No US invitation to climate moot puzzles PM Imran Khan

By: News Desk      Published: 12:43 PM, 3 Apr, 2021
No US invitation to climate moot puzzles PM Imran Khan
File photo of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday said that that he was "puzzled at the cacophony" over Pakistan not being invited to a conference on climate change by the United States.

Citing the examples of the Clean and Green Pakistan campaign and the 10 Billion Tree Tsunami initiative, Imran Khan, in a series of tweets, maintained "My government's environment policies are driven solely by our commitment to our future generations of a clean & green Pakistan to mitigate the impact of climate change."

The prime minister's statement came days after it was announced that US climate envoy John Kerry will travel to Abu Dhabi, New Delhi and Dhaka from April 1 to 9 in an effort to narrow down differences on climate change goals to slow global warming.

Kerry's schedule did not mention talks with the leadership of Pakistan, which is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world to climate change.

In another tweet, Prime Minister Imran said the government’s initiatives of Green Pakistan, 10 billion tree tsunami, nature-based solutions, cleaning up of rivers, etc were being recognised and lauded.

Imran Khan said “We have gained vast experience in seven years, beginning with KP (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa). We are ready to help any state wanting to learn from our experience.”

In yet another tweet, the premier said he had already laid out priorities for the UN Climate Change Conference 2021 - COP26.

The move came on the heels of the announcement of a climate summit called by US President Joe Biden later this month (April 22-23) for which he has invited 40 world leaders, including those from India, China and Bangladesh, but not Pakistan.

The summit is one of two major international events on climate change. The United Nations is also scheduled to hold an event, the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP-26) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change later this year and Pakistan, as a UN member, will be invited to this event.

Last week, the Foreign Office in Islamabad had hinted that the country was not invited to the White House summit because it was “one of the lowest emitters — with less than one percent of the global emissions”.

Responding to a question on the alleged US snub, the FO spokesman had said: “The Leaders’ Summit on Climate Change hosted by President Biden reconvenes the US-led Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate, which brings together leaders from countries responsible for approximately 80 percent of global emissions and GDP."