Government Initiative

Imran Khan, Prince Charles exchange views on COP-26

Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan recently held a telephonic conversation with Prince of Wales Charles and exchanged views on the forthcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP-26).It is said that the event is scheduled to be held from October 31 to November 12 this year in Glasgow, United Kingdom. Sources recorded that the Prime Minister Imran Khan lauded UK’s leading role in COP-26 as its co-president and believed that the summit would assist translate political commitments into concrete actions, and would put in place ambitious, practical and effective climate action. Imran Khan underscored that every nation must play its due role in combating climate change, in accordance with the principles of equity and ‘common but differentiated responsibilities. ’Highlighting Pakistan’s full commitment to play its due role in addressing the global environmental problems counting climate change, PM informed the prince of Wales about Pakistan’s present submission of its revised nationally determined contributions under the Paris Agreement, with an ambitious target of 50 percent overall reduction of projected Green House Gases emissions by 2030. He also briefed the Prince of Wales about Pakistan’s climate change agenda comprising of landmark initiatives counting the Ten Billion Tree Tsunami Initiative, Protected Areas Initiative, Recharge Pakistan Initiative, and Electric Vehicles and Alternative and Renewable Energy Policies. In the regional context, PM underscored Pakistan’s interest in a stable and peaceful Afghanistan. He stressed the need to offer urgently needed humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan to avert the economic meltdown and sufferings of common people, mainly at the outset of the winter season. It is also recorded that the Prince of Wales conveyed gratitude on the behalf of the British government for Pakistan’s support and facilitation in evacuating its nationals and others from Afghanistan after Taliban takeover. On the other hand, the United Kingdom will offer 7.0 million pounds in 2021 in grant financing and form of technical support to assist Pakistan attain its climate change objectives.

It is said that UK is already working closely with our country on climate change. Earlier 2021-year, the UK launched a programme in Lahore to promote cleaner brick production practices which will help enhance air quality, reduce smog and fight climate change. As part of the brick kiln programme launched earlier this year, the UK will support a targeted training programme on “Zig Zag” technology for the brick industry to substitute coal and reduce emissions. Sources said that this programme will be implemented in collaboration with the government of Punjab, Brick Kiln Owners Association of Pakistan and the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development. COP26 is the largest international event of its kind ever to be held in the UK with more than 25,000 delegates arriving in the city of Glasgow, counting world leaders, opinion formers and top businesses. It will work to prevent global temperatures rising above 1.5C and protect our planet and people from the impacts of climate change. The UK has already attained notable successes so far. Approximately 70 percent of the world’s economy is now covered by net zero targets, up from less than 30 percent when the UK took on the presidency of COP26. This will help the most vulnerable countries like Pakistan. Experts recorded that Pakistan is the eighth most vulnerable country globally to climate change. Some experts have warned that Karachi could be totally submerged by 2060 if the current trajectory of rising sea levels continues. Temperatures in Karachi this year have already been the highest in 74 years and by 2030, property damage because of coastal storm surges and rising sea levels is set to increase tenfold. By 2100, rising temperatures mean 36 percent of glaciers along the Hindu Kush and Himalayan range will be gone. The critical situation means Pakistan needs to act now, alongside the rest of the international community. The British prime minister praised the country’s 10 billion tree tsunami project at the last month’s United Nations General Assembly.

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