Siachen glacier world’s highest battlefield melting faster: Sherry Rehman

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ISLAMABAD, Federal Minister for Climate Change Senator Sherry Rehman on Thursday said Siachen was the highest battlefield in the world, and the Siachen glacier was melting very fast which was directly jeopardising the local communities facing severe glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs).

She was addressing the concluding session of the second day of the Leaders in Islamabad Business Summit titled “Changing Narratives”.

Senator Rehman said when glacial lakes erupt, they wash away bridges and small dams. The government was informing the local communities on impending risk of GLOF through an early warning system being put in place that indicated expected GLOF event.

She added that water scarcity would not happen now, but there was a need to control the use of this water. “Pakistan is facing serious environmental challenges and is not ready for future in terms climate and environment. It has suffered heavy losses,” Sherry Rehman said.

She queried, “Are developed countries doing anything for climate financing?” However, a conference on climate financing in France would be held in June, she added.

International financial institutions were created to support developing countries, whereas the conference in France would restructure the global financial system, including credit finance, she said.

Sherry Rehman Pakistan had earned a chance in COP-27 and had consolidated a group at the international level to
highlight the cause of appropriate climate finance to cope with climate change.

“Droughts and floods are the best examples of climate change. Pakistan will meet environmental pollution targets, it has pollution issues at the local level, but it has no role in global carbon emissions driving global warming,” she said.

The current financial system was not suitable for meting climate finance goals as billions of dollars are needed for climate change prevention projects, she underlined.

“India is a major polluter in our neighbourhood and Pakistan is bearing the burden of its greenhouse gas emissions,” Sherry Rehman said. Plastic was being eliminated globally, and Pakistan also has to eliminate plastic which was going into its ocean, she added.

“In Pakistan, plastic waste equivalent to two K-2 mountains is generated annually. Support should be given to those industries which are shifting their business and operations to green technology and solutions, as big industries and companies are the biggest polluters,” Sherry Rehman said.

“Pakistan’s contribution to global carbon emissions is less than one percent, but here we are enduring 45 degrees Celsius heat waves. We can’t afford to lose 9% of GDP every year to our economy due to climate disasters,” Sherry Rehman added.