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Minister asks global community to agree on plan to address climate change

Minister for Climate Change Senator Mushahidullah Khan on Sunday urged global leaders who are meeting next month in Bonn, Germany for the annual UN climate change conference, to agree on a sustainable plan for the mobilisation of financial, information and technological resources to protect the world, especially developing countries from the effects of climate change.

“We have no other option but to join hands in order to increase the world’s resilience against the adverse effects of climate change particularly floods, heat waves, sea level rise, cyclones and hurricanes,” the minister told media persons.

He urged global political leaders to make the world climate safe, sustainable and inhabitable with adequate resources available for the present and future generations to live healthy lives without draining natural resources callously.

World leaders will be meeting in Germany next month for annual UN climate change conference, COP23

“The time has come to take action to mitigate the climate risk to the world by bringing together businesses, governments and public bodies to accelerate sustainable development, advance the green economy and promote the use of natural resources carefully,” he said.

Following a year of increasingly visible climate change impacts, some 20,000 government and non-government delegates from over 196 countries will meet in Germany between Nov 6 and Nov 17 for the 23rd annual UN climate change conference, also called the Conference of Parties or COP23.

Pakistan’s official delegation will join global negotiators to attempt to work out a set of implementable guidelines for the Paris climate change agreement, a long-term global strategy to address climate change, ahead of the 2018 deadline.

The Paris agreement set a goal to limit global average temperature to rise to 2°C above the pre-industrial level of the year 1850 though scientists have said it is likely the average global temperature will pass this threshold by the end of the century.

Talking to the media on Sunday, the climate change minister said the 2°C mark is considered by most scientists as the tipping point beyond which the consequences of climate change will become catastrophic.

Referring to finds of the US-based think-thank World Resource Institute, Mr Khan said the global carbon dioxide emissions were 150 times higher in 2011 than they were in 1850.

The climate change minister recalled that the goal of the Paris agreement, which was agreed to by 196 countries in 2015, set global emission standards which would keep the world from hitting that point and to ideally less than a 1.5°C increase. However, experts have noticed that global reductions would have to be even more aggressive to accomplish that aim, the senator said.

Quoting UN Environment Program reports, the minister said the carbon gasses that the world has released into the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels from energy, transport and industrial systems so far already guarantee that the world will continue to get warmer.

“Failing to achieve a less than 2°C rise in global temperature by the end of the present century under the Paris agreement will mean many will be living in places where there will be intense heat waves. If we hit that point, the sea level will continue to rise and will drown most of the world’s cities,” he said.

Mr Khan said the daunting challenge facing governments, particularly those of developed countries including US, Canada, Germany, France, UK, Japan and Russia, was to accelerate action before the narrow window of opportunity closes in order to save the world from the annihilating effects of global warming.

Staff Reporter. Minister asks global community to agree on plan to address climate change. Dawn, October 30, 2017.

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