Pakistan given vice-chairmanship of UN climate conference

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: The United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP-27) on Monday appointed Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif as the vice-chair of the conference.

Pakistan has received this honour out of 195 UN member states for voicing climate change issues at global and regional forums.

PM Shehbaz was invited by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi to co-chair the COP-27 meeting.

The prime minister will jointly chair the conference with his Norwegian counterpart Jonas Gahr Støre and President El-Sisi. It is being held in Egypt’s Sharm-el-Sheikh from November 6-8.

Following the climate catastrophe in Pakistan, PM Shehbaz raised the issue at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Council of Heads of States meeting and the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

The prime minister’s proposal for global cooperation in addressing the challenge of climate change had received endorsement by several countries.

During his interactions at the UNGA, the prime minister highlighted the issue of climate change in general and the devastating floods in Pakistan in particular. The prime minister on the occasion galvanised global opinion in favour of meaningful initiatives that needed to be taken by the developed countries.

The prime minister, at the international forums, highlighted the need for a fresh charter of global understanding to assist all those countries that were vulnerable to the adverse effects of global climate change.

It was during his meeting with French President Macron in New York that the latter informed the prime minister that he had been so moved by the suffering of the people of Pakistan and would be willing to take a lead in organizing a global conference to determine Pakistan’s long-term rehabilitation and reconstruction, in the flood affected areas.

The upcoming COP27 will be another important opportunity for the prime minister to highlight this issue.

The conference will be yet another opportunity for Pakistan to urge developed countries to abide by the provisions of the Paris Agreement 2015, in which the industrialized countries had committed to mobilizing $100 billion per year to support developing countries on a climate action plan.

The commitment, made at COP15 in 2009, formalised at COP16, and reaffirmed in the Paris Agreement, reflected the importance of climate justice to developing nations to help them mitigate climate change.