Sherry highlights steep cost of climate ‘inaction’

Federal Minister for Climate Change Senator Sherry Rehman on Sunday said that the world at the global forum of UN Climate COP-27 had a spirit of unity, collaboration and cooperation but there was a lack of action, hindering the way to a climate-resilient future.

In her keynote address at the Parliamentary Meeting at the 27th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP-27) under the auspices of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), the minister said that there was a climate clock running at the 27th conference of the parties (COP-27) meeting where there were intense negotiations underway.

Prior to the address of the minister, a two-minute video prepared by the Ministry of Climate Change was played highlighting the ‘Century Breaking Climate Events’ in Pakistan.

Senator Sherry said, “Let us pay attention to what we are doing to each other and this planet. And there is no other option for us and no ‘Planet B’ where we can migrate.”

She added that the video clip was a tiny projection of the scale and magnitude of the century breaking climate catastrophes.

“As the UN secretary-general said a scale and tragedy we have never seen before,” she remarked.

The minister warned the forum that global warming was not going to stick to the 1.5 degrees temperature rise rather hurtling towards 3 degrees future.

She said, “I am coming from a country where there has been 3 degrees Celsius rise in overall summer heat which is not habitable for human civilisation. I do not think that we need to be sanguine or indifferent to the coming crisis for humanity and the planet we live on.”

The minister at the forum stated that the people have the right to live, breathe, till the soil, farm their communities and work in the cities that are not burning them out. These are the fundamental rights.

The minister said that in Pakistan, the government still had to resettle flood-affected people, feed and clothe them. “All our money has been diverted to cater to half of the 33 million population impacted by the unprecedented torrential rain and floods during this predating winter,” she said.

Climate crisis dialogue

National Assembly (NA) Deputy Speaker Zahid Akram Durrani on Sunday emphasised on facilitating dialogue on the climate crisis among the global parliamentary community.

He said that it would help in identifying inter-parliamentary solutions for a more sustainable world.

Durrani said that Pakistan needs the support of the international community for tackling the devastating impacts of climate change.

On this occasion, Pakistani delegates also touched upon key climate issues, including emissions reductions, scaling-up adaptation efforts and mobilizing climate finance for developing countries that are on the front lines of climate change.

They drew the attention of the world parliamentary leaders to the fact that the recent devastating floods had caused severe damage to the lives and properties of millions of people in Pakistan.

They also stressed upon the need to enhance inter-parliamentary cooperation to address the challenges of global climate change.

‘Avenues of development’

Separately, Prime Minister’s Special Representative for Interfaith Harmony and Middle East Hafiz Muhammad Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi on Sunday said that the Middle East Green Initiative (MGI) and 27th session of the Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP27) would open new avenues of development in Pakistan and the Middle East countries.

Ashrafi, who is also the chairman of Pakistan Ulema Council, said that the MGI signified Saudi Arabia’s commitment to international sustainability efforts and enabled the region to help protect the planet by clearly defining an ambitious roadmap that significantly contributed to achieving global targets.

He said religious leaders were constantly creating awareness on the climate change challenges besides the intersect and interfaith dialogue at the global level.

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