Islamabad - Federal Secretary of the Ministry of Climate Change , Arif Ahmed Khan, has said that climate actions should be taken within the context of our efforts to eradicate poverty and promote sustainable development and urged the global community to ensure that the new global climate agreement, which will be adopted at the Paris Global Climate Conference in December 2015 and implemented from 2020, is ambitious and viable.

He urged the developed countries to take lead in this regard in accordance with the principle and objectives of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and help the developing countries.  Addressing at the three-day Economic Cooperation Organisation (ECO) international conference on Climate Change held in Safranbolu (Turkey), Khan said that given the grave scenario of the negative impacts of climate change , the challenges posed by the climate change demand enhanced cooperation among the international community through collaborative efforts.

The three-day ECO conference, kicked off on March 25 in Safranbolu, Turkey, was attended by top key government and non-governmental representatives of Afghanistan, Azerbaijan Republic, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

Talking about Pakistan’s contribution to global warming, he told the ECO conference participants that Pakistan’s contribution in the overall global carbon emissions is very little.  Yet, Pakistan has been placed among top 10 countries ranked as the extremely vulnerable countries by a host of scientific studies and climate change indices.   

“We are threatened in multiple ways. Climate-induced drought, desertification, glacial-melt, sea level rise and recurrent floods, are just to name a few,” Arif Ahmed Khan said.  Highlighting current scenario of Pakistan’s glaciers, the federal secretary said that Pakistan’s 5000 glaciers are in retreat and likely to cause water stress in Pakistan.   

“The economic losses suffered during the floods of 2010 and 2011 surpassed US$ 15 billion.  The floods again hit us this year causing tremendous damages to life and property,” he recounted and added the recurrence of such climate-induced disasters decelerates our efforts to reduce poverty, enhance food security, improve health care, and improve access to energy.