Minister Zahid Hamid addresses United Nations climate conference in Paris

Paris, December 08, 2015 (PPI-OT): Climate Change Minister Mr. Zahid Hamid, urged the global fraternity to join hands together to fight climate change by ‘substantially’ reducing burning of fossil fuel and adopting pathways to green economies to secure humanity from the consequences of rampant emissions of climate-altering greenhouse gases.

“No country is capable enough to deal with global warming effects single-handedly. The global warming, which has terribly disturbed the traditional climate patterns and made the weather patterns unreliable and unpredictable, has emerged as the biggest common challenge for the humanity. However, it is in our common interest to jointly address this global menace,” the climate change minister emphasized.

He was addressing a joint high-level plenary meeting of called ‘8th meeting, Conference of the Parties (COP) serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP) in Paris, France, on Tuesday. The minister Zahid Hamid was among the ministers from 195 countries, who addressed the high-level event of the UN conference on climate change and conveyed their national viewpoints and expectations from the new climate agreement to be reached among the rich and poor countries on coming December 11.

The two-week long decisive conference, which began on Nov 30, aims to seal a global climate-saving blueprint implementable after year 2020. He said, climate change was indeed the defining issue of the present time. Left unaddressed, it could seriously undermine the development gains achieved over the past decades, pushing people back to poverty and misery. It could doom our ability and efforts to achieve United Nations’ sustainable development goals (SDGs) recently agreed in New York.

He said, “Scientists have already warned our planet will become increasingly inhospitable for mankind as it warms, with rising sea levels that will consume islands and populated coastal areas, as well as catastrophic storms and severe droughts.”

However, cutting emissions in fact would requires a shift away from burning fossil fuels for energy, as well as from the destruction of carbon-storing rainforests, the minister highlighted. He told the high-level event that all of us know that the Leaders’ Summit at the start of this Conference, commonly known as COP21, on November 30 had already injected clear political will and direction to this process.”

While referring to the Prime Minister Mohammad Nawaz Sharif’s address to the Leaders’ Summit, he recounted, “In his Statement on that occasion, the Pakistani Prime Minister Mohammed Nawaz Sharif clearly outlined his vision and priorities and reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to the development of a responsive global climate governance framework.”

The minister also apprised the world ministers of Pakistan’s rising climate vulnerability and its effects on socio-economic sectors. “Pakistan’s per capita emission of green house gases is one of the lowest in the world. Yet it is placed in the extremely vulnerable category by a host of climate change indices.

Furthermore, the country has witnessed the vagaries of climate change with growing regularity and destructive ferocity. Droughts, desertification, glacial melt, sea-level rise and recurrent floods are all manifestations of climate-induced phenomena,” he told the participating ministers.

The minister added that besides the tragic human and material costs, these threats have also impeded our ability to sustainable growth and development goals and to ensure economic prosperity for our people. Nevertheless, the present Pakistani government was fully committed to cope with the negative fallouts of climate change on the country’s economy and join global efforts to fight this common threat to the very survival of the humanity, he said.

Counting present government’s concerted efforts aimed at mitigating climate change impacts in the country, the minister Zahid Hamid told the event, “The ‘Vision 2025’, our blueprint for a future-oriented and growth-centric roadmap for Pakistan, clearly recognises global warming and climate change as priority areas for effective action by the government. Besides, the National Climate Change Policy and its Framework for Implementation for the period 2014-2030 serve to integrate climate-friendly policies in our national economic and development planning.”

The minister said that the present government has also expedited efforts to tap renewable energy sources for meeting burgeoning energy demand while reducing energy sector’s carbon footprints. “In the energy sector, for example, the present government is working to optimize the energy mix by increasing the share of renewable and clean energy sources including hydroelectric power, solar and wind that aims to reduce country’s carbon footprints as a part of global efforts to deal with climate change,” Zahid Hamid elaborated.

He further said, over 2,000 MW of wind electricity would be added to national grind next year. The Asia region’s biggest 10,000-acre Solar Park had already started functioning. “To alleviate transport sector’s carbon emissions, efforts have been taken for operationalizing mass transit systems in Islamabad and Lahore,” he said.

Highlighting major roadblock to Pakistan’s efforts for to deal with climate change impacts on its own, the minister said that availability of adequate finance was at the core of the battle to confront the adverse impacts of climate change. “Pakistan needs upto US$ 14 billion annually to adapt to climate change impacts in energy, agriculture, water, health, education and public infrastructure, etc,” he told the global conference.

The minister Zahid Hamid added that a clear road map for delivering on the financial commitments of US $ 100 billion by 2020 under United Nations’ Green Climate Fund was therefore extremely important for a robust and effective Paris Agreement and enable poor countries like Pakistan to meet their inevitable climate change adaptation costs.

He also appreciated the remarkable role of the delegations from 195 countries for making robust progress made last week in reaching an agreement. He urged the conference participants to strive hard to make final agreement ambitious, balanced, just and holistic, covering both adaptation and mitigation aspects in a balanced manner. It should also provide for transfer of affordable technology to developing countries, along with capacity building, and incorporate an effective “loss and damage” mechanism, Zahid Hamid added.

For more information, contact:
Muhammad Saleem
Deputy Director
Media and Communication
Ministry of Climate Change
Government of Pakistan
LG and RD Complex, G-5/2, ISLAMABAD
Ph: 051-9245565
E-mail: moccpakistan@hotmail.com
Web: http://www.mocc.gov.pk/