Islamabad : Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam has said that even though COP26 had achieved an international consensus, it was a weak one as it did not make the countries agree to stronger commitments.
Mr. Aslam was addressing a conference on “Post- COP26: from Paris to Glasgow’ organised here by the Institute of Regional Studies (IRS) in collaboration with the Civil Society Coalition for Climate Change (CSCCC).
Mr. Aslam observed that Pakistan was to chair next year’s G-77, giving it the opportunity to flag issues of climate finance as well as loss and damage. He said that the last-minute Indian proposal for the COP26 final document related to phasing down of coal instead of phasing it out made it appear as insensitive to climate mitigation.
Andreas Ferrarese, Ambassador of Italy to Pakistan, also enlightened the audience regarding three important achievements of the conference. First, the increasing role of non-state actors, which he appreciated for achieving effective results, second, major collaborations between public and private sectors and third, greater inclusion of young people in the debate with regard to climate change.
The conference also featured a panel discussion moderated by Aisha Khan, the CEO of CSCCC. The speakers highlighted climate change as a collective issue concerning the globe requiring international collaboration and joint strategies instead of single country approaches. The panelists also highlighted the role that could be played by developed nations in providing funding and other assistance to developing nations. They were of the view that such assistance was also essential because the developed world was largely responsible for the damage caused and thus the responsibility of rectifying the damage rested more on them.
Dr. Abid Qaiyum Suleri, Executive Director, Sustainable Development Policy Institute, and Convener, National Coordination Committee on Agricultural Transformation, said that while one is happy with Federal Government for taking the agenda on climate change forward, the real challenge in Pakistan is to get that agenda implemented at the provincial and subnational level. He said that we shall have to build the capacities of not only the ministry of the environment but all relevant ministries and departments in the provinces to formulate climate-smart policies and implement them.
He said that the use of 4G/5G technologies, data, and the Internet for precision agriculture is the way forward for ensuring food security amidst climate change. He further added that the government must come with finances for this and if there is a shortage, the money should be raised with foreign assistance.
Khurshid Alam focused on the role of parliamentarians in the process of making inclusive bodies on climate change. She also highlighted the need for watchdogs and pressure groups who would monitor the progress of developed nations in providing funding and keeping up with the carbon cuts.