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Why the Paris climate talks are too important to ignore for Pakistan

November 30, 2015



A Pakistani mother carries her children after the devastating floods of 2010. – AFP


As the UN-backed COP21 climate talks are about to commence in Paris, the eyes of the world are set on the city of lights which despite the horrendous Paris attacks of November 13th which killed 130 people and injured hundreds more will be hosting thousands of international diplomats and 158 heads of state including Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in an effort to reach an ambitious deal that would help reduce global carbon emissions and resolve the climate crisis.


Human-induced carbon emissions which are responsible for the rise in global temperatures that are contributing to melting glaciers, rising sea levels, rampant droughts, catastrophic floods and heatwaves that has killed thousands and displaced millions around the world including in countries like Pakistan which remains worst affected from this climate crisis.


Despite Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif recently declaring, ‘climate change as a serious threat to human life’ the official response from the Pakistani authorities does not really seem to reflect the urgency to deal with the climate crisis after Pakistan not only delayed the submission of its own national climate action plan but the 350-word one pager it submitted to the United Nation was declared as “irrelevant” and “not serious enough” by many experts for solving one of the greatest threat that humanity faces in the 21th century.

Pakistani delegation must highlight some of the key facts mentioned below at the Paris climate talks to not only present their side of the story but in order to ensure climate justice could be served for one of the world’s most vulnerable and poorest of the countries affected by climate change.



An elderly man left behind in the floods of 2012 in Pakistan. – AFP


  • Pakistan happens to be one of the most affected country from the present climate crisis as it has already suffered from extreme and deadly climate events such as the floods of 2010 & 2012, 2012 Gayari Sector avalanche, 2015 Karachi heat waves which have lead to widespread loss of human life, undermining economic development and national security of the country as a result.


  • Pakistan needs international assistance and cooperation if it wants to mitigate and adapt from the effects of climate change. Despite the increase in global funding for adaptation and mitigation within developed nations, Pakistan’s share has been “too little, too late” compare to the magnitude of disasters it has faced. The average cost of climate change adaption for Pakistan alone would be an average annual cost of around $6-14 billion and the cost of mitigation would run around 17 billion every year according to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.



  • Pakistan is a country that faces an acute and serious energy crisis, one of the solutions to free the country from this menace would be moving towards a  clean energy transition that is sustainable, low carbon and cost effective. Pakistan is already going ahead with a planned development of Asia’s largest solar farm called the Quaid -e-Azam Solar Park, which eventually will produce 1,000 MW of power. But in order to truly move ahead with its climate friendly and energy independence objectives Pakistan must seek more investment, international co-operation and funding for development of the renewable energy sector, which is projected to meet 7 to 30% of the Pakistan’s energy requirements by the year 2030 that can eventually lead to a stabilized and economically progress Pakistan.





France the host country to the Paris climate conference which recently suffered an unimaginable tragedy that shocked the world still planned to move ahead against all odds with the climate talks and its ambassador to Pakistan Martine Dorance recently declared the ‘Paris conference to be a moment of solidarity’. Pakistan as a country that is not only a victim of terrorism but equally suffers from the climate crisis too must realize that this crisis is a security threat that endangers the stability and security of Pakistan and it is a threat that must not be ignored at any cost.



Written by

Muhammad Salman Khan


The author is an environmental campaigner and social activist based in Karachi. He is a lover of science, tech and nature who tweets as @ImGreenGuru (



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