Pakistan signs Paris Climate Change accord

UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan signed the Paris Agreement on climate change that commits nearly every country to lowering planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions to help stave off the most drastic effects of global warming.

Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan inked the agreement on behalf of the Government of Pakistan at a high-level ceremony in the spacious hall of UN General Assembly.

In doing so, the minister reaffirmed Pakistan’s support to the “historic” Paris agreement, adopted at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP-21), where 195 countries endorsed the first-ever universal, legally binding global climate deal in December last. Today’s ceremony — also making the Earth Day — was convened by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

The agreement sets out a global action plan to put the world on track to avoid dangerous climate change by limiting global warming to well below 2 degree Celsius. It is due to come into force in 2020.

Pakistan joined the consensus in Paris in line with its firm commitment to the purposes and objective of the Climate Convention. Although Pakistan’s contribution to global warming is very little, it is extremely vulnerable to its adverse impacts, as overall temperature has increased.

According to a number of international studies, Pakistan is categorized as one of the most vulnerable countries to the impact of climate change, including droughts, desertification, sea level rise, and glacial melt.

Pakistan is among the top 10 countries on the German Watch climate risk index — it’s 5000 glaciers are in retreat, retreating faster than in any other part of the world.

Already a water-stressed country, climate change is likely to further exacerbate the challenge, with the increasing frequency of large floods causing huge loses to lives and livelihoods of poor people. Besides tragic human and material cost, these threats also impede Pakistan’s ability to promote sustainable growth and development, and ensure economic prosperity for the people.

Estimates suggest that trillions of dollars are needed globally to effectively respond to climate change implementation. Pakistan needs US$ 14 billion annually to adapt to climate change impacts and its mitigations needs are similarly higher.

Excerpts say fulfillment of international financial obligations, particularly of reaching target of US $ 100 billion, is extremely important. APP