US invites Pakistan to climate summit after snub
By Aamir Latif
KARACHI, Pakistan (AA):- The US has finally invited Pakistan to an upcoming climate change summit after initially ignoring the country, leaving government officials puzzled.
Malik Amin Aslam, the prime minister’s adviser on climate change, told Anadolu Agency on Monday that he would represent Pakistan at the two-day virtual summit, which is slated to be held on April 22 and 23.
In a letter to Aslam, a copy of which was made available to Anadolu Agency, US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry said: “On behalf of the President of the United States, it is my pleasure to invite you to be a distinguished speaker at the virtual Leaders Summit on Climate. We would like to ask you to join other ministers and leaders on April 22 in a discussion focused on climate adaptation and resilience.”
“It is our hope that you can contribute Pakistan’s valuable perspective to a session focused on climate adaptation and resilience to be hosted by the Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack,” it added.
US President Joe Biden last month invited 40 world leaders, including those from India, China and Bangladesh, to the summit to the Leaders Summit on Climate “to galvanize efforts by the major economies to tackle the climate crisis.”
He, however, did not invite Washington’s longtime ally Islamabad, prompting Prime Minister Imran Khan to openly express his displeasure over the US snub.
Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Saturday that he was “puzzled at the cacophony” over Pakistan not being invited to a conference on climate change.
“My government’s environment policies are driven solely by our commitment to our future generations of a clean & green Pakistan to mitigate the impact of climate change,” the premier said, citing the examples of the Clean and Green Pakistan campaign and the 10 Billion Tree Tsunami initiative.
The virtual summit follows Washington’s return to the 2016 Paris agreement on climate change after the Trump administration formally left the accord last year, saying it was in America’s “economic interests” to do so.
[Photo:US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry. Photo: Nikki Ritcher Photography/Creative Commons]