Climate Change Debate: Pakistan at COP21
The Advisor to the Centre for Climate Research & Development, Ambassador (Retired) Shahid Kamal, moderated a panel on “Climate Change: Pakistan at COP21” organized by the United Nations in the context of the “United Nations Speaker’s Corner” at the National Book Fair Festival, at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, 24th April 2015, at the Pak-China Friendship Centre.
The panel discussion was organized in collaboration with the COMSATS Centre for Climate Research & Development and with the French Embassy. It included the following speakers: Olivier Huynh-Van from the Embassy of France, Nina Kylliainen from the UNDP, Shakeel Ahmad Ramay from the Sustainable Development Policy Institute and Sajjad Ahmad, the Director General Climate Change from the Ministry of Climate Change.
Ambassador (Retired) Shahid Kamal noted that 2015 is an important year for climate change given that the summit on sustainable development will also take place this year before the UN Climate Change Conference 2015 (COP21) is held in Paris in November/December. He said: “2015 is a historic moment for the international community to come together”. Shakeel Ramay of the SDPI said: “we have to be very positive about the COP21; we have to go there with a good mindset. I also feel that France (as the host country) is putting together a realistic agenda for the conference. They are also making sure that civil society’s voices should be heard at the COP”.
The DG Climate Change, Sajjad Ahmad stated that: “Pakistan is currently preparing its ‘Intended Nationally Determined Contributions’ (commitments that Pakistan intends to take post-2020) for the Paris conference and is working in that area for both mitigation and adaptation. Mexico recently announced their INDCs and they had a strong adaptive component and Pakistan too will have that”.
The DG added that the government is also planning to involve the youth soon although he did not want to give any details as yet; this statement was much appreciated by the audience, which comprised mostly of young people studying at local universities and colleges. According to the UN representative, Vittorio Cammarota from the United Nations Information Centre, “youth are very important and in the past we have involved the youth representatives at the climate change summits. For COP21 we are making sure the youth have a voice by collecting stories and drawings about climate change from schools across Pakistan and we intend to put them together in a publication and distribute it in Paris”.