ISLAMABAD, Apr 24 (APP): Pakistan, as a responsible member of the world community, has been at the forefront of the global efforts to arrest the worsening climate change with the successful launch of world’s acknowledged initiatives.
Thanks to the efforts of the current government, that the United Nations and World Economic Forum had advised others climate hit countries to emulate these initiatives including 10 Billion Tsunami Trees and Clean, Green Pakistan.
During the Global Leaders Climate Summit attended virtually by 40 world leaders, the conference lauded Pakistan and Prime Minister Imran Khan’s leadership role in showing the world a light at the dark end of the tunnel with his innovative green initiatives.
Pakistan was among the countries invited by the US to share its experiences in the global summit.
Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam representing Pakistan stressed upon the global community to ‘do more’. “The world has to do more, and fast-track efforts to confront climate change,” he maintained.
Prime Minister Imran Khan is steering the country away from a coal future towards a clean energy future.
The 10 Bn Tree Tsunami, had helped restored 350,000 hectares of forests and degraded land in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province alone to surpass Bonn Challenge commitment.
The initiative targeted to restore huge chunks of degraded forest land under the Prime Minister’s vision for ‘Clean Green Pakistan’.
Pakistan is also the only country in the world with an expanding mangroves forest cover while another ambitious Protected Areas Initiative (PAI) launched last year under the overarching programme ‘Green Pakistan’ was aimed at conservation and promotion of nature-based solutions.
According to Amin Aslam, under the initiative, the number of national parks, home to wildlife of global significance, had been increased from 30 to 45, bringing an estimated 7,500 square kilometres of land under protection, thus creating 5,000 green jobs for community members.
During the Global COVID-19 pandemic, the forest and wildlife departments provided green jobs through the green stimulus to 84,609 daily wagers under Ten Billion Tree Tsunami Programme.
The Leaders Summit on Climate underscored the urgency – and the economic benefits – of stronger climate action. It was considered to be a key milestone on the road to the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) to be held this November in Glasgow.
The summit also highlighted examples of how enhanced climate ambition could create good-paying jobs, advance innovative technologies, and help vulnerable countries adapt to climate impacts.
The World Economic Forum had already released seven videos highlighting Pakistan’s efforts at addressing climate change. Pakistan was also selected among the top ten leaders addressing climate action by the United Nations.
Taking a leaf out of Pakistan’s experiences, the United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia also announced to launch similar projects.
Pakistan’s signature to global greenhouse gas emission is very small when compared to the US, India and other leading world economies.
Other steps included disaster preparedness, capacity building, institutional strengthening, technology transfer, and introducing climate change in higher education which were incorporated into the policy.
On the other hand, India is a major greenhouse gas emitter and one of the most vulnerable countries in the world to climate change as it is currently ranked as the third most polluted country in the world.
India is already experiencing the adverse impacts of climate change, including water stress, heatwaves and drought, severe storms and flooding, other effects associated with a negative consequence on health and livelihoods.
Its capital Delhi is the most polluted capital city in the world and according to an estimate, air pollution had caused an estimated 54,000 premature deaths in 2020.
According to a report of Lancet, India’s capital, Delhi, often became the most polluted city in the world during its winter, as the city is engulfed in a thick smog and toxic air particles rising to as much as 500% higher than the level the World Health Organization deems healthy.
Though the issue resurfaced every year with increasing ferocity, India’s central and state governments had failed to introduce effective pollution controls.
According to experts, the increase in Indian coal mining is a deviation from its climate goals and a threat to the whole South Asian states.
The climate impact of methane emissions, including by India that is among the top five emitters, could rival carbon dioxide emissions, warned environmental experts.
A report by the Lancet further said that pollution in India led to an increase in diseases such as lung cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, neonatal disorders and respiratory diseases, resulting in millions of more deaths.
Six of India’s cities were among the top 10 most polluted in the world, according to a World Air Quality report.
It is indeed pathetic that despite all these burning issues, BJP government did not prioritize the global efforts.