Saturday, April 16, 2016

You helped us ask the PM Nawaz Sharif sign the Paris Agreement

A big thanks to everyone who added their names and showed solidarity with us in asking Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif sign the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

Here is the letter we sent to Prime Minister Office in Islamabad today!
--------------------------------------------------------------------







April 16, 2016

Honorable Prime Minister of Pakistan
Muhammad Nawaz Sharif

Ref:     Public resolution to Sign the Paris Agreement on Climate Change

Dear Prime Minister,

I would like to thank you for your personal attendance and much valued representation of Pakistan in the opening session of the 21st session of the Conference of Parties (COP 21) in Paris, France last December 2015.

The outcome of the COP21 was widely appreciated by international community, particularly those concerned of global environment and climate change. The historical Paris Agreement as a result of two week negotiations in Paris thus brings too much hope for us all as the world leadership, including Pakistan, agreed to take every possible step in limiting the emission of greenhouse gases which is the primary cause of climate change.

As you know, Mr. PM, the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will convene a high level signing ceremony on April 22, 2016 in New York where the world leaders will be invited to sign the Paris Agreement. The Paris Agreement will enter into force if at least 55 countries, which together accounts for at least 55% of the global emission, sign the agreement and ratify it within their own legal system.

Dear Prime Minister, the citizens of Pakistan from across the country have reached us through online survey to demand that our Government should take proactive action and join the signing ceremony of the Paris Agreement in New York. We, as the citizen of this country, very much look forward that our Government play it due role in making the Paris Agreement a huge success.

Signing of the Paris Agreement is important for us all. Every day, human induced activities like burning of fossil fuel in industries, transportation and massive global deforestation lead to emission of 110 million tons of greenhouse gases into the Earth’ atmosphere. This huge amount of emission is negatively changing our climate and bringing in frequent disasters like heat waves, flash floods and deeper droughts.

Pakistan although contributes less than one percent in global carbon emission, but it still suffers from catastrophic climate crisis. Similar to the 2015 heatwave in Karachi, meteorologists have again predicted another heatwave this year, thanks to climate change. We would never forget the 2010 flood which affected 20 million Pakistanis and brought one-fifth of the country land under water. Every year we are losing 6% of our total GDP due to environmental degradation and weather related disasters. This is the time our Government join the international community in every possible effort to fight climate crisis.

The citizens of Pakistan demand the Prime Minister of Pakistan Muhammad Nawaz Sharif to join signing ceremony at New York and sign the Paris Agreement. The citizens also demand that the Government of Pakistan take proactive measures to put in place a strong inventory system of greenhouse gases emission and make its national climate action plan (Intended Nationally Determined Contribution) “specific” and in the best interest of the entire nation. 


On behalf of our fellow citizens who contacted our voluntary campaign!



Asif Iqbal

Manager
The Climate Reality Project Pakistan
Al Gore’s Climate Change Leadership Program
https://www.climaterealityproject.org/

Friday, April 8, 2016

Demand Prime Minister of Pakistan to sign the Paris Agreement

Dear friends, we have started a campaign to demand Prime Minister of Pakistan to sign the Paris Agreement. 

Please add your name in this survey before April 16, 2016 and also share the link widely, specially to fellow Pakistanis in the country and abroad. 

Here is the link to add your name and share among your social network; 

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/H8MCLPM

Sunday, April 3, 2016

From a Solar Powered Parliament to a Safer Pakistan

In February 2016, the parliament house of Pakistan achieved a distinct status of becoming the world’ first ever parliament which is 100 percent solar powered.  3,940 solar panels installed over the rooftop and in the parking area of the building produce 1MW electricity and surplus energy is sold out to the National Grid.

The story of solar powered parliament house of Pakistan is part of the big picture the global climate movement is shaping to transition to clean energy pathways and limiting global carbon emission to the scientifically endorsed limit of below 450ppm.

Irrespective of the fact that Pakistan’ share of carbon emission is still less than one percent of the global emission, the country is part of the recent Paris Agreement which encourages all UN member countries to take strenuous efforts in achieving a common goal of staying below 2 Degree Celsius to avoid dangerous climate catastrophes.

Pakistan has remained a victim of climate crisis since long. Last year, the GermanWatch index stated Pakistan as the 8th most affected country due to climate change. In 2010 this ranking was number one. Among the most recent examples is the May 2015 heatwave in Karachi which killed about 2000 individuals. In February 2016, temperature in Karachi peaked to 36.5 Degree Celsius, a February never been so hot in last twenty years. From a sea level rise in the coastal areas of Baluchistan and Sindh to melting glaciers in the North, climate change continues to challenge human survival in Pakistan.

Despite the growing challenges of climate change, Pakistan has the potential to get benefits from a wide range of opportunities to tackle this issue. Renewable energy is one of the options. A study conducted by MIT, Stanford University and University of California confirmed that Pakistan can produced 92 percent of its electricity only from solar power which is the highest rate in the world. This would definitely require a strong political will.

Pakistan being part of the global community can play its part to make Paris Agreement a success by strengthening domestic system of carbon inventory and verifiable reporting mechanism against the needed climate financing to harness promising opportunities like renewable energy.

Although, certain outcomes of the Paris Agreements like current pledges made under Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to limit carbon emission are not sufficient to keep the average temperature increase below 2 Degree Celsius. The agreement however has good things to offer as well - a global commitment of raising USD 200 billion annually by 2020 to support vulnerable countries fight climate change. Highly feasible solar projects together with enhanced system to verify and report carbon mitigation in Pakistan can open ways to access this Green Climate Fund.

Pakistan has the opportunity to revert its challenges associated with climate change with climate resilient country. A strong political will is however needed to make drastic improvements to make this desire a reality. Pakistan still needs to make its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) stronger under the Paris Agreement which currently has no specific targets due to lack of authentic and reportable carbon inventory system.

Number of promising initiatives at the government level gives strong hope that Pakistan is not undermining its climate action as part of the global community. The country approved its National Climate Change Policy in 2012. In early 2015, the government reinstated its Federal Climate Change Ministry and introduced net metering system which allows consumers who install solar system to sell any surplus electricity to the National Grid. Only the Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park, after its completion would generate 1000MW of electricity. The federal government’ Green Pakistan Program aims to plant 100 million trees and the KPK government has initiated Billion Trees Tsunami program to plant another 1.5 billion trees in the country.


The only option to act on climate is in the best interest of all of us. We still have a long way to go and make our country a safer part of the world. A strong political will is no doubt a key to make this happen fast.