ISLAMABAD, DECEMBER 18, 2017: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said that Pakistan’s climate policy is determined by three by three simple and clear consideration; save lives, promote sustainable development, and honor the country’s international commitments.
The Prime Minister was speaking at the inaugural session of the Science-Policy Conference on Climate Change, organized by the Global Change Impact Studies Centre (GCISC), with support from the US-Pakistan Center for Advanced Studies in Water (USPCAS-W), Mehran University of Engineering and Technology (MUET), the University of Utah, SDPI, the Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS), the Higher Education Commission (HEC), the Pakistan Met Department (PMD), NDMA, and HBS. The conference will take place at the Hotel Marriot Islamabad until Wednesday, 20 December 2017.
He said that Pakistan is one of the countries most affected by climate change, although it contributes very little to the problem. “We are an energy short country, and we need to provide affordable energy services to meet our basic needs and drive the development process”, said the Prime Minister.
He said that that government is fully committed to addressing climate change. This year, more than 8 per cent of government’s budget is being spent on climate related actions. Earlier this year, the government successfully steered the Pakistan Climate Change Act through parliament. The Act establishes two major institutions, a high-level National Climate Change Council (NCCC), to be chaired by the PM, and the National Climate Change Authority, an executive body to implement the directives of the Council. This will bring greater coherence to climate actions being taken by various ministries and agencies.
The Minister of Climate Change while speaking on this occasion said that the government aimed to strengthen Pakistan’s research capacity in climate change, and especially the country’s premier climate research institute, the Global Change Impact Studies Centre (GCISC). “We hope to raise this Centre to international standards. We would like Pakistan to benefit from international expertise and other countries to benefit from our experience and knowledge”.
Dr. Tariq Banuri, Executive Director GCISC said that the conference presents an opportunity for stakeholders to deliberate on Pakistan’s development in the context of climate change. He said this three-day event will provide an initial mapping efforts to alleviate the impacts of climate change, an assessment of knowledge and capacity needs and priorities that better reflect the Pakistani development context, and a stimulating environment with the intention to yield innovative ideas and grounds for implementation. Dr. Banuri further said that the conference seeks to highlight the need for improved climate-related research and information for Pakistan, as well as to strengthen the science-policy interface.
The conference was also addressed by leading national and international experts, including Professor Steve Burian (USA), Dr. Tom Downing (UK), Dr. Youba Sokona (Mali), and Dr. Adil Najam, former Vice Chancellor of LUMS.
Pakistan is the major victims of the adverse impacts of changing climate. There is an urgent need for reliable research in this field to support policy makers, inform the public and provide early warning. In response to this need, GCISC with other partner organizations is organizing the first international conference on Climate Change in Pakistan
More than 140 scientists from all over the world will present their latest research findings. In addition, more than 200 stakeholders from various groups (government, business, civil society, media, law, parliamentarians and effected communities) have registered for the conference to share their views and experiences.