Islamabad, 22 October 2021 (TDI): The Ambassador of Denmark to Pakistan, Lis Rosenholm, applauded Pakistan for its climate actions in a tweet.

Denmark and Pakistan are together in their fight against climate change. During the recent visit of Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod, he met the Prime Minister of Pakistan, the Imran khan. Both sides reiterated their commitment to green agenda and climate change.

Pakistan’s climate actions- An overview

Pakistan’s greenhouse emissions account for less than 1%, yet it is among the top ten most vulnerable countries affected by climate change.

Initiatives include the Flagship project Ten Billion Tree Tsunami Programme, Clean and Green Pakistan, Clean Green Pakistan Index, the Protected Area initiative, transportation electrification, and Ecosystem Restoration Fund.

Pakistan has planted over a billion trees out of ten billion across the country. Pakistan met the United Nations SDG 13 (climate goal) well before the deadline.

Not only this, but Pakistan became the first country in the world to meet the International Bonn Challenge. Under the challenge, the target is to restore 150 million hectares of degraded and deforested landscapes into restoration by 2020 and 350 million hectares by 2030. At the same time, Pakistan has converted over 600,000 hectares of land into forests.

Pakistan surpassed its commitment to a global goal to restore 150 million hectares of deforested land by 2020.

The incumbent government has raised its voice for action against climate change globally. During the SCO Summit 2021 and 76th session of UNGA, Prime Minister Imran khan addressed climate change as one of the biggest challenges for the world. He also raised this issue during the 15th session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD15).

In this regard, the provision of climate financing by developed countries to developing countries is put forward as the solution by the government of Pakistan as developing countries are more vulnerable to climate change despite their low carbon emissions. Climate financing is essential for adaptation and mitigation.

Climate change and its impact on Pakistan- Some facts

  • German Watch Climate Change Risk Index 2021 places Pakistan as the 8th most vulnerable country to climate change from 2000 to 2019
  • Glaciers, ice, and snow hold 70 percent of the earth’s water resources. Water is essential for life, agriculture, and development. These resources have been melting since the 1960s.
  • The rates at which they are melting have exacerbated in the last decade. This is unprecedented in two thousand years of recorded history.
  • The melting of glaciers results in rising sea levels that, in turn, cause floods.
    Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports that glaciers are declining simultaneously.
  • Since 2000 Pakistan has lost 9989 lives, bore $3.8 billion in economic loss, and faced 152 extreme weather events due to climate change.
  • Pakistan’s glaciers are spread over an area of 16933 Km; it has 108 peaks over 6000 meters and several others about 5000 and 4000 meters.
  • Melting glaciers also have created glacial lakes in northern Pakistan
  • Glaciers are reservoirs of fresh water which fill Pakistan’s rivers and hence are immensely critical
  • Pakistan continues to face water scarcity due to low riparian country
  • Glacial melting has affected agriculture, drinking water supply, hydroelectric power generation, and natural habitats and ecosystems in Pakistan