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A Call for Climate Hope

By the time Pakistan was submitting its worst climate catastrophe- this years’ massive flooding in Pakistan, the renowned climate campaigner Al Gore was leading the world largest conversation on climate change he call 24 Reasons For Hope.In simple words; our solutions to fight climate crisis!

To be honest, the word Hope sounds astound when someone actually stands in the midst of flood water. However, understanding the basic science of climate change and the solutions climate scientists put in perspective can help many countries like Pakistan fight climate crisis and protect lives of hundreds from climate related disasters.

The brunt of climate crisis in Pakistan is countless. The 2010-11 floods cost Pakistan about $15 billion, affecting more than 20 million people. Floods in a row after 2010 have been devastating for Pakistan, putting country economy at risk.

In such “new-normal” context, we have to learn from the world what does Hope mean? Countries like Germany, India and China are pioneering renewable energies. Governments are declaring carbon neutral development paths. The US, who has still not signed the Kyoto protocol, is now shaking hands with China to cut carbon emission- the main reasons for global warming and disasters. The US’ Environment Protection Agency has proposed to limit its 40% carbon pollution from power plants.

Where we,as Pakistan,stand in this entire Climate Hope? In recent IPCC conference in Lima, Peru, 196 countries for the first time agreed to limit carbon pollution in order to avert the consequences of climate change. World is getting ready to replace Kyoto Protocol with a new binding agreement in next year UN Conference, scheduled in Paris.

The developing counties are now profoundly pressing developed and rich nations set clear mechanism to support them access climate finances along with a guarantee to ensure consistent funding support. Pakistan, on the other hand, still has to make its strong position to win this support. The German Watch Index in 2010 already put us on top of the list about those countries mostly affected by Climate Change. Instead, our government demoted Climate Change ministry and reduced its annual budget by 60%. This is simply strange.

Our Government recently put off duty on import of solar panels with the aim to boost this Industry in Pakistan. That’s just a small part of our Hope. Climate Change costs our GDP 6% every year. That means we have a long way to go. Our neighbor India plans to double its wind and solar energy production by 2020. We have to build our Hope and act fast if we have to find our right place in new global perspective to fight climate crisis.

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