Islamabad: Following Pakistan’s exclusion from a virtual summit hosted by the US on climate change slated to take place next month, the countrys civil society activists, working in the field of environmental protection, have expressed their concerns over the decision.
The virtual summit on climate change, to be held on April 22 and 23 called by US President Joe Biden, will see the participation of at least 40 heads of state and governments, including India, Bhutan and Bangladesh.
As per details from the White House, “the virtual summit would be addressed by leaders of Russia, China, Argentina, Australia, France, Indonesia, Germany, Israel, Canada, Japan, Italy, Kenya, Mexico, Denmark, Colombia, Congo, Chile, Jamaica and other countries”.
The exclusion of Pakistan has prompted response from many, who took to social media to express their surprise.
Pakistan is the fifth-most vulnerable country and is among the nations badly affected by climate change.
Senior journalist Kamran Yousaf maintained that Pakistan’s expulsion from the summit can be related to the recent statement of the former US envoy, who stated that the country lost agreat deal of importance in the minds of the American leadership.
“What the current US leadership think about Pakistan, an eye opener statement by former US Ambassador to Islamabad and must serve as a wake up call,” he said.
Another senior journalist and South Asian affairs expert Michael Kugelman said that Pakistan’s expulsion from the summit came at a time especially when the prime agenda of the current leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan, is to take actions to mitigate the affects of climate change.
“Many in Pakistan are unhappy Imran Khan isn’t on list of invitees. It appears the main criteria for being invited are (1) close partner of the US or (2) a major polluter or (3) highly vulnerable to climate change or (4) some combo of 1,2,3. Pakistan certainly qualifies for (3),” Kugelman tweeted.
Pakistan is one of the top-10 most vulnerable nation in world due to many natural disasters, densely populated coastal spaces, water shortages.
It is also the world’s fifth most populous country.
Pakistan’s Foreign Office spokesperson, said: “Pakistan, despite being among the top 10 countries affected by Climate Change, is one of the lowest emitters, with less than 1 per cent of the global emissions.”
The spokesperson added that the countries responsible for at least 80 per cent global emissions and GDP, have been invited to the summit.
However, the public at large and the civil society is not ready to agree to the response from the government and has its eyebrows raised over the Biden administration’s decision.
By Hamza Ameer