Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan claimed that the country was facing ‘climate injustice’ at the hands of rich and heavy polluting countries, urging them to compensate Pakistan for the economic losses it has sustained due to climate change.
“Rich countries should not only assist Pakistan in mitigation and adaptation efforts, but also compensate us for the tremendous economic losses we face each year,” he said.
Read: Global warming behind erratic weather patterns
While praising the formation of climate change ministry by the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif-led government, Imran termed the Pakistan’s commitment to tackle climate change a ‘joke’ given that the ministry lacked funding and support from the administration.
Crticising the government for the paltry funds allocated to counter climate, PTI chief said, “They need to back it up with supportive funding and capacity, which are both missing.”
“We unfortunately do not have the luxury to waste time as far as climate change is concerned. We in Pakistan are actually living through the age of urgent climate adaptation,” said Khan.
Read: Who is to blame for the heatwave deaths?
Referring to the recent heatwave in Karachi, which took the lives of around 1300, and reoccurring floods in Pakistan in recent years, Imran said the country is facing the full impact of climate change its full impacts.
Suggesting on how to tackle the ongoing energy crisis in the country, the PTI chief urged the federal government to focus on large renewable resources of green energy, such as hydro, solar, wind and nuclear.
Read: Imran Khan inaugurates ‘Billion Tree Tsunami’
Commenting on how the PTI-led government in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) has made climate change a priority, Imran said the provincial government had allocated Rs2billion to focus on green initiatives.
“Our focus is on forestry, national parks, green energy development – all of which create natural climate mitigation and adaptation measures. In comparison, the Punjab government slashed their environment ministry budget by 75% from last year,” he said.
The “Billion Tree Tsunami” campaign, which has been accepted under the global Bonn Challenge to slow deforestation rates, has also been introduced in K–P.
Imran acknowledged that the step on its own was enough to slow the deforestation rate, but argued that planting forests was the “easiest and most effective way” to deal with the challenge.
The article originally appeared on The Guardian