Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani Thursday called for a global approach to respond to climate risks in view of vulnerability and inability of developing nation to cope with the challenge.
Participating in an interactive Session on “Adapting to Climate Risk” that focused on how the communities, companies and countries were adapting to the risks posed by climate change, here at the annual 2012 World Economic Forum, Gilani told the participants “We strongly feel that the world must come together with renewed vigour.”
Prime Minister of Kenya Raila Amolo Odinga was among the other participants.
Developing countries were vulnerable and unable to cope, at their own, with the challenge and disasters caused by natural calamities in terms of massive losses to lives and property, the Prime Minister added.
Gilani urged the international community to cooperate in transfer of green technologies, capacity building and to provide financial assistance to developing countries for adaptation projects.
He mentioned a study by German Watch that declared Pakistan as the worst hit country by extreme weather events in 2010 and 8th most vulnerable country based on data of past 20 years and said Pakistan needs roughly US$ 8-14 billion annually to adapt to climate change, which is a huge burden for any developing country.
In the session that examined the impact of extreme weather events resulting in floods and droughts and creation of a resilient infrastructure, he suggested that an important step in this regard would be channeling of finance to the Green Climate Fund, established in Durban last year.
Gilani emphasized to work together for a sustainable globe and a better future and said climate change was something real for Pakistan as the country was already experiencing its impacts.
He said the private sector has to play a proactive role as a partner and serve as a beneficiary in managing climate risks.
“Over the past decade or so, we have witnessed prolonged spells of drought and a new phenomena of cyclonic activity in our coastal areas,” Gilani said. He mentioned that Pakistan suffered the worst ever flash floods in 2010, termed by UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon as “a slow moving tsunami” as over one-fifth of the country’s area was flooded.
Gilani said floods again hit southern Pakistan in 2011 due to incessant rains, as it received five years of rainfall in a period of four weeks that affected 20 million people and caused damages worth US$ 15 billion.
He said Pakistan was concerned about the situation as it has also been reckoned among the top ten most vulnerable countries to climate change.
He said despite being among the lowest emitters both on per capita and total emissions basis, Pakistan was suffering for something nothing of its own doing.
Prime Minister Gilani to a question about the measures to assess risks associated with climate change said, the government had constituted a Task Force on Climate Change to provide appropriate guidelines for ensuring security of vital resources.
He said on its recommendations a National Climate Change Policy has been developed to pursue the sustained economic growth, integrate climate change into national policies, ensure water, food and energy security and to strengthen institutions dealing with climate change disasters.
The Prime Minister said programs for risk sharing and insurance for loss and damage were also being planned, while the corporate companies were being encouraged through tariff and market based incentives to follow low carbon path by adopting energy efficient technologies.