PM’s adviser says climate change a big challenge

  • Dr Ishrat Hussain suggests a multidimensional approach to tackle climate challenges

ISLAMABAD: Adviser to prime minister for Institutional Reforms and Austerity Dr Ishrat Hussain has said that the climate change is the main action point of the agenda of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s first 100-day plan.

“It (climate change) is a big challenge and only institutions and international community cannot tackle this issues by own but multidimensional approach would be required,” he said while addressing a Climate Diplomacy Day celebration held here at the Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA).

Organised by the European Union in collaboration with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF-Pakistan), the event brought together people from diverse backgrounds to become part of the exchanges taking place worldwide in the crucial reflection on how to explore the opportunities arising through the irreversible transition to low carbon economies while ensuring equitable access to sustainable development.

Adviser Dr Ishrat Hussain said that education and awareness can play important role and can take all out from the poverty to prosperity. Appreciating the initiative, he said that it was a good that the climate change issue was now taken to the streets from conferences rooms and offices.

Earlier, the event started with the participants cycling from the PNCA on a designated route as a symbolic gesture to raise awareness to curtail the growth of greenhouse emissions by promoting eco-friendly modes of transportation. The event then moved to the documentary screening – Think You for the Rain, which is the story of a Kenyan farmer who started to use his camera to capture the life of his family, his village and the damages of the climate change five years ago.

When a violent storm throws him and a Norwegian filmmaker together, anyone can see him transform from a father to a community leader and to an activist on the global stage. To highlight the environmental awareness and to contribute towards a greener tomorrow, the European Union and the WWF-Pakistan also launched a ‘Climate Diplomacy Art Competition’ this year for students to let out their creative side and encourage love for art.

The theme for the competition was the ‘Challenges of Climate Change: Pakistan’s youth on the front line.’ Students between 14 to 16 years of age were eligible for participating in this competition. A total of 15 government schools and colleges from Karachi, Islamabad and Lahore, participated in the competition, with each institute able to submit up to 10 art pieces making it a total of 150 entries.

The best art pieces were displayed on the event. The winner, Amna Ayyaz from the Islamabad College for Girls F-6/2, received a cash prize of Rs25,000 and the certification of becoming the ‘EU Youth Climate Change Ambassador.’ EU Ambassador to Pakistan Jean-Francois Cautain said that the EU remains committed to the Paris Agreement and its full implementation while progressing steadily with the finalisation of the measures to reduce emissions by at least 40% by 2030.

“By strengthening and widening its partnerships, the EU has progressively become the flag holder of the fight against climate change,” he said. The objective of this sustained engagement is for the EU to raise global climate ambition together with partners, in particular those the most exposed to the negative side effects of climate change. He said that required collective action and the EU remains committed to continue working hand-in-hand with Pakistan, listed amongst the most vulnerable countries despite the low level of its global carbon emissions.

WWF-Pakistan Director General Hammad Naqi Khan stressed the importance of promoting a common worldwide understanding of the need for action to mitigate climate change. Each year, the EU around the world celebrates the Climate Diplomacy Day with events taking place to highlight climate action in the EU and beyond. Conferences, debates, exhibitions, films and social media activities aim to encourage informed debate and a joint response to the climate change.


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