European Climate Diplomacy Day celebrated in Islamabad, Pakistan
As France is gearing up to host the 2015 Paris Climate Conference, several events on climate change are being held globally to raise awareness among public and governments.
One of the major events, European Climate Diplomacy Day (June 17, 2015), was held in almost 60 countries on five continent to demonstrate commitment to 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21) to be held in December 2015.
In Pakistan, French and German diplomats along with their EU colleagues hosted a photography exhibition “60 SOLUTIONS against climate change” and film screening of ‘Home’ – both by Yann Arthus-Bertrand, French environmentalist. The event was held at PNCA in Islamabad.
Sponsored by Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and the GoodPlanet Foundation, the exhibition displayed striking images to highlight innovative and effective solutions combining the fight against climate change and economic development worldwide. The photographs and film called for preserving the planet as a livable place for future generations, urging each country to fight the climate change.
“Pakistan is among the countries in the world most vulnerable to climate change” German Ambassador Dr. Cyrill Nunn reminded the audience.
“This is a beautiful country but this beauty is at risk. Pakistan needs to be involved in the international negotiations as development and climate change are increasingly linked and climate change puts development goals at risk,” German Ambassador said.
Some photos on display called for building several small dams to mitigate global warming while some demonstrated that agriculture should be given top priority as it feeds the world. The photo exhibit, held in Islamabad, emphasized that climate change had no boundaries as it was a common problem being faced by the humans living on the earth.
“Climate change knows no borders and there is shared responsibility and need for a shared commitment to redress the damage” said the French Ambassador Mrs Martine Dorance. The French ambassador said Pakistan was a beautiful country because of its landscape, but warned the country’s scenic north was prone to impacts of global warming.
EU Envoy Mr. Stefano Gatto said that Pakistan is one of the most vulnerable regions to the rising global temperature, adding the climate change had already affected Thar in Sindh that had been affected by droughts. He added while it is true that the developed world caused climate change but an increase in temperature is and will continue to impact the developing world disproportionately.
“Pakistan must focus on addressing the challenges posed by climate change. It must reduce emissions. The international stakeholders should work hard to limit global warming below two degree Celsius,” the EU envoy said.
While foreign ambassadors and envoys took time out to discuss Pakistan’s vulnerability to climate change but Pakistan’s climate change minister couldn’t make it to the event. A senior official from the Climate Change Division told the hosts that the minister was busy in the National Assembly and apologised that the climate change secretary too was not available to grace the occasion.
60 SOLUTIONS against climate change by Yann Arthus Bertrand
The circulating photo exhibition “60 SOLUTIONS against climate change”, is based on 21 photos by Yann Arthus Bertrand from his famous “Earth from Above” series and presents concrete initiatives in four sectors: cities, agriculture, energy transition and climate change adaptation.
Yann is a French photographer, journalist, reporter, considered more an environmentalist and activist because of this commitment on environmental issues. Yann created the Goodplanet Foundation as an extension of his artistic work to raise public awareness of environmental issues, implement carbon offset programmes and fight deforestation. He is well-known for his book Earth from Above and Home.
Message by High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini on European Climate Diplomacy
Federica Mogherini on European Climate Diplomacy termed climate change as an emergency and tackling it a moral duty towards our children.
“Climate change does not belong to a remote future. It is all around us. It affects us directly. It is already impairing our security environment. It is the battle of all present and future generations. It is a matter of survival. It is our responsibility.”
She added that: “Tackling climate change is a moral duty towards our children. Leading the way towards a more sustainable future is the right thing to do for Europe. And that is what we are doing.”
We established a comprehensive system of environmental protection covering all aspects from energy efficiency to the reduction and recycling of waste, the management of water bodies, the conservation of natural habitats. We have put forward an ambitious emissions’ reduction target on which we are already delivering.
Our aim is to achieve at least 40% domestic greenhouse gas emission reductions on 1990 levels by 2030. But our continent accounts only for around 9% of global emissions: while our lead is vital, and our responsibility higher, teamwork will be even more important/this can only be a collective effort.