We are running out of time, PM's advisor on climate change tells COP24

Cites Billion Tree Tsunami project as Pakistan’s commitment to control climate change

News Desk December 08, 2018
Participants work in a computer room during the COP24 summit on climate change in Katowice, Poland, on December 4, 2018. Photo:AFP

Advisor to the PM on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam highlighted Pakistan’s commitment to work on climate change citing Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government’s Billion Tree Tsunami project initiative.

Heading a small delegation at the UN Climate Change Conference 2018, currently underway in Katowice, Poland, the minister underscored that “we were running out of time” to control climate change.

“This is the last leg when we can do something about climate change. There is a real danger of countries going off track here. We need both good policies and action on the ground,” he said addressing the conference.

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Amin Aslam reiterated Pakistan’s support of the Paris Agreement and invited action star and climate activist Arnold Schwarzenegger to visit Pakistan’s mountains and glaciers vulnerable to global warming.

The negotiations have been deliberately slow in the conference's first week. Amin Aslam said, “The main issues of finance, transparency of reporting, adaptation targets and nationally determined commitments are simmering on the back burners. The conference's opening failed to trigger the required impetus and now it’s been left to the resumption of the ministerial negotiations which kick off next week”.

The Advisor attended the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) ‘Climate Science for Policy’ side event at the conference center.

Speaking at the IPCC event, Amin Aslam said “governments’ political will is important, we saw that in Pakistan with the success of the Billion Tree Tsunami project which was owned by the K-P government”.

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“In Pakistan we can’t wait for the politics of climate change to catch up with the science. We are currently the 8th position in Germanwatch’s long-term index of countries who suffered the most from climate related disasters over the last 20 years (this year’s report was released at COP24). We are at the frontlines of climate change and we would like to have results here”.

At the side event on climate-smart agriculture, Amin Aslam spoke about how weather patterns have shifted in Pakistan with increased unpredictability of monsoon rains affecting the agricultural sector, which has not adapted to the shift in climate.

He advocated moving away from reports and policies to actual work on the ground on climate resilient agriculture, so farmers know the right amount of water for their crops, the right time to water them and use seeds that are resistant to climate change.

“We can’t run away from climate change but we can adapt to it,” Amin Aslam said.



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