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December 19, 2019

‘Pakistan has 5-point agenda to fight climate change: Malik Amin Aslam

Islamabad

December 19, 2019

Islamabad :Adviser to Prime Minister on Climate Change, Malik Amin Aslam has said that Pakistan had no option but to fight climate change through effective mitigation and adaptation measures to save its future generations from the dire consequences.

Mr Amin was addressing media debriefing on ‘Twenty-fifth United Nation’s Conference of the Parties (COP-25) on Climate Change,’ organised here by Sustainable Development Policy Institute.

Mr Amin said that with a forward-looking focused vision on climate change mitigation and adaptation, Pakistan successfully launched its Ecosystem Restoration Fund (ESRF) at the side event of COP-25 along with development partners. He said that Pakistan has clear 5-point agenda for climate change mitigation including planting 10 billion trees, transforming transport into electric vehicle, 30% clean energy transformation target by 2030, materialising nature-based solutions, making Pakistan plastic-bag free country and recharge Pakistan programme to tackle floods.

He said that the launch of ESRF coupled with re-election as vice-president for the next COP-26 along with six key committees including adaptation and Paris compliance committee are key outcomes for Pakistan at the COP-25 which provided the country a great opportunity to take maximum benefits in the next COP. He said that the momentum of COP-25 from the very beginning was negative due to riots in Chile (owning to which COP shifted to Sweden), Right-wing government in Brazil (which converted Amazon forest land into agriculture land) and backing out of developed countries from climate negotiations. He said that despite the negative momentum of COP-25, Pakistan’s efforts and contribution to combat climate change ESRF got global recognition and appreciation at the conference.

Mr Amin observed that it was the first time when youth emerged as leaders in the COP- 25 where young leaders not only participated in the conference but were also provided opportunities to present their thoughts and vision at the key plenaries. He said that youth leadership has become the key stakeholders of climate negotiations.

Amin said that COP-25 could not conclude on any agreement or achievement at the global level mainly due to the disagreement on the carbon trading market between developed and developing countries. Despite little progress on the climate negotiations, Pakistan on the other hand very proactively participated in the side events where news regional alliances were approached such as Blue Carbon Mangrove Alliance of 21 countries which Pakistan likely to join. He said that mangrove forests are of great importance due to high carbon sequestration capacity and Pakistan is the only country in the world where this mangrove forest cover is growing. He claimed that Pakistan under ten billion tree tsunami project will plant one billion mangrove trees in its coastal areas.

He said that heatwave is going to be a big challenge for Pakistan in future, where livelihood in many hotspot areas is going to be very difficult and we have to prepare ourselves.

Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri, Executive Director, SDPI, said that the mega talks on the climate change remained inconclusive due to lack of resolve of the international community. However, Pakistan proves yet again its resolve to remain committed to climate agenda. He hoped Pakistan would have more initiatives to present in the next COP and get as much benefits for Pakistan.