‘Pakistan remains fully committed to fighting climate change’

Foreign Office Spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri. — APP/Files

Ministry of Foreign Affairs  said Saturday Pakistan remains fully committed to playing its due role in the fight against climate change, after there were queries as to why the country was not invited to the United States’ climate summit.

40 leaders, including Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin, have been invited to the summit that will take place on April 22-23, according to a White House statement. 

“The Leaders’ Summit on Climate Change hosted by President Biden reconvenes the US-led Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate, which brings together leaders from countries responsible for approximately 80% of global emissions and GDP,” the Foreign Office’s statement said.

According to the statement, the summit also includes representation from countries holding chairs of geographic regions and groups, including Least Developed Countries, Small Island Developing States, and Climate Vulnerable Forum.

“Pakistan, despite being among the top ten countries affected by Climate Change, is one of the lowest emitters – with less than 1% of the global emissions,” it said.

The Foreign Office underlined Pakistan’s commitment to addressing climate change. “Prime Minister Imran Khan’s leadership on this account is well accepted and appreciated around the world.”

The government’s landmark initiatives like the Billion Tree Tsunami have won international acclaim, including from the World Economic Forum, it said.

The Foreign Office said the country is meaningfully contributing to shaping the global climate change discourse. Pakistan also co-chaired the multi-billion-dollar Green Climate Fund, established to support climate actions in developing countries, last year.

“Climate change is one of the defining challenges of our times that can only be countered through inclusive, cooperative, and forward-looking policies. Pakistan remains fully committed to playing its due role in this fight,” it added.

Biden’s Earth Day global summit on climate is part of his efforts to elevate climate change as a top priority. It will be held virtually given pandemic restrictions and live-streamed for public viewing.

As per the Global Climate Risk Index 2021, issued by German Watch, Pakistan is the fifth-most vulnerable country to climate change.

The Foreign Office responded after there was much hue and cry over the US administration not calling Pakistan to the summit, as PM Imran Khan’s government had taken steps to battle climate change.

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