Prime Minister Imran Khan has stressed the need for “renewed international cooperation and partnerships” to tackle climate change, in a letter to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation co-chair Bill Gates.
PM Imran Khan, in his letter, dated April 6, stated that he was reading Gates’ book “Avoiding a Climate Disaster” and found it an interesting read.
I find it very interesting because it provides “a policy-oriented analysis of the critical issues of climate change challenges facing the global community”, said the prime minister.
The prime minister spoke about Pakistan’s efforts in this regard, saying that his government “has moved to counter the effects of climate change through various policy initiatives”.
Pakistan is ‘at the forefront’, but a ‘very low contributor’ to the crisis
He said Pakistan was a country “at the forefront of the climate emergency as it ranks highly among those” continuously affected “by climate change over the past two decades.
“The effects of changing monsoon patterns, strange weather events, melting Himalayan glaciers and rising sea levels – all add to our vulnerability,” the letter said.
It states that despite this fact, Pakistan is a “very low contributor” to global greenhouse gas emissions – adding “less than 1%”.
“However, as a fast developing country, we seek to move towards a climate sensitive economic growth that relies on stronger international cooperation and partnerships,” said PM Imran Khan.
He said his government, in this spirit, therefore “pledged to offer a climate solution to a world focused on nature-based solutions, towards a climate-compatible growth trajectory.”
Action on the ground to tackle climate change
PM Imran Khan said that Pakistan, as a signatory to the Paris Agreement, while continuing to work with the international community on its implementation, is also focused on translating the country’s own vision into action on the ground.
“After successfully planting one billion trees in KP province from 2014-18, we are starting to plant another 10 Billion Trees across the country, including the restoration of more than 1 million hectares of degraded forest and expansion of protected areas,” the prime minister said. to Gates.
The prime minister said that these initiatives have shown that they not only protect nature and restore ecosystems to fight climate change, but also expand ecotourism and create thousands of green jobs for youth and local communities.
Turning to clean energy
He said Pakistan is also committed to switching to clean, low-carbon energy and plans to move 60% of its energy to clean sources by 2030.
This will require “a massive expansion of solar, wind and hydro power generation in the country”.
Prime Minister Imran Khan said his government had recently suspended two coal projects that had been financially negotiated, replacing them with an influx of hydropower “which shows solid political commitment”.
“Pakistan is also transitioning its transportation sector, targeting 30% of vehicles to become electric by 2030,” he added.
‘Nature leaves us no choice’
The prime minister says Pakistan is being forced to adapt to climate change at the level of its effects that are witnessed.
“In this sense, nature leaves us no choice. We must invest our vast economic resources to build early warning systems, rapidly deploy climate-smart agriculture and increase the efficiency of our dwindling and increasingly unpredictable freshwater resources,” wrote Prime Minister.
Speaking to Gates, PM Imran Khan said that given his passionate interest in climate change, “results-oriented dialogue and collaboration between our team of experts can help each other advance our common vision”.
“This could include developing partnerships towards accessing and disseminating the best available technologies for clean energy and electric vehicles and cooperation towards climate resilient agriculture,” the prime minister said.
Referring to Gates’ book on climate change, he said: “As you correctly pointed out in your book, the climate change challenge is one that requires broad-scale collaboration, trusted cooperation and a shared green vision for development across countries.”
“I believe that the world has no choice but to walk this path and set a new development paradigm for the 21st century through renewed international cooperation and partnerships,” PM Imran Khan concluded.