Federal Minister for Climate Change Senator Mushahidullah Khan delivered country statement at high-level segment of Conference of Parties 23 being held in Bonn Germany. First he congratulated the Government and people of Fiji for assuming the presidency of this COP and conveyed his appreciation to the Government of Germany for their support in hosting this conference.
He then highlighted that the recent climate disasters across the globe, sadly, are a stark reminder of the impact of climate induced natural disasters on lives and livelihoods of people. The negative effects of climate change not only undermine socio-economic development, they also reverse the gains made over decades, pushing people back to poverty, hunger and disease. He further said although Pakistan’s contribution to global warming is minimal, yet we face huge impact of changes in global climate. He also emphasized that several scientific studies categorize Pakistan as extremely vulnerable. Recurrent floods, heat waves, cyclones, drought, desertification, glacial-melt and sea level rise are some of our biggest challenges. He also told the participants that the threats of climate related challenges have far-reaching impact on the government’s efforts to reduce poverty, enhance food security, improve health care, and improve access to energy. Nationally, we are already incurring 8% of our budgetary resources to address Climate Change, creating extreme pressures on our economy.
He also declared that given our Climate Change challenges, adaptation and climate resilient development remain our essential priorities. In this context, we have taken steps both at national and sub-national levels. He also highlighted that we have adopted a comprehensive approach on disaster risk reduction and management and structured policies and institutional arrangements for disasters, mitigation, rescue & relief, recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction. We are also working correspondingly hard in bringing about mitigation within the domains of energy, transport, town planning, agriculture etc. Energy sector remains a high priority and we are working on altering the energy mix; develop renewable energy sources and increase the share of nuclear and hydel power to reduce carbon emissions. It was also told by him in his address that in line with our commitment to support global efforts towards Climate Change, Pakistan ratified the Paris Climate Agreement last year and also submitted our instrument of acceptance for Doha Amendment to Kyoto Protocol. Given that we only have one year to finalize discussions on the implementation of Paris Agreement, we must move from discussions to work on the ground. We need an outcome that will foster greater progress and concrete actions towards enabling environment for implementing climate action in developing countries.
“The Talanoa Dialogue, with its spirit of inclusiveness and transparency, would be an ideal and additional platform to unlock further ambition in the Pre 2020 and Post 2020 process. Enhancing ambition, both for the mitigation and for availability of resources, remains critical”, he said He also said that enhanced action by developing countries requires enhanced and predictable means of implementation.
Securing such levels of He also focused on climate financing and said that Climate Finance in the developing world must continue to remain a key priority area. The trust and confidence of the process depends on this critical element. Continuous progress, delivering on commitments and a bolder approach to financial contributions are necessary. For instance in Pakistan, the mitigation has very high potential, but obviously with corresponding resources. Our calculations indicate that US$40 billion would be required to achieve 20 percent reduction in Green House Gases. Similarly, adaptations to climate change impacts require additional investments of up to US $14 billion annually. Again, transparency of support is a very critical aspect and we need to make sure that effective mechanisms are put in place to ensure this.
He also apprized the participant that loss and damage needs action including provision of required finances. A robust Warsaw International Mechanism, with tangible outputs, is therefore a must as we return to Poland next year.
He concluded by saying that climate does not know borders, political systems or cultural diversity – it is a common threat and a common challenge. We all must act and act collectively and urgently, work together and fulfill our commitments to each other as agreed in the process. Pakistan, on its part, is ready to make its contribution. The Conference of Parties 23 is attended by 117 ministers from different countries, 25 head of delegations and 196 countries.