The threat of global warming still looms across the globe as the seriousness to combat climate change following the signing of the Paris Accord in 2015 has faded. Almost six years later, the world is faced with grave challenges with rains wreaking havoc in major metropolitan cities, forest fires and extreme heat costing lives as well as the economy. But in its attempt to push for change, world leaders are now set to meet in five weeks for an important global climate summit to act actively and collectively to bring global warming under control. In this regard, as UK government’s UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) ambassador said the international community should look at Pakistan as an exemplary model for climate change actions.
Under Prime Minister Imran Khan’s leadership, Pakistan’s efforts to combat climate change have undoubtedly been a precursor in South Asia. The 10 Billion Trees Tsunami Project, a brain-child of the premier that was first launched in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, has been praised my prominent world leaders. Just recently British Prime Minister Boris Johnson had said that “all nations should follow the example of Prime Minister Imran Khan to plant 10 billion trees,” during his speech at the UN. PM Imran has also made a commitment to not build any new coal plants. As a developing country, Pakistan is doing its part in the climate war but to mitigate the effects of global warming finance by international donor countries is the need of the hour.
During the Paris Agreement, the international donor community had agreed to provide $100 billion for international climate finance every year but only $79 billion has been donated so far. The world must recognize that developing countries like Pakistan can only do so much to alleviate the climate change challenge, it is on the emitters of the global warming gasses to meet the ambitions spelled out in Paris. China’s step to stop building coal plants overseas is much appreciated, considering that the country is a major financial backer of coal-fired power plants. Following Chinese President Xi Jinping announcement of this development last week, other countries – South Korea and Japan – have also pledged to stop state-backed financing of coal plants, which emit greenhouse gases that cause climate change. But much more needs to be done. The Glasgow meeting, would be a test for the world leaders as they aim to renew their commitments and ensure greater action on climate change.