PM to jointly co-chair COP27 roundtable conference in Egypt next month

ISLAMABAD (APP): As an acknowledgment of the proactive leadership and the global efforts of Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif on the climate change action plan, the United Nations Climate Change Conference – COP27 has announced to hand him over the vice-chairmanship of the conference, which will be jointly chaired by the prime minister along with Egyptian Abdul Fattah Al-Sisi and Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere.
Becoming a vice president of the UN Conference of Parties (COP27) has been a global recognition for the efforts led by Pakistan over the drastic measures to cope with the climate change. Among 195-member countries of the United Nations, Pakistan has received the honour as a result of the effective voice raised by PM Shehbaz Sharif at the global and regional forums, regarding the need for an urgent climate action plan. Egypt’s President Abdul Fattah Al-Sisi has invited Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to co-chair the COP-27 meeting, the PM Office Media Wing said in a press release on Monday.
The meeting, being held in Egypt’s Sharm-el-Sheikh from November 6-8, will be attended by the world leaders, think-tanks, and the heads of governments and international financial institutions. This will be the 27th meeting organized by the United Nations regarding the problems of climate change and the need for sustainable solutions. Following the recent floods in Pakistan, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif effectively voiced for immediate action on the challenges of climate change at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Council of Heads of State and Government, Samarkand, and the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly, New York.
The prime minister’s proposal for global cooperation in addressing the challenge of climate change had received endorsement by the SCO member countries. The SCO summit was held in Samarkand, Uzbekistan on September 15-16. The unusual monsoon downpour pattern had affected one third of Pakistan, inundating large swaths of Sindh and Balochistan provinces, besides affecting few districts of the Southern Punjab. PM Shehbaz, soon after the heavy rainfall spells in Sindh and Balochistan that led to the devastating floods, galvanized the federal and provincial governments and all the relevant institutions, and constituted the ‘National Flood Relief and Response Center’ so that with collective efforts, the dire situation could be tackled and advanced the national agenda by accelerating the rescue, relief and rehabilitation operations.
Soon after the natural calamity, the prime minister started visiting the flood-affected areas on daily basis to ensure that all the required measures were in place. As emergency measures, payment of cash amount and provision of food, tents, blankets and other basic required items, were ensured. Upon Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s appeal, the Islamic countries, global leaders and the humanitarian organizations promptly supplied the humanitarian assistance.
The time-tested friendly countries, including China, Turkiye and the brotherly Arab countries also started supplying relief assistance without any delay to express solidarity with Pakistan. The visit of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to Pakistan also proved significant in the pending challenge of rehabilitation of 33 million flood affected people. Guterres personally visited the flood-affected areas to oversee the scale of damages and assess the country’s post-flood requirements. After reviewing the situation, the UN Flood Flash Appeal of $160 million was scaled up to $816 million.
The UN secretary general had very effectively advocated the urgent need to support Pakistan and stressed upon the climate justice for the flood devastated country. The prime minister, on his part, had adequately highlighted the destruction wrought by the climate changes during his addresses at the SCO summit and the 77th UNGA session, and stressed upon the developed countries to immediately support Pakistan and devise a clear future approach for those countries that might be bracing the impacts of climate changes.
French President Macron, during a meeting with the prime minister in New York, expressed his grief over the flood destruction in Pakistan and announced to host an international conference in which the significance of assisting Pakistan to overcome the challenges of rehabilitation and reconstruction through a long-term basis, would be highlighted. The upcoming COP27 will be another important opportunity for the prime minister to highlight the global climate change devastation issue effectively. He will urge the 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 the developing countries on a climate action plan.
On the sidelines of the event, the prime minister will also hold meetings with the different heads of the government, heads of global financial entities and representatives of think-tanks, and will discuss the future strategy to cope with the environmental challenges. This year, Pakistan is chairing the Group of 77 and China, an influential bloc of 134 developing states. In its deliberations, Pakistan intends to pitch establishing a ‘loss and damage’ financial facility for those countries which are most vulnerable to climate change.
To lead by example domestically and to limit carbon emissions, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has already launched an initiative to diversify Pakistan’s energy mix in the future by generating 10,000 MW solar power into the national grid, aiming to transition from the use of fossil fuel to green energy. Becoming a vice president of the UN Conference of Parties (COP27) has been a global recognition for the efforts led by Pakistan over the urgent need for drastic measures to tackle the climate changes.