Published Date: Oct 5, 2016
The people of Pakistan will be directly affected by climate change so they should take ownership of the issue and press their political leadership to devise a strategy about it.
This was stated by international and domestic environmental lawyer Ambereen Shaffie during a lecture on ‘The Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the ozone layer’ organised by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) on Tuesday.
Ms Shaffie, who is a US national of Pakistani origin, said Pakistan was one of the 10 countries vulnerable to climate change. “The water supply, energy and food supply in the country will be badly affected because of climate change and the situation can contribute to a large number of deaths.”
Comparing the loss from climate change to terrorism, she said Pakistan faced a loss of $1 billion because of terrorism but the estimated loss from climate change was $6 billion per year.
Environmental lawyer says citizens should press political leadership to devise strategy to cope with climate change
“Ozone layer has been depleting and the only way out is to reduce the carbon emissions. The Montreal Protocol is a landmark international agreement designed to protect the ozone layer,” she said.
It may be mentioned that the Montreal Protocol of 1990 has been ratified by Pakistan and 196 other countries. It bans the production and consumption of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and other classes of chemicals that destroy the ozone layer and warm the climate.
The amendment talks on protocol will commence in Rwanda on October 6, 2016.
“Under the Montreal Protocol, developing countries, who are not contributing to the carbon emission, can get funds as a compensation for not emitting carbon. Hydro-fluorocarbons (HFCs), which are emitted because of the air conditioners, refrigerators, insulating foams etc., are contributing to global warming, and will also be discussed in the upcoming meeting,” she said.
She suggested that Pakistan should immediately switch over to the energy efficient equipment because it can reduce the emission of carbon and reasons of responsible for climate change. Moreover, it will also reduce the energy bill and the amount can be spent somewhere else.
In reply to a question, Ms Shaffie said the government should have proper data and statistics to present its case at the international forums but there was a major gap of information.
Ambassador Shafqat Kakakhel agreed that the Montreal Protocol was one of the most successful agreements as it was the first time that the suggestions of scientists were taken seriously and there was a political will.
Developed countries put money to implement the treaty.
Under the treaty, $3.5 billion have been provided to the developing countries.
“However, now it has been learnt that there are as many as 19 chemicals which are becoming a reason for global warming and climate change. Resources will be required for capacity building of developing countries but I doubt that the developing countries will provide adequate funds for it,” he said.
He said Pakistan does not produce HFCs but it has been facing more problems because of the climate change.
Earlier, Tahir Dhindsa of the SDPI said climate change was one of the most important and sensitive issues for Pakistan because its glaciers had started melting due to the global warming.
He said in 2015 during the Paris Agreement on climate change, it was decided that the global temperature of the world would not be allowed to increase by two degrees and efforts would be made to achieve the target by decreasing the carbon emission.