ISLAMABAD: Pakistan, despite not among the 40 countries that also included India and Bangladesh invited by US President Joe Biden to next month's "Leaders Summit on Climate," Saturday expressed its commitment to play its due role in the fight against climate change. United States President Joe Biden Friday skipped Pakistan to be invited to the Leaders Summit on Climate, he will host on April 22 and 23 to be held in virtual format. In a statement, White House stated that President Biden invited 40 world leaders to the summit he will host on April 22 and 23 to be held in virtual format.
Besides, the leaders from major powers such as Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin, the US president has also invited leaders from the region including Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister of Bhutan Lotay Tshering, and Indonesian President Joko Widodo, while Pakistan is not among the list of the countries invited to the summit.
Responding to media queries, the Foreign Office spokesperson, Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri, stated that Pakistan's commitment to addressing climate change and Prime Minister Imran Khan's leadership on this account is well accepted and appreciated around the world.
"The government's landmark initiatives like the Billion Tree Tsunami have won international acclaim, including from the World Economic Forum," he said, adding that Pakistan is also meaningfully contributing to shape the global climate change discourse, inter alia, as the Vice President of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, and member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
He pointed out that Pakistan also co-chaired the multibillion-dollar Green Climate Fund, established to support climate actions in developing countries, last year.
"The Leaders' Summit on Climate Change hosted by President Biden reconvenes the US-led Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate, which brings together leaders from countries responsible for approximately 80 percent of global emissions and GDP," he said.
He added that the Summit also includes representation from countries holding Chairs of geographic regions and groups including Least Developed Countries, Small Island Developing States, and Climate Vulnerable Forum.
"Pakistan, despite being among the top 10 countries affected by climate change, is one of the lowest emitters - with less than one percent of the global emissions," he said.
"Climate Change is one of the defining challenges of our times that can only be countered through inclusive, cooperative and forward-looking policies. Pakistan remains fully committed to play its due role in this fight," the spokesperson added.
After the White House announcement with regard to the invitees and Prime Minister Imran Khan not among them, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) secretary- general Ahsan Iqbal grilled the prime minister for not been invited to the Summit, despite, Pakistan being among the world's 10 top countries affected by the climate change. "US President invited 40 leaders to the summit on climate change, but "Tsunami Trees fraud Mufti" Imran Niazi not among the invitees...India, Bangladesh and Bhutan have been invited, while Pakistan, being among the world's top 10 countries affected by climate change, is not invited," Ahsan Iqbal stated in a tweet.