World has no option to fail on unified global climate action, Malik Amin Aslam

Prime Minister’s Advisor on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam has urged the global leaders to commit and boost their efforts to save mother nature from staggering fallouts of the climate change. Otherwise, nature’s ability to sustain the life in any form will be at risk of sustaining the life in any form on the Earth, according a press statement released here on Wednesday by the climate change ministry’s spokesperson Mohammad Saleem.

“The world, as shaped by us, is now on a war path with nature and we, the political shapers of this situation, are collectively leading the charge brigade,” he said during his keynote address at the plenary session of the UN-led global climate conference known as 25th Session of Conference of Parties (COP25) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the spokesperson told media.

The two weeks-long COP25 is taking place (2 – 13 December 2019) in Madrid, Spain’s capital city under the Presidency of the Government of Chile. Nearly 50,000 delegations from over 196 countries are attending the event to hammer out an agreed rulebook regarding Paris Climate Agreement which was signed by the countries in France in 2015.

The spokesperson Mohammad Saleem While reading out the country statement, Malik Amin Aslam, who is leading Pakistan’s delegation to the annual UN Climate conference, said, the world leaders gathered here in Madrid must realise that this battle against nature is not a battle that can be won nor a battle that should be won.

Instead, “A unified climate action by the global community is needed to try and take nature on board, to allow it space to bounce back and to tread on a different path of ecologically balanced growth – before we hit the situation of climate irreversibility, he emphasised.

Highlighting the fallouts of the global warming-caused climate change, Malik Amin Aslam told the world leaders during his address that while nature may be resilient, it is no longer silent and an era of consequences is already upon us.

The virulent cyclones, rising heat waves, freak floods, melting glaciers and rising sea levels are all vivid and living indicators of not only our failing battle but also of nature’s forceful reply, he explained.

While regretting rich nation’s deliberate blind eye cast upon crystal-clear climate science that makes reality of climate change clearer, Malik Amin Aslam remarked that the politics of climate change, played out in these hallowed halls of the UN climate conference or so-called COP25, unfortunately remains out of sync with the scientific evidence and the physical reality of climate change.

“If this continues, all of us may be soon destined to the dustbins of history – a history of self-inflicted destruction,” he cautioned.

The Prime Minister’s advisor Malik Amin Aslam said further, “Our youth is out on the streets and sees the urgency and emergency, our scientists not only see it but have already predicted the abyss facing us and our economies are already draining under the burden of forced adaptation costs.”

“However, let us negotiate to act and not to further delay direly-needed the global climate action,” he urged the global political leaders gathered at the COP25 in Madrid.

Highlighting Pakistan’s enhanced climate vulnerability, Malik Amin Aslam highlighted that the country faces a climate challenge, which is not only unique but equally inescapable.

“However, we are always stand united with the global community to deal with the common exacerbating challenge of climate change that threatens our very survival, our food systems and water availability and anything else the nature sustains,”

Pakistan contribute less than 1% of the total planet-warming carbon emissions, yet every year the country keeps on climbing up the ladder of climate vulnerability, he maintained.

The annual Global Climate Risk Index, published on Wednesday (December 4) by environmental think-tank Germanwatch, has rated Pakistan at 5th position in terms of climate vulnerability and 3rd in terms of the combined economic costs borne over last 20 years (1999 and 2018) estimated at $3.2 billion due to climate change-caused disasters, particularly floods.

“Within this ranking, we also join a small and unique group of countries which is, consistently and simultaneously, appearing on not only the yearly but also the long term climate vulnerability index,” Malik Amin Aslam informed the global leaders during his speech.

He told them loud and clear, “This is not an enviable position to be in, and certainly not a position of our own making nor of our own choosing, as it places Pakistan squarely on the front lines of an unfolding disaster.”

The prime minister’s advisor maintained that Pakistan does not have an option to escape climate change and its impacts.

“The forced climate adaptation needs remain at between $7 to $14 billion per annum; thus, making climate compatible development an inevitable direction to take and building resilience of our vulnerable communities and our infrastructure, an option the undeniable,” he highlighted.

He told the plenary session’s participants that while facing this daunting challenge, Pakistan remains equally committed to raising its ambition for climate action and lead the response in shaping a new future, a future at balance and harmony with nature.

The advisor Malik Amin Aslam said that Pakistan has chosen to position itself to tread on a sustainable development pathway in conformity with the spirit of the Paris Climate Agreement that demands the urgency of global climate action.

For instance, led by our Prime Minister Imran Khan’s green vision and backed with concerted action, Pakistan has been making a shift towards a “clean and green” Pakistan, he maintained.

“We shifted away from having the highest deforestation rate in Asia, by successfully planting a billion trees in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province in four years and increasing the provincial forest cover by 6.3%. We have now raised the bar by initiating the 10 billion tree tsunami – across the whole country. This project is helping us to generate thousands of green jobs, revive the forest biodiversity, engage the indigenous communities and energize our youth to become custodians of a green future for our nation,” Malik Amin said while spelling out the present government’s green programmes for environmental sustainability.

Other green and clean Pakistan initiatives include launching of electric vehicle policy, “zero emissions” metro line in Karachi, Clean-Green Pakistan Cities Index, recharge Pakistan initiative that is focused on shifting our direction by effectively managing and prudently utilizing our water resources – turning catastrophic floods into an opportunity for recharging aquifers and naturally restoring ecosystems, Malik Amin Aslam added.

He also mentioned during his address to the high-level event, that Pakistan is now launching the “Eco-System Restoration Fund” as an independent, transparent and comprehensive financial mechanism which shall facilitate Pakistan’s transition towards climate compatible development through targeted initiatives on afforestation, biodiversity conservation and ecological restoration.

All using nature based solutions to address nature based challenges. This platform will allow partners to share with Pakistan the dream of a better, low carbon and ecologically balanced future, he added.

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