Mushahidullah urges global action against risks of climate change

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ISLAMABAD: Climate Change Minister Senator Mushahidullah Khan has urged the global leaders, who are participating in the 23rd annual UN climate change conference (COP 23) during the next month in Germany, to agree on a viable sustainable plan for mobilisation of financial, knowledge and technological resources to protect the world from increasingly devastating fallouts of human-caused climate change.

“The common global menace of climate change, which has put the sustainability of the planet earth at risk, cannot be tackled, if we, the world leaders, continue to remain at loggerheads over how to address the exacerbating menace to our lives and livelihoods.

“We have no option but to join our hands together to boost the world’s resilience against adverse climate change impacts, particularly floods, heat waves, sea-level rise, cyclones and hurricanes,” the minister warned while talking to media here on Sunday.

He said that the global climate action called upon the global leaders to commit through political will to make the world climate-safe, sustainable and inhabitable, with adequate resources available for the present and future generations to live their lives without draining natural resources callously.

“We must take action today to mitigate the climate risk to the world by bringing together businesses, governments and public bodies to accelerate sustainable development, advance the green economy and promote the use of natural resources with sanity,” the minister stressed.

Following a year of increasingly visible climate change impacts, governments and 20,000 government and non-governmental delegates from over 196 countries will gather from November 6-17 in Bonn, Germany, for the 23rd annual UN climate change conference also called 23rd session of the Conference of Parties (COP 23).

“Over the course of two weeks in November, Pakistan’s official delegation will join global negotiators to attempt to flesh out a set of Implementation guidelines for the Paris climate change agreement—a long-term global strategy to address climate change—ahead of a 2018 deadline.

Referring to findings of the US-based think-tank World Resource Institute, Mushahidullah Khan pointed out that global CO emissions were 150 times higher in 2011 than they were in 1850.

The climate change minister recalled that the goal of the Paris climate Agreement, which was reached among 196 countries in 2015, set global emissions standards that could keep the world from hitting that point—ideally less than a 1.5-degree increase—though experts noted that global reductions would have to be even more aggressive to truly accomplish that aim.

Quoting UN Environment Programme’s reports, he further said that the carbon gases that the world had released into the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels from energy, transport and industrial systems so far already guarantee that the world will continue to get warmer.

He highlighted that the daunting challenge facing governments—particularly those of the developed countries, including America, Canada, Germany, France, Poland, United Kingdom, Japan, Russia and Australia—is to raise ambition and accelerate action before the narrow window of opportunity closes to save the world from annihilating effects of global warming.