Published Date: Oct 12, 2015
Pakistan Sey Paris Forum: All united for Climate Action
Pakistan, throughout its short history, has gone through many tumultuous moments. Today, it stands at yet another critical juncture: climate change. As the overwhelming scientific evidence grows that fossil fuel based industrial activities are causing an unnatural and violent change in climate patterns across the globe, Pakistan, along with all countries, needs to take drastic steps in order to avert what could otherwise provoke catastrophic disasters. Pakistan is one of the countries most affected and vulnerable to climate change, given its economy, geography and geology. It is therefore very much concerned by the Paris Climate Conference, otherwise known as COP21, which will be hosted by France from November 30th to December 11th 2015 and aims at achieving a new universal agreement on climate. To face such a large challenge, Pakistan, first and foremost, needs to work within itself. Each and every sector of the economy, the state and society at large is concerned and should, therefore, act. The central – and fair – idea is that government should not be the only ones combating climate change but also businesses, local governments, cities and civil society at large. The private sector needs to divest from fossil fuel activities and provide more incentives for greener economic initiatives. Investing in green growth, which is the growth of the future, can be a source of profit and employment. The government, both on the federal and provincial levels, needs to continue gathering all the relevant actors and coordinate and implement a bold climate action plan for the entire country. This is the philosophy and the founding ideas of the “Pakistan Say Paris” Lahore Forum on 13-14 October: it is designed to be broad based, representative and inter disciplinary in its approach so that it can facilitate integration of problems and solutions that can serve as useful guidelines for policy makers and civil society. The proposed “Agenda of Solutions” to mitigate or adapt to Climate Change impacts developed at the forum will be able to become part of the message that will be delivered in Paris. It is hoped that the Lahore Forum will set the stage for negotiations in Paris and provide public/private and civil society members with an opportunity to share views and concerns that reflect their needs and priorities so that Pakistan can work towards a climate resilient policy framework. It is in this regard that we at the AKF, CCRD, CPPG, GBC, IUCN, LEAD Pakistan, MGPO, PCRET, PCRWR, SCOPE, SDPI SPO, and WWF have decided to join our effort together and organize this forum together with the French Embassy and the United Nations. This positive initiative launched by the French Embassy deserves support from all quarters. The broad based, representative and socially inclusive approach must be taken forward after the two day event in Lahore is over to expand outreach, build alliances, consolidate gains and accelerate momentum to sensitize all stakeholders about climate change impacts and the role of people and governments in moving towards a world that is safe and prosperous for all. Signed: the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF), Center for Climate Research and Development (CCRD), Center for Public Policy and Governance (CPPG), Green Building Council (GBC), International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), LEAD Pakistan (LEAD), Mountains and Glaciers Protection Organization (MGPO), Pakistan Council for Renewable Energies Technologies (PCRET), Pakistan Council on Research in Water Resources (PCRWR), Society for Conservation and Protection of Environment (SCOPE), Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), Strengthening Participatory organization (SPO), and World Wildlife Fund (WWF), with the support of the French Embassy and the United Nations in Pakistan. The Forum “PAKISTAN Sey PARIS – On the road to 2015 Paris Climate Conference” will take place in Lahore on 13th and 14th October, at Alhamra. This Forum, conceived and supported by the Embassy of France, gathers a large platform of INGO, NGO, academia, governmental institutions and UN agencies including LEAD Pakistan. This article was first published in Daily Nation.