United Nations Climate Change Summit also called the ‘Conference of the Parties’ or COP26 continued on its second day with speeches from various heads of state in the city of Glasgow in Scotland.
Prime Minister Imran Khan, who was due to attend the 2-day World Leaders Summit, backed out at the last minute due to 'domestic issues' according to the Special Assistant to the PM on Climate Change, Malik Amin Aslam who is now heading the ten person strong Pakistani delegation to the COP.
He is being accompanied by the Minister of State for Climate Change Zartaj Gul. Both have been meeting delegations from other countries in bilateral meetings and attending side events since the Summit formally opened on Monday. In Glasgow, countries are under pressure to cuts their emission further beyond 1.5 degrees Celsius to avoid dangerous warming and to finally operationalize the Paris Agreement.
The global methane pledge was formally launched at COP26 yesterday. Malik Aslam met US President Joe Biden when Pakistan officially joined more than 80 nations who signed up for the US led global methane pledge agreeing to cut methane emissions by 30% by the end of this decade in an effort to tackle climate change.
Cutting methane, a potent but relatively short lived gas which comes from sources like fuel extraction and livestock farming, is seen as an effective short term contribution to climate action. “President Biden thanked PM Imran Khan for committing to the pledge,” said Aslam.
Pakistan, as one of the world's top 30 methane emitters, has now committed to tackling methane from livestock and flare gas capture. President Biden thanked all those who have signed the 'game changing commitment' and said at the ceremony that this would not only help climate change but also improve health, cut crop losses and reduce pollution. Methane is said to contribute 80 times more to global warming than carbon dioxide.
Aslam also chaired two events at the Pakistan Pavilion including a briefing on the current government's flagship 10 Billion Tree Tsunami Program and a launch of the Pakistan German Climate and Energy Initiative signed with German bank KFW under the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) Partnership.
Pakistan recently updated its NDC document in the run up to COP26 in which it announced that it will shift to clean energy by converting 30% of its transportation to electric vehicles and that 60% of all energy produced in the country will be generated by renewable energy sources by 2030.
Germany has committed 60 million euros to Pakistan to be used for renewable energy and this initiative has added a 'green dimension' to the 70 year old partnership between the two countries. “This is a win for us and a win for the world,” said Aslam.
The German development bank KFW had earlier pledged funding to an independent 3 party assessment of the 10 Billion Tree Tsunami project which will be led by World Wildlife Fund-Pakistan, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
“It is very important to have 100% credibility and 100% transparency. The success of the project depends on this,” said Aslam at the launch of the initiative. The Pakistani pavilion is hosting a number of side events in the coming two weeks of the UN Climate Conference.
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