Adviser to Prime Minister on Climate Change, Malik Amin Aslam on Tuesday 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, materializing nature-based solutions, making Pakistan plastic-bag free country and recharge Pakistan programme to tackle floods.
He said this during a “Media Debriefing on Twenty-fifth United Nation’s Conference of the Parties (COP 25) on Climate Change”, organised by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) here at Islamabad.
Amin said that the launch of ESRF coupled with re-election as vice president for the next COP26 along with six key committees including adaptation and Paris compliance committee are key outcomes for Pakistan at the COP25 which provided the country a great opportunity to take maximum benefits in the next COP. He said Pakistan has no option but to fight climate change through effective mitigation and adaptation measures to save its future generations from the dire consequences.
Amin said that the momentum of COP25 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. “Despite the negative momentum of COP25, Pakistan’s efforts and contribution to combat climate change such as billion tree tsunami, growing Mangroves forest cover, Clean & Green Pakistan programme, Pakistan’s recharge programme and ESRF got global recognition and appreciation at the conference”, he added.
Amin said that it was the first time when youth emerged as leaders in the COP25 where young leaders not only participated in the conference but also provided the 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 COP25 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 mangrove forests are of great importance due to high carbon sequestration capacity and Pakistan is the only country n the world where this mangrove forest cover is growing. Pakistan under ten billion tree tsunami project will plant one billion mangrove trees in its costal areas, he added.
While clarifying on recent German Watch Ranking where Pakistan ranked 5th most vulnerable country to the impacts of climate change, Amin said that the ranking was based on the average of the last 20 years of climate impacts, where many countries were automatically excluded from the ranking and it does not mean that the government did nothing to combat climate change. Heatwaves is going to the 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, he added.
Executive Director, SDPI, Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri that while applauded the efforts and proactive participation of Malik Amin Aslam 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 remained committed to climate agenda. He said we hoped that with the resolve of the current government on climate change agenda, Pakistan would have more initiative to present in the next COP and get as much benefits for Pakistan and for the world in the leadership role of Vice President of COP next year.
Chairperson Board of Governors (BoGs), SDPI, Ambassador (Retd.) Shafqat KakaKhel said that the COP provides an immense opportunity for the government and institutions to meet and have a partnership with the global leadership and international institutions under one roof which perhaps would not possible for years. He said that the incumbent government’s current announcement of a renewable policy to set the target of renewable energy share of 60 percent by 2030 was a big step forward towards mitigation of climate change.