PM Imran Khan urges Developed Countries to fulfil financial commitments regarding climate change

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has urged developed states to seek a holistic approach to tackling climate change, one that also included financial commitments.

Expressing his views in an article titled “COP26 will end in failure without a finance deal,” for The Times – a London based publication, PM Imran Khan highlighted how the recent bouts of heavy rains in the country, especially last year’s Karachi rains are owed to rising temperatures all over the world.

The rains wreaked havoc in the country, bursting river banks and unleashing urban flash floods, he said.

He noted that the monsoon season not only brings hope of irrigating farmlands and reducing the intense summer heat, but also brings with it a fear of destruction for the people of Pakistan.

 

Citing ‘The Global Climate Risk index,’ the prime minister added that the country ranked eighth on the list of countries most vulnerable to climate impacts.

The Prime Minister wrote in his article, “Over the past decades, the frequency and intensity of climate disasters has been constantly rising. Since 2000, Pakistan has lost 9,989 lives, suffered economic losses worth $3.8 billion and witnessed 152 extreme weather events – all triggered by climate change.

He further said that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government has “set in motion plans to shift, by 2030, 60% of our energy mix towards clean carbon free energy and 30% of our transport towards green electric mobility. This clean energy shift is complemented by our ambitious vision for planting 10 billion trees, with $650 million being rolled out to plant the first 3.3 billion by 2023 and, thereby, aiming to restore over 1 million hectares of carbon absorbing forests.”

The premier noted that while Pakistan is not a contributor to global climate change, his government is committed to be a part of the global solution and willing to push the country’s economy onto a greener, cleaner and low-carbon future.

Furthermore, PM Imran Khan added that his government has put its trust and confidence in “nature based solutions” to curb the growing climate unpredictability which has already resulted in the creation of thousands of jobs in Pakistan.

Imran Khan maintained that adapting to climate change remains a challenge with Pakistan already spending around 6% of the annual federal budget to curb it.

Moreover, he said the challenging climate predicament and the hardships currently being faced by all developing countries’ economies due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic need to be addressed through understanding, collaboration and cooperation.

“Pakistan’s commitment and all these efforts to address global climate now need to be augmented with supportive climate finance and green investments,” he added.

The Glasgow COP26 Summit, he stated, is critical as it provided a rare opportunity to accomplish this challenging task.

“We expect this to be a moment for the world’s major economies to come forward and galvanize supportive finance for responsible countries, like Pakistan, that are doing their best to reduce emissions while braving out the impacts on the frontlines of climate change,” the prime minister observed.

“Unless there is a debt relief programme for the global South and enhanced global climate finance leveraging clean investments in these regions, the default fossil fuel powered pathways will remain unchanged and the invaluable opportunity of a clean energy transition will wither away,” he added.

The premier’s article also accentuated his desire to travel to COP26 in Glasgow to showcase Pakistan’s positive climate actions.

However, he warned that without a “strong climate finance deal” on the table, there may not be any agreement at the summit.

He asserted that the climate change is already upon us and the world is living through the era of forced adaptation.

“Pakistan will fight for a deal that delivers a climate secure future for its citizens and the world: they deserve no less and they will settle for nothing less,” the premier concluded.