UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan is strengthening its institutional structures to step up action to stave off the most drastic effects of climate change, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan told the international community on Saturday.
Speaking after the signing of the Paris climate agreement at the UN General Assembly, he said Pakistan, a country profoundly vulnerable to global warming, would establish a climate change council and climate change authority, adding that more than 5% of its annual budget was allocated to climate change activities.
At the same time, the minister emphasised that adequate resources were critical for climate actions in developing countries. Noting that trillions of dollars were needed globally to effectively respond to climate change impacts, he said the bulk of this amount has to be spent in developing countries.
"Fulfillment of financial obligations, particularly meeting the $100 billion target by developed countries is extremely important," Nisar said.
Leaders from at least 175 countries signed the Paris Agreement on climate change.
Calling it a ‘defining moment’, Nisar said "we have now an action plan to deal with the greatest development emergency of our times.”
“We must implement it fully and faithfully," he added.
The minister said Pakistan joined the consensus in Paris because its objectives aligned with those of the Climate Change Convention. Temperature in Pakistan has risen and its 5,000 glaciers are receding faster than those in any other part of the world, he said, adding that the country was already water-stressed.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 25th, 2016.