ISLAMABAD: Climate Change Minister Mushahidullah Khan on Tuesday said that global warming has emerged as the biggest challenge of the 21st century.
“Climate change has resulted in frequent flash floods, forest fires, torrential rains, sea-level rise, glacier melt and depleting river flows,” he said while inaugurating a three-day workshop on “Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs)”.
INDCs are meant for putting the world on the carbon-free pathway that leads to sustainable development.
The minister said that every country has become vulnerable to the effects of climate change. He said the developing and underdeveloped countries are the ones likely to be hit the hardest by the unpredictable climatic conditions.
“No wonder that the world in general and developing countries in particular
have started paying the price in terms of frequent and intense climate change-induced calamities, resulting in food, water and energy insecurities the world over,” he remarked.
The minister said that INDCs would contribute towards firming up Pakistan’s contributions towards climate change. “Nine out of ten worst climate change-induced calamities hit Pakistan during the last decade, which has also affected the country’s socio-economic development. The 2010 floods alone eroded away six per cent of the GDP,” he said.
As per the initial assessment of Climate Public Expenditure and Institutional Review Mission of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the climate change-related activities are costing Pakistan 5 to 7 per cent of its annual federal budget, he underlined.
Climate Change Secretary Arif Ahmed Khan said, “We are at the crossroads. Climate change not only threatens sustained economic growth and development but intensifies existing political, social, economic and security challenges.
He said that INDCs had been chosen as the vehicle for national contributions to the international Paris agreement.
The workshop was organised in collaboration with Lead-Pakistan and WWF-Pakistan.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 1st, 2015.