PM Imran puzzled at cacophony over US climate change summit snub


ISLAMABAD – Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Saturday that he was perplexed by the cacophony over US government’s decision of not inviting Pakistan to its ‘Leaders Summit on Climate’ scheduled for later this month.

In a series of tweets, the premier said: “I am puzzled at the cacophony over Pak not being invited to a climate change conf!”

Highlighting the measures taken by his government, he said: “My govt’s environment policies are driven solely by our commitment to our future generations of a clean & green Pakistan to mitigate the impact of climate change”.

“Hence our initiatives of Green Pak, 10 bn-tree tsunami, nature based solutions, cleaning up our rivers etc. We have gained vast experience in 7 yrs, beg with KP, & our policies are being recognised & lauded. We are ready to help any state wanting to learn from our experience,” the twee read.

I have already laid out priorities for the UN Climate Change Conference 2021 – COP26 – if the international community is serious about countering impact of climate change, he concluded.

On March 26, US President Joe Biden invited 40 world leaders, including Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to the Leaders Summit on Climate he will host on April 22 and 23.  The virtual Leaders Summit will be live streamed for public viewing.

The very next day, Pakistan’s Foreign Office in its reaction said that commitment to addressing Climate Change and Prime Minister Imran Khan’s leadership on this account is well accepted and appreciated around the world.

FO spokesperson highlighted that the PTI government’s landmark initiatives like the Billion Tree Tsunami have won international acclaim, including from the World Economic Forum.

The Leaders’ Summit on Climate Change hosted by President Biden reconvenes the U.S.-led Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate, which brings together leaders from countries responsible for approximately 80 percent of global emissions and GDP.

The Summit also includes representation from countries holding Chairs of geographic regions and groups including Least Developed Countries, Small Island Developing States, and Climate Vulnerable Forum. Pakistan, despite being among the top ten countries affected by Climate Change, is one of the lowest emitters – with less than one percent of the global emissions.

The foreign office said that Pakistan is also meaningfully contributing to shape the global Climate Change discourse, inter alia, as the Vice President of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Pakistan also Co-chaired the multibillion-dollar Green Climate Fund, established to support climate actions in developing countries, last year.

“Climate Change is one of the defining challenges of our times that can only be countered through inclusive, cooperative and forward-looking policies. Pakistan remains fully committed to play its due role in this fight,” read the statement.

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