of global warming are not mitigated, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam said on Thursday.
He explained that this meant that when temperatures rise by 1°C in the rest of the world, the resulting increase in temperatures in Pakistan will be more than 1°C.
“One degree may sound insignificant, but it will have dire consequences especially when Pakistan is already the seventh-most vulnerable country in the world to the impacts of the altering climate,” he said at a press conference.
Mr Aslam was sharing the findings of a new report that warned of rising temperatures in Pakistan in the next 30 to 40 years.
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The adviser began the presser by condemning Indian atrocities committed in India-held Kashmir and India’s recent abrogation of the autonomous status of Kashmir in violation of international commitments.
He went on to say: “Indian state terrorism is not limited in Kashmir, but extends to destroying the natural environment also, after Indian fighter aircraft bombed and destroyed forests inside Pakistan earlier on Friday.”
He said a United Nations mission has recommended amendments in the Geneva Convention to include environmental terrorism as a clause.
Mr Aslam said one of the ways to counter the effects of climate change is the government’s 10 billion tree plantation campaign.
He said the international community has already recognised the billion tree plantation campaign in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
“Forest cover in KP has increased by 6.6pc. The plantation campaign is being extend throughout the country. As many as 3.5bn trees will be planted in the first phase at a cost of $1bn,” he said.
Other measures to counter the impact of climate change include banning single-use plastic bags, he said, adding that 55bn single-use plastic bags are produced in a year and are a major environmental hazard.
“The production of alternative bags has already picked up and the plastic bag manufacturers have reported a decline in the demand for plastic bags,” Mr Aslam said.
He also announced that a policy on electric cars is ready and will be presented in cabinet after Eidul Azha, which will give the transport sector a new direction.
“We have managed to acquire a grant of $150 million for five projects to improve the status of the environment. The German government has also approved a €12m project for the tree plantation campaign. Another €8m grant has also been approved to promote eco-tourism in Pakistan,” he added.
Published in Dawn, August 9th, 2019