PM arrives in Paris to attend UN Climate Change Conference

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PARIS, Nov 29 (APP): Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif
Sunday arrived here on a two-day visit to France to represent
Pakistan at the 21st UN Climate Change Conference (COP21) being
held in the French capital from November 30 to December 11.
The Prime Minister is accompanied by First Lady Kalsoom Nawaz
Sharif and his Special Assistant on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi.
He was received at the Orly Airport by senior French
officials, Minister for Climate Change Zahid Hamid, Pakistan’s
Ambassador to France Ghalib Iqbal and other senior officials of the
embassy.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will deliver his speech on
November 30, opening day of the two-week event, which is scheduled
to be attended and addressed by 147 world leaders, including United
States President Barack Obama, Russian President Vladimir Putin,
Chinese President Xi Jinping and British Prime Minister David Cameron.
The Prime Minister, who in his address is expected to
highlight Pakistan’s efforts in tackling the climate change
challenges, will also join the world leaders at a lunch to be hosted
by French President Francois Hollande in the honour of the heads of
state and government.
Despite November 13 terrorist attacks in Paris, the organizers
were committed to go ahead with the event as planned.
The main events of the COP21 are taking place at Le Bourget,
outside the city center, where French authorities have taken
stringent security measures to keep the site safe.
Besides addressing the Climate Change Conference, the Prime
Minister is also expected to hold some bilateral meetings on its
sidelines.
Minister for Climate Change Zahid Hamid told APP that the
Paris Conference was important for Pakistan as being included among
the countries having minimal level of emissions it expected the
developed world to reach an agreement on this issue of global
importance.
He said that Pakistan also expected the world to provide
required resources and technology to tackle the challenges of climate
change in the wake of its enhanced focus on development in the areas
of energy and water shortages and the ongoing work on China-Pakistan
Economic Corridor (CPEC).
Earlier, Pakistan’s Ambassador to France Ghalib Iqbal told APP
that besides addressing the Paris Conference, the Prime Minister would
also have an informal meeting with French President Francois Hollande
and express Pakistan’s solidarity with the government and people of
France over the November 13 terror attacks.
He also highlighted the challenges of melting glaciers,
floods, earthquakes and other natural disasters faced by Pakistan
due to climate changes and said the conference would take up such
issues.
The Ambassador said according to some international reports,
Pakistan could touch dangerous level in terms of water scarcity by
2050.