We require an additional US$ 14 billion annually to adapt to climate change impacts: Zahid Hamid

Islamabad, October 19, 2016 (PPI-OT):Federal Minister for Law, Justice and Climate Change said in the conference of Pakistan Climate Change Challenges and Government Policy and Actions, that, “The theme of this Conference is of vital importance to Pakistan today. Climate change is of course a global issue which is engaging the attention of the entire international community. The adverse impacts of climate change in Pakistan are of immense concern. Pakistan contributes only 0.8% total annual global greenhouse gas emissions, ranking 135th in the world.”

He added that, “According to the Global Climate Risk Assessment Index developed by German Watch, Pakistan was ranked 8th amongst the countries most vulnerable to climate change for the twenty-year period 1992-2011 and 3rd most affected country for the year 2011. Pakistan today faces several major risks related to climate change, including glacial melt, variable monsoons, recurrent floods, rise in sea level, higher average temperatures and higher frequency of droughts. Millions of people are affected and colossal damage is caused on recurring basis. Economic losses suffered during floods in 2010 and 2011 alone surpassed US$ 15 billion.”

“These threats pose major survival concerns for Pakistan, particularly in relation to the country’s water security, food security and energy security. They have enormous adverse consequences for all socio-economic sectors, including agriculture and livestock, water resources, marine and land ecosystems, forests and biodiversity, infrastructure, and human health,” mentioned by Zahid Hamid.

He also mentioned that, “To cope with these extreme climate change impacts, Pakistan has developed comprehensive policies and plans that include both adaptation and mitigation measures. We require an additional US$ 14 billion annually to adapt to climate change impacts.”

Zahid Hamid further said that, “A number of policy initiatives have also been taken to tackle climate change issues. The National Climate Change Policy and National Disaster Risk Reduction Policy were adopted in 2012, clearly identifying policy goals and objectives as well as proposed policy measures, with a view to mainstreaming climate change concerns in decision-making at national and provincial levels in all sectors of the economy.”

He said that, “Preparation of a National Adaptation Plan, Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions or NAMAs and a Second National Communication to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Secretariat is also envisaged. All the Provinces are also developing their own Action Plans to facilitate implementation of policy.”

While talking about the policies he also added that, “Pakistan is also fully committed to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Agenda for 2030. Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif in his address at the UN Summit for the Adoption of the Post-2015 Development Agenda in New York in September last year, pointed out that the global SDGs Agenda complemented Pakistan’s perspective plan “Vision 2025″, which is reflective of the country’s development needs and priorities and provided a policy framework for the integration of the new goals in Pakistan’s national economic and development planning.”

He said, “The Resolution that National Assembly passed is not only reflects the broad political support for the SDGs, but also clearly indicates that SDGs Agendas now Pakistan’s Development Agenda. The SDGs are PDGs, Pakistan Development Goals. The Ministry of Climate Change has also developed a National Sustainable Development Strategy (NSDS) to define sustainable development and the pathway to a “green economy” in Pakistan’s context while keeping it aligned with globally accepted targets such as SDGs.”

Federal Minister said, “I am pleased to inform you that the Prime Minister’s Green Pakistan Program, which will be formally launched very soon, also aims at arresting natural resource degradation and mitigating climate change impacts.” He concluded his speech by thanking the organizers and all the participants.

Senator Nisar Memon welcomed the participants and gave brief introduction of the three days conference agenda to the Federal Minister for Law, Justice and Climate Change. Mr. David Preston, first Secretary Development Cooperation Australia High Commission, Islamabad, Dr. Christina Leb, world Bank, Syed Raghib Abbas Shah, Former Chairman WAPDA and many other also participated in the conference.

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