On Saturday, Prime Minister Imran Khan stated that he was puzzled at the cacophony that Pakistan was not invited to the Leaders Summit on Climate in the United States.
The premier mentioned that his government’s “environment policies are driven solely” by its commitment to mitigate the impact of climate change for future generations.
The Prime Minister stated that due to this approach, his government has taken initiatives such as Green Pakistan, the 10 billion-tree tsunami, and numerous other community driven nature-based solutions.
He added that “We have gained vast experience in 7 years, beg with KP, and our policies are being recognised and lauded. We are ready to help any state wanting to learn from our experience”.
The Prime Minister said that if the international community is “serious about countering impact of climate change” they can look at the priorities his government has laid out for the UN Climate Change Conference 2021.
Last month, President Joe Biden invited 40 world leaders to the Leaders Summit on Climate, which he will host on April 22 and 23, with Pakistan one of the most notable omissions from the list of invitees.
The Leaders Summit on Climate will underscore the urgency – along with the economic benefits – of stronger climate action.
President Biden also invited the heads of other countries that are demonstrating strong climate leadership, and are especially vulnerable to climate impacts, or are charting innovative pathways to a net-zero carbon economy.
Leaders from India, Bangladesh, Antigua and Barbuda, Bhutan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Jamaica, Kenya, Nigeria and Vietnam have been invited to participate in the summit, but not from Pakistan.
To the snub, Pakistan came out with a strong response asking for ‘inclusive cooperation’ to criticism that it had not been invited by Joe Biden to the Leaders Summit on Climate Change.
Defending its position on the importance that Pakistan gives to climate change, the Foreign Office pointed out that there was no doubt about the commitment to addressing climate change, adding that “Climate Change is one of the defining challenges of our times that can only be countered through inclusive, cooperative and forward-looking policies. Pakistan remains fully committed to play its due role in this fight”.
“The summit also includes representation from countries holding chairs of geographic regions and groups including least developed countries, small island developing states, and Climate Vulnerable Forum. Pakistan, despite being among the top 10 countries affected by Climate Change, is one of the lowest emitters – with less than 1 percent of the global emissions,” the Foreign Office added.
“The government’s landmark initiatives like the Billion Tree Tsunami have won international acclaim, including from the World Economic Forum. Pakistan also co-chaired the multibillion-dollar Green Climate Fund, established to support climate actions in developing countries, last year,” added the Foreign Office.