Wednesday Sep 21, 2022
NEW YORK: Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif appreciated the role of the United States in addressing the issue of climate change and thanked the country for extending help to Pakistan in the face of the devastating floods, the prime minister's office said on Wednesday.
The PM held a meeting with the US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, John Kerry, on the sidelines of the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York.
Noting that “the devastating floods have made Pakistan ground zero for climate change”, the PM appreciated Kerry’s personal leadership in raising awareness and seeking solutions to the climate change crisis.
The premier conveyed gratitude for immediate US assistance in the wake of the devastating floods in Pakistan. He emphasised the need for continued support from the international community, not only in the immediate recovery and relief efforts but also during the subsequent reconstruction and rehabilitation phase.
PM Shehbaz stressed that Pakistan contributed less than 1% of the global greenhouse gas emissions, yet it was among the ten most vulnerable countries to climate change.
With over 1,400 casualties; 33 million people displaced as climate refugees, out of which over six hundred thousand were pregnant women; four million acres of crops destroyed; entire villages and livelihoods swept away; Pakistan was facing an unprecedented natural disaster.
The prime minister underscored the importance of the United States’ leadership in enabling developing countries, including Pakistan, to deliver on their climate action commitments under the Paris Agreement by providing sufficient tools in the shape of climate finance, technology transfer and capacity-building assistance.
Special Envoy Kerry expressed solidarity with the people and Government of Pakistan and reaffirmed the US administration’s continued support in facing the challenges due to the floods.
He said that the US was ready to engage with Pakistan to collaborate in rebuilding resilient infrastructure as well as other forms of support that would avert such a crisis in future. Both sides agreed to continue to closely focus on climate change and energy dialogue.