Minister hails G7 countries’ decision to phase out fossil fuels useJune 20, 2015
ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Climate Change, Senator Mushahidullah Khan, has hailed leading G7 industrial nations for announcing to phase out the use of fossil fuels by decarbonising the global economy in the course of this century.
Such move, if actualized, would help control emission of climate altering green house gases (GHGs), which have caused global warming. Eventually, this will lead to stablising climate change and reduction in occurrence of the climate change-induced natural disasters, the minister said in a press statement issued here on Sunday.
On the final day of the G7 summit held June 7-8 in a Bavarian castle, in Germany, German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced that G7 nations’ leaders have committed themselves to the need to decarbonise the global economy in the course of this century and agreed on a global target for limiting the rise in average global temperatures to a maximum of 2 degree Celsius over pre-industrial levels.
Welcoming the G7 meeting announcements, Mushahidullah Khan said, We know that with the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris later this year, the pressure is mounting on the leaders of the world’s seven most economically powerful nations to make progress on international agreements to keep climate change at below 2 degrees Celsius.
He also appreciated the German chancellor for describing prior to the 41st G7 summit that climate change as one of two key global challenges to be addressed at the G7 talks, along with sustainable development.
Mushahidullah Khan said that getting rid of fossil fuels’ use would require energy transition beyond fossil fuels through multiple means, including transport electrification, decommissioning of operating fossil fuel-fired power plants and prevention of the construction of new fossil-fuel-fired power stations in the rich countries.
Above all, a move to the many forms of renewable energy from solar, wind, water and air is must for shifting away from fossil fuels, he emphasised. The federal minister says it is possible to achieve sustainable global economic growth while protecting the climate by means of making energy sectors and industrial sector in rich countries decorbonised, which is must for wiping out climate changing greenhouse gas emissions from these sectors.
Representing more than 64 percent of the net global wealth, the Group of 7 (G7) is a group consisting of the finance ministers and central bank governors of seven major advanced economies as reported by the International Monetary Fund. G7 consists of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States meeting to discuss primarily economic issues.
The Senator Mushahidullah Khan also appreciated German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who announced after the G7 meeting that the leading G7 industrialised countries remain committed to raising $100bn in annual climate financing to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) by 2020 from public and private sources.
A target of $100 billion by rich countries was agreed among both developed and developing and poor countries at the 2009 UN climate conference in Copenhagen, he reminded to the rich countries. During the 2009 conference, the rich countries had agreed to mobilise $100bn every year from 2020, to help developing nations adapt to a changing global climate and reduce their own carbon emissions by boosting forest growth, energy-efficient urban transportation, shifting to renewable energies such as solar or wind and help them adapt to erratic weather patterns and their damaging impact.
The GCF established in 2010 within the framework of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC ) is a global funding mechanism to redistribute money from the developed to the developing world to assist developing countries in adaptation and mitigation practices to counter harmful impacts of climate change.
Over 198 countries are signatories to the UNFCCC, which is an international environmental treaty. The minister cautioned that with inadequate financial resources and lack of technology, we, developing countries, cannot fight the negative impacts of climate change, protect our economies and people from them.
Senator Mushahidullah Khan insisted that getting strong, long-term de-carbonisation commitments from the G7 countries and other rich countries as well as securing more and improved commitments to the climate finance of $100 billion goal by year 2020 is indispensable for bring developing and emerging economies on board for climate commitments and tackling common threat of climate change in a unified manner.
Advanced Indstrilised nations have a key responsibility to transfer finances and technologies that could enable developing countries to cut their own carbon emissions and adapt to climate change impacts and to be able to join hands with rich nations to cope with climate change in a unified manner, he argued.
Responsible for 30 percent of coal-generated power worldwide, the G7 nations should carry a large share of the responsibility for global greenhouse gas emissions reduction and contribution of major portion of finances to the GCF for poor countries’ adaptation to climate change risks, particularly floods, tropical cyclones, droughts, erratic rainfall patters, depleting groundwater resources, heat-waves and health diseases, Mushahidullah Khan urged.
The climate change minister stressed that finance was ‘vital’ and must be part of a package of support for developing countries to allow them to opt for low-carbon growth. This was indispensable because many developing/poor countries like Pakistan, Nepal, Philippines, Vietnam, Bhutan and Afghanistan direly need money and want to hear about release of these major sums from GCF, the Minister asserted.