Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday said rich countries need to take responsibility for climate change, reduce their carbon emissions and aid poorer countries that are most vulnerable.
Addressing a ceremony in Islamabad on the occasion of World Environment Day, the premier said Pakistan's contribution to global carbon emissions are "minuscule and less than one per cent" yet the country is one of the most vulnerable to changing climate patterns.
"This is a chance for the world to correct its course. Now we have the next decade for ecosystem restoration," said the premier as he urged the international community to take measures for the protection of the environment.
Imran said the world needs to start work towards achieving carbon emission goals and warned if the course is not corrected soon, people will suffer globally.
He further said countries such as Pakistan, which depend on glacial flows for water, will be the most affected as the increasing temperatures are melting glaciers at an increased pace.
Referring to the recent state visit of the Tajik president, Imran said he was informed by the visiting head of state that at least 1,000 glaciers have melted in the central Asian country.
The prime minister also said that it was an honour for him that Pakistan was chosen by the United Nations to host this year's World Environment Day.
Lamenting that Pakistan was among one of the countries which earlier did not care about its environment, the prime minister said his government has started many initiatives including the 'Ten Billion Tree Tsunami' and others.
He also narrated how the timber mafia was powerful in the province of K-P, and said no earlier politician could have tackled the mafia but his government was able to.
"Int'l community to protect ecosystem for coming generations"
Earlier, Prime Minister Imran urged the international community to come together and join hands to protect the ecosystem, increase tree-cover and save the environment for coming generations.
The premier's remarks came while he was addressing the virtual launch gala of UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration on the occasion of World Environment Day hosted by Pakistan.
"It is time for the world to come together and save the environment for our future generations," PM Imran said.
The PM further urged the international community to make efforts to stop the rapid depletion of tree cover as well as the degradation of the environment.
Sharing Pakistan's efforts towards improving the environment, the premier pointed out that Pakistan, as part of the UN Decade of Ecosystem Restoration, had so far completed the plantation of one billion trees and its target was to plant 10 billion trees.
"Pakistan has also started another ambitious program of increasing national parks in the country and so far nine such areas have been established in various parts of the country," he added.
The day would be celebrated across the world through various events and activities, in line with the latest Covid-19 regulations.
Earlier, Prime Minister Imran Khan has said the world's richest countries have not done enough to combat global warming, adding that his country had done more than any other in the world to combat rising emissions relative to its economic means.
"Has the developed world done enough: The answer is no," Imran said. "Emissions are from the rich countries. And I think they know they haven't done enough."