World to ‘do more’ for stronger global climate change: Amin Aslam

ISLAMABAD, Apr 22 (APP): Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam on Thursday called upon the global community to ‘do more’ on the global climate action to protect the world community from unfolding deleterious impacts of climate change.

The world, he stressed, needs to get off the warpath with nature, which would only exacerbate disasters.

“The world has to do more, and fast-track efforts to confront the climate change,” the Prime Minister Imran Khan’s aide stressed while addressing the virtual US-led Leaders Summit on Climate hosted by the US government in Washington on April 22, also the World Earth Day.

The US President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris inaugurated the event in Washington.

The United States last week invited Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam to be a distinguished speaker at the virtual Leaders Summit on Climate being hosted by the US President Joe Biden.

The US president had invited 41 world leaders including from Pakistan, India, China and Bangladesh, to the summit.

The Leaders Summit on Climate aims to underscore the urgency – and the economic benefits – of stronger climate action. It will be a key milestone on the road to the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) this November in Glasgow.

Addressing the Leaders Summit Malik Amin Aslam said that the earth’s temperature continues to rise, with 2020 being one of the three warmest years on record, as extreme weather events combine with the COVID-19 pandemic, impacting millions in many ways.

He appreciated the US government for convening the Climate Summit at a time when the world is passing through a critical time in the climate negotiation processes to deal with the climate emergency.

“It is a high time the world shows seriousness by delivering real climate action on the ground and not put talks.” Malik Amin Aslam stressed during his address.

The PM’s aide Malik Amin Aslam highlighted that Pakistan is striving to be a part of the solution, through nature based initiatives, and is committed to not add to the problem of climate change.

“Given the backdrop, the Prime Minister Imran Khan is leading Pakistan away from a coal future towards a clean energy future but we need access to best available technologies and associated finance.” he said.

“However, the world needs to “do more” by showing real climate action and delivering climate finance, Malik Amin Aslam demanded during his address

He suggested three types of climate finances to be delivered that include committed finance of $100 billion per year, adaptation finance for impacted countries like Pakistan and transition finance for helping countries shift to clean energy.

Without a clear delivery on climate finance there will be no deal at Glasgow COP, the PM’s aide Malik Amin cautioned.

He stressed that Pakistan believes in a cooperative, collaborative and inclusive climate negotiations process.

Highlighting the country’s vulnerability case, he told the participants from 41 countries that Pakistan accounts for less than one percent of the total heat-trapping global carbon emissions, yet it is ranked amongst the most climate-vulnerable countries and continuously smacked by the climate change-caused disasters.

Elaborating about adverse impacts on Pakistan, Malik Amin Aslam said the glaciers in the country’s north are melting fast and arid regions are heating up so intensely that many of the areas are fast becoming uninhabitable. On the other hand, the coastal areas in the country’s south are badly affected due to sea-level rise and frequent and intense cyclonic activities.

In recent years, the country has faced frequenting and intensifying bouts of heat waves, particularly in urban areas resulting in ever-growing mortality and hospitalization of thousands of the people, he added.

The PM’s aide told the US-led world climate summit that Pakistan’s huge population of bare 220 million is at risk of myriad effects of climate crisis, a gruesome situation that places the country at the forefront of the climate crisis.

“Yet, we are a strong and resilient country trying our best to face the worsening challenge of climate change and at the same time equipping ourselves for this purpose,” he highlighted.

The Prime Minister Imran Khan has ramped up efforts to boost the country’s resilience through nature-based solutions to offset the adverse impacts, he informed the participants of the summit.

As a part of nature-based solutions, the government is implementing, has already launched 10 Billion Tree Tsunami Programme (TBTTP) after successfully planting a billion trees under the Billion Tree Tsunami Programme (BTTP) launched in 2014 in Pakistan’s northwest province of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa as a response to the challenge of global warming.

While the country’s Billion Tree Tsunami Programme helped restore 350,000 hectares of forests and degraded land in the province to surpass its Bonn Challenge commitment, the TBTTP aims to restore one million hectares of degraded forest land under the Prime Minister’s vision for Clean Green Pakistan, PM’s aide Malik Amin Aslam remarked.

It is also the only country in the world with an expanding mangroves forest cover, he highlighted.

The PM’s aide said further that another ambitious Protected Areas Initiative (PAI) launched last year under the over-arching programme ‘Green Pakistan’ aims at the conservation and promotion of nature-based solutions and creation of additional 5,000 green jobs for community members in the protected areas.

Under the initiative, the number of national parks, which are home to wildlife of global importance, has been increased from 30 to 45, bringing estimated 7,500 square-kilometers of land under protection and creating 5000 green jobs, Amin Aslam added.

He highlighted that Pakistan’s water sector is highly vulnerable already vulnerable to riverine floods and glacial lake outburst floods.

“However, to improve climate resilience of the country’s water sector, a ‘Recharge Pakistan’ Programme has been launched to mitigate sectoral impacts of climate change on water and enhance water security to recharge the underground aquifers and restore wetland ecosystems,” Malik Amin told the participants.

Pakistan is among the countries faced with severe economic impacts because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which has rendered thousands of people unemployed.

Prime Minister Imran Khan, however, launched a unique post-Covid-19 green economic recovery initiative dubbed as Green Stimulus Initiative for creation of green employment opportunities for those rendered jobless after the COVID-19 pandemic since March 2020.

“Under the initiative, so far around 87,000 jobs have been generated all over the country in green sectors for the unemployed daily-wagers and engaged in protected and forested areas to protect nature through various green activities,” said Malik Amin Aslam.

He said further that plans are also being implemented to inject another US $ 120 million into the Green Stimulus to expand its scope, activities and increase green jobs manifold.

The PM’s aide apprised the virtual Summit that the incumbent government is also taking concerted efforts on the mitigation side, adding that plans have been hammered out to adopt clean and green pathways as far as meeting the country’s ever-growing energy needs. Present government committed to increase renewable energy share in the overall energy mix.

“The incumbent government of Prime Minister Imran Khan has set a target of generating 60 percent of the overall energy from clean energy sources by 2030 and run 30 percent of the country’s transport, which is the main contributor of carbon emissions, on electricity generated from clean energy sources.” Malik Amin told the Summit.

He said that while being highly climate-vulnerable country and with one percent share in overall planet-warming carbon emissions, Pakistan is making all-out efforts to walk on the green pathway as a part of global climate action, world needs to ‘do more’ on climate change and climate finance to help developing countries adapt to the climate change..

Malik Amin Aslam also called upon the world to take more action and talk less to push forward the climate negotiations at the UN-led global climate conference in November 2021 in Glasgow. Because, we are already running short of the time to tame the climate crisis.

“However, inaction on climate crisis is no option,” PM’s aide Malik Amin stressed, vehemently.