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Govt to ring-fence cities to tackle climate change, says PM Imran

Pakistan, World Bank sign MoU to combat climate change. (Source: Radio Pak)

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday announced that the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) was working on a master plan to ring-fence the cities so that they would not expand beyond certain limits.

The premier expressed these views while speaking at an agreement signing ceremony held here between the Ministry of Climate Change and the World Bank for the launch of “Green Stimulus – Turning Concept into Reality”.

Under the agreement, the World Bank was providing Rs. 22 billion of funds for 14 green initiatives across the country. Pakistan will be assisted in implementing the Nationally Determined Contributions under the Paris Agreement.

Addressing the ceremony, the prime minister has emphasised that preventing the expansion of cities has become inevitable to protect them from impacts of climate change. “Our cities are under stress and they are expanding and green cover is fading,” he added.

The premier said considering the pace at which urban areas are expanding, it would not possible for the authorities to keep the environment clean and protect rivers from getting polluted. “The government is working on a master plan to ring-fence the cities so that they would not expand beyond certain limits,” he announced.

The premier reiterated that Pakistan was among the top 10 countries most vulnerable to climate change despite having carbon emissions of less than one per cent. “That is why it is important for the nation to realise that we must take steps to avert climate change,” he added.

The premier said that he had seen the effects of global warming throughout his life. “Around 20 to 25 years ago, people who used to live in villages and mountainous regions started to say that temperatures are rising they complained that the amount of rainfall had decreased and it had become hotter,” he pointed out.

PM Imran lamented the fact that the world did not acknowledge climate change for a long time. He said that at the 26th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, it was evident that the world was now largely acknowledging climate change.

“If we don’t take meaningful and strong steps, then major parts of the world will suffer the negative effects of weather pattern changes,” the prime minister warned.

He added that his government’s Ten Billion Tree Tsunami Programme was essential for protecting Pakistan’s dwindling forests. He stressed on saving the country’s forests and increasing plantation campaigns.

 

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