ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Federal Minister for Climate Change Zahid Hamid Monday said countries like Pakistan which are the least polluters have to bear the brunt of climate change.
“We are taking adaptation measures to lessen the impact of climate change. But it is a forced adaptation. We are not responsible for global warming or climate change, rather we are victim of it,” he told media in an exclusive interview before his departure to attend the Paris moot on the subject.
The conference, which kicked off on Monday, will set international contours for emissions control from 2020 to 2030.
The minister cited that total emission of green house gases by Pakistan was 0.8 percent of global emission. It ranked 135th in the international list of polluters, however, it was among the top ten most vulnerable countries, he added.
“We are paying price for the follies of developed nations. We are the least polluter but we have been made vulnerable,” he regretted.
The minister said due to global warming, Pakistan had to face challenges of food security, water scarcity, sea level rising, droughts, landslides, glacier melting and glacial lakes outburst.
He said the Paris conference was a follow-up of the Kyoto Protocol signed in late ’90s. Under the Kyoto Protocol, the gas emissions were to be cut, but the developed nations lingered on its implementation on one reason or the other.
He said the vulnerable nations had great hopes from the Paris conference to devise a a mechanism for reducing emission of green house gases to a certain level.
Pakistan, the minister said, would win support from world nations in terms of technical and financial assistance for its projects to lessen impacts of climate change. “It is a defining moment in history. We expect to reach an international agreement on control of emissions.”
Zahid Hamid said that Pakistan was serious to control gas emissions. That was why Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif would join other world leaders to plead the country’s case, he added.
He said 28-member delegation comprising experts from the Climate Change Ministry, private sectors and non-governmental organizations, was fully prepared to advocate Pakistan’s case and persuade developed nations to help the developing and poor countries to execute environment friendly projects.
“We want to translate our challenges into opportunities. But we need financial and technical support to achieve this goal.”
He said that Pakistan would stress for environment-friendly projects, transfer of clean technologies and financial support to meet the cost of damages caused by the climate change.
“We are the most vulnerable and deserve more international assistance. We have identified areas of assistance, which will be highlighted at the conference,” he added.