We are coping with internal and external threats, but have completely ignored the threat posed by climate change
HYDERABAD: “Pakistan failed to submit the intended National Climate Action Plan to the UN for the Paris Climate Conference.” This statement is not a surprising one because I know my government well, but I do have concerns over the media’s silence on the issue.
The government has an unfortunate past of not doing anything of its own volition; it wakes up only after the media raises a hue and cry over a certain issue. We are coping with internal and external threats, but have completely ignored the threat posed by climate change. It must be realised that environmental concerns cannot be ignored.
The government’s dismal level of interest in this issue may easily be examined by understanding that Pakistan missed the important deadline despite having a plan for climate change. According to one news report, the Director General at the Ministry of Climate Change, Irfan Tariq, submitted the draft to the prime minister house for approval only in the last week of the deadline, when the prime minister had already left for New York.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was not the only prime minister attending United Nations General Assembly session. Representatives from other nations were there as well and their attendance did not affect their goals and the completion of their responsibilities in a timely manner because the climate control departments in their respective countries worked efficiently to draw up and submit climate change plans for the upcoming Paris conference. As usual, Pakistan did not deliver in time even though approximately 146 other countries were able to manage the task.
India estimated a budget of $2.5 trillion for meeting its climate change needs in its paper titled, “India’s Intended Nationally Determined Contribution: Working towards Climate Justice (IINDC)” presented to the UN. One can only feel sad when thinking about where Pakistan will stand at the Paris Climate Conference in December 2015, when our neighbouring country will not only participate, but will probably secure many advantages owing to its preparedness. It is regretful that the grave issue of climate change has been repeatedly ignored by the mainstream of society and the authorities.
Hassan Ali Syed
Published in The Express Tribune, October 7th, 2015.
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