New York, 23 April, 2016
At the United Nations Pakistan joined the international community in global efforts against climate change by signing the Paris Agreement with 175 other countries at UN Headquarters in New York.
Speaking on the occasion, as representative of Pakistan, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Minister for Interior and Narcotics Control called the Paris Agreement a landmark in the history of our planet’.
Urging the world body to implement the Agreement ‘fully and faithfully’, the Minister said, “We have now an action plan to deal with the greatest development emergency of our times”.
He said that Pakistan joined the consensus in Paris in line with the commitment to the principles and objectives of the Climate Convention.
Assuring the world body of Pakistan’s commitment to implement national climate plans, Chaudhry Nisar cautioned that fulfillment of financial obligations, particularly meeting the US$ 100 billion target by developed countries was extremely important. “The availability of adequate resources remains critical for climate actions in developing countries”, he added.
Arguing that the challenges and needs of developing countries were enormous, Chaudhry Nisar said that the bulk of the estimated trillions of dollars that are needed globally to effectively respond to climate change impacts has to be spent in developing countries.
He said that while Pakistan's contribution to global warming was very modest, yet the country is profoundly vulnerable to its adverse impact. “Overall the temperature in my country has already risen. Pakistan’s 5000 glaciers are in retreat. They are receding faster than in any other part of the world”, he added.
In addition, he said that Pakistan was already a water stressed country and the frequency of large floods has also increased in recent years causing huge losses to the lives and livelihoods of people.
He said that Pakistan’s national priority remains economic growth, while ensuring that we deviate from the business as usual trajectory of increase in emissions.
Pakistan’s ratification process, the Minister said, will hinge on the updated Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC), a process that has commenced. “We will be presenting an ambitious INDC that would both promote the imperative of development and address environmental concerns”, he added.
The Minister told the august gathering that Pakistan has adopted an ambitious course to implement its national climate plans including a comprehensive long-term sustainable development policy framework - Vision 2025 – which fully takes into account our Climate Change Policy and associated objectives.
He said that a Climate Change Council and a Climate Change Authority was being established as part of strengthening of institutional structures at all levels to accelerate climate action.
“Over 5 % of the annual budget is already being allocated to climate change related activities”.
The Minister expressed confidence that a comprehensive approach will help meet climate objectives and build required institutional resilience. “It will also enable us to contribute to the global mitigation efforts against climate change aimed at keeping the temperature rise below 2-degree Celsius”, he stressed.
The Minister concluded by saying that the international community must live up to the commitments to realize the Paris Agreement. “This will test all of us but we owe this to our common humanity and future generations”.