Staff Report ISD: Prof. Jean-Pascal van Ypersele, the Vice-Chairman of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), has said that climate change affects livelihood, water resources, food security besides causing poverty, migration and coastal flooding.
He was delivering a special lecture on ‘Challenges and Opportunities of Climate Change’, here under the auspices of Sustainable development Policy Institute and Embassy of the Belgium on Friday at Marriott hotel, Islamabad. As many as 200 people from various backgrounds participated the lecture and showed their keen interest.
Prof Jean-Pascal said change in climate can be observed through the warming of hot days and heat waves, and intensity of the precipitation. “A small amount of warming is observed, however, its impacts are immense, which shows that if warming increases, the impact will be more severe. He said more rainfall is likely over northern parts of South Asia, particularly Bangladesh and Sri Lanka with a weak decrease over Pakistan.
He maintained that there are many opportunities to integration, mitigation, and adaptation, and through these approaches, we can limit climate change and build more sustainable and resilient world.
He further said together with lifestyle and behavior changes, known technologies and policies, including more efficient use of energy and greater use of low carbon can reduce GHG emissions at reasonable costs.Mitigation can result in benefiting human health, he said, adding that humanity has to make two choices to create different outcomes with substantial mitigation and adaptation measures.
Malik Amin Aslam Khan, Global Vice President of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), said Pakistan is contributing only 0.5% of global GHGs and is one of the least emitters in the world. “We are one of the most vulnerable countries being affected by climate change,” he said. Discussing the country’s geography and topography, he said that Pakistan is inclined and as it lies on glacier melting zone; it is affecting the country both in terms of more and less water. Anything that happens in the north affects the south.
“Glaciers in Pakistan are shrinking, store house is reducing. Potentially dangerous lakes like Hunza are at serious risk of natural disasters, because our infrastructure is sensitive.
Highlighting that monson showers in the last week were unprecedented, he stressed the need for a National Adaptation Action Plan to overcome the whole situation.
He said it is apposite time to think on differently. “60 % of our cost is linked to infrastructure therefore; it is imperative to develop the climate change compatible infrastructure,” he said. He further added that mitigation of challenges and taking advantage of number of climate opportunities such wind mapping, solar intensity is observed as highest in some parts of Pakistan, micro hydro, forestry can be inevitable in bringing sustainable eco friendly development in Pakistan.
Earlier, SDPI Executive Director Dr Abid Q. Suleri, in his introductory remarks, said that SDPI is working on the climate change issue since its inception and contributed a lot on the subject. In 2006, Climate Change Centre was established, which is now serving as the center of excellence. Its key areas are adaptation and mitigation. Now, we are working on COP21, he added.
SDPI BoG Chairman and former ambassador Shafqat Kakakhel also spoke on the occasion. He complimented Belgium Embassy for their support and trust on SDPI for organizing this event. He concluded with the remarks that Pakistan must act to combat climate in this critical time. He referred to statement by Secretary of State USA, that there is no Plan B as there is no planet.
Peter Claes, Ambassador of Belgium, in his concluding remarks said that it is pertinent to uplift the public awareness and need of consolidated cumulative joint actions to mitigate the risks of climate change that world is exposed to. He further added that climate change is proportional to human intervention and behavioral changes in our life styles can also play vital role in risk reduction at large.
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