Climate change: Developed countries must bail out vulnerable nations, says minister

Climate change minister calls response hypocritical


Our Correspondent May 07, 2015
Climate change minister calls response hypocritical. PHOTO: REUTERS

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Climate Change Senator Mushahidullah Khan expressed his resentment over what he called non-serious attitude and response of the rich and industrial countries in tackling global warming and extending financial and technical support to poor countries to confront the issue.

Addressing a National Consultative Workshop on environment and climate change on Wednesday, he urged developed countries to fulfill their commitments and help water-scarce countries in building dams and water reservoirs.

He said the developed countries should apologies to the vulnerable nations and extend them special treatment in dealing with climate change. “A problem which the developed and industrialised countries are responsible for,” the minister added.

“It is now the responsibility of the developed countries to provide hybrid cars on affordable prices because earlier the developed countries manufactured such vehicles [in the first place] which emit carbons and are polluting the global environment,” Khan said.     “Though these rich countries are now raising slogans of sustainable development and green development and pushing the poor countries to cut their carbon emissions, it is sordid to note that they themselves are non-serious in pursuing the sustainable development agenda,” the minister said.

He added, “These countries are hypocritical in their response to helping poor countries deal with negative impacts of climate change.”

The minister asked all the developing countries to stand united against the hypocritical attitude of the rich countries and force them to pay for the damage they have done to the global environment.

The sad truth is that the poorest countries including Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh will be hit first and hardest by the ‘now unavoidable’ climate change, he said. “During the last decade it is poor counties that have been most battered by disasters including floods, storms and cyclones.

The event was organised by the Ministry of Climate Change and Global Environment Facility (GEF), a partnership for international cooperation to address global environmental issues.

“It is matter of grave concern for developing countries like Pakistan that they have been left on their own to cope with climate change-induced disasters, particularly floods, cyclones, hurricanes, rising sea-levels, land sliding, and river erosion. Whereas, the rich countries continue to increase pace of global warming by increasing their carbon emissions,” he exploded in an angry tone during his address.

Climate Change Ministry Secretary Arif Ahmed Khan told participants who had gathered from all over the country that the ministry would fully cooperate with the provincial governments in increasing their capacity to fight climate change.

Among others, the event was attended by senior representatives of all the provincial governments.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 7th, 2015. 

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