NEW YORK: Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif met with the US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry on the sidelines of the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), the prime minister's office said on Wednesday.
"The devastating floods have made Pakistan ground zero of climate change," PM Shahbaz said while appreciating former senator Kerry’s personal leadership in raising awareness and seeking solutions to the climate change crisis.
Taking to Twitter, the PM Office shared about the meeting between prime minister Shahbaz and special envoy Kerry.
The premier also acknowledged the important role being played by the Biden administration to address climate change.
He conveyed gratitude for receiving immediate US assistance in the wake of the devastating floods in Pakistan.
"He emphasized the need for continued support from the international community, not only in the immediate recovery and relief efforts, but also during the subsequent reconstruction and rehabilitation phase," PM Office stated.
Former senator Kerry, too, took to Twitter to share about his meeting with PM Shahbaz.
"@CMShehbaz and I discussed Pakistan’s devastating floods, the $55 million in US humanitarian assistance thus far, and the urgent need to work together to fight the climate crisis and prevent future tragedies," he tweeted, further consoling with the flood-hit population.
The statement further shared that the PM reminded the special envoy about the devastations Pakistan has endured, despite not being a major contributor.
"Pakistan contributed less than 1% of the global greenhouse gas emissions; yet it was among the ten most vulnerable countries to climate change. With over 1400 casualties; 33 million people displaced as climate refugees, out of which over six hundred thousand were pregnant women; four million acres of crops destroyed; entire villages and livelihoods swept away; Pakistan was facing an unprecedented natural disaster," the statement read.
The premier underscored the importance of US leadership in enabling developing countries including Pakistan to deliver on their climate action commitments under the Paris Agreement by providing sufficient tools in the shape of climate finance, technology transfer and capacity building assistance.
"Special Envoy Kerry expressed solidarity with the people and Government of Pakistan and reaffirmed the U.S. Administration’s continued support in facing the challenges due to the floods. He said that the U.S. was ready to engage with Pakistan to collaborate in rebuilding resilient infrastructure as well as other forms of support that would avert such a crisis in future," the PM Office shared in its statement.
Toward the end of the meeting, both Pakistan and US agreed to continue focus on climate change and energy dialogue closely.
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