ISLAMABAD - While all eyes are fixed on the political temperature in country, European Union and other foreign ambassadors on Wednesday warned it was the global warming that posed alarming threats to Pakistan’s northern areas besides causing floods and droughts in the country.
For European diplomats, June 17 is Climate Diplomacy Day aimed at promoting a worldwide understanding of the need to take action to mitigate climate change. In Islamabad, they celebrated the day by arranging a photo exhibition and a documentary which was watched by 600 million viewers worldwide.
But, unfortunately, the spacious halls of Pakistan National Council of Arts (PNCA), the venue, presented a deserted look where not a single political leader, including the federal minister for climate change, reached to attend and address the function despite receiving invitations.
In his welcome remarks, EU Envoy Stefano Gatto made it clear that Pakistan was one of the most vulnerable regions to the rising global temperature, adding the climate change had already affected Thar in Sindh that had been rendered barren by droughts.
The 60 photos taken by renowned photographer and environmentalist Yann Arthur Bertrand that offered 60 solutions to control the climate change were seen by foreign dignitaries as there was no government representative from Pakistan on the occasion.
The EU envoy, French Ambassador Martin Dorance and German Ambassador Cyrill Nunn had to wait for the chief guest, Climate Change Minister Senator Mushahidullah Khan.
A senior official from the Climate Change Division told the hosts that the minister was busy in the Parliament as the session of the National Assembly was in progress. He also apologised that the climate change secretary too was not available to grace the occasion.
“Pakistan must focus on addressing the challenges posed by climate change. It must reduce emissions. The international stakeholders should work hard to limit global warming below two degree Celsius,” the EU envoy said on the occasion, finding a few journalists to cover the event as the media had rushed to the Parliament to cover the political temperature in the country.
The photos displayed on the occasion called for building several small dams to mitigate global warming. The photos demonstrated that agriculture should be given top priority as it feeds the world.
It emphasised that climate change had no boundaries as it was a common problem being faced by the humans living on the earth. The exhibition called for preserving the planet as a livable place for future generations, urging each country to fight the climate change.
The French ambassador said Pakistan was a beautiful country because of its landscape, but warned the country’s scenic north was prone to impacts of global warming.
The European Climate Diplomacy Day was observed six months ahead of the next UN conference on the subject that will take place in Paris in December this year as EU called on national and international stakeholders to work together towards reaching an ambitious, equitable, comprehensive and binding UN climate agreement.