The Federal Minister for Commerce and Investment, Syed Naveed Qamar, addressed the European Parliament’s Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety in Brussels today. The Commerce Minister was joined by Pakistan’s Ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg and the European Union, Dr. Asad Majeed Khan.
This was the third debate which was held by the European Parliament regarding the devastating climate-induced Floods in Pakistan, which was unprecedented.
The Commerce Minister’s address was followed by an exchange of views with the Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) belonging to different political groups.
The Commerce Minister thanked the Chair MEP Pascal Canfin and the members of the Committee for inviting him to address the prestigious Committee of the EU Parliament and underlined the importance of regular parliamentary exchanges between Pakistan and the EU.
Minister Naveed Qamar underscored that Pakistan is at ground zero of the climate crisis, despite contributing less than 1 percent of global greenhouse gases. He elaborated that the country has been suffering from extreme weather events such as droughts, forest fires, severe heat waves as well as catastrophic floods.
The Minister indicated that Pakistan has taken a number of initiatives to tackle the adverse effects of climate change, however the size and scale of the current disaster is beyond our national capacity and is adversely affecting our progress on the sustainable development goals.
The Minister indicated that the country is determined to Build Back Better in a climate-resilient manner with the support and cooperation of friends and partners. The Commerce Minister emphasized that sustained preferential market access will play a critical role in helping Pakistan achieve its economic rehabilitation, growth and development objectives, especially in the aftermath of the disaster.
He stressed that the ongoing loss and damage discussion must be brought forward in all climate-related deliberations at multilateral forums including the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference COP 27.
The 81-member ENVI Committee is one of the most prominent and influential Committees of the European Parliament. It oversees and provides guidance on Environment policy and environmental protection measures, Public health, and Food safety issues.
In a separate meeting with the Chair of the European Parliament’s Development (DEVE) Committee, MEP Tomas Tobe, the Minister stressed Pakistan’s keenness in expanding Pak -EU development cooperation and tapping into EU’s Global Gateway Strategy to rehabilitate and reconstruct the flood-affected areas.
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