Pakistan will never close door to China on climate change: Pak official

By Staff Reporter | China Economic Net Aug 16, 2022

ISLAMABAD, Aug. 16 (China Economic Net) - "Pakistan will never close the door to China on climate change," noted Joudat Ayaz, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Climate Change of Pakistan, while taking an exclusive interview with China Economic Net.

Unfortunately, he mentioned, Pakistan does not have so such pronounced cooperation with China in the aspect of climate change. Joudat Ayaz pointed out that there are some historical reasons. “Normally Pakistan used to get funding from UN sources or multi-lateral sources,” he said.

As per Joudat Ayaz, from data of the last decade, he can tell that China has become more and more conscious about environmental protection. Up till now there was not that much cooperation with China, but "I will say there is too much potential, because China itself is conscious about its environment and improving its eco system," Joudat Ayaz told the reporter.

Also, China’s technology stands at the level where it can compete with the Western countries, he added. "There should be more south-south cooperation and I am a big advocate of it. For us, adopting solutions from China would be easier as compared with the US and Europe since we cannot replicate their technology as it is," he pinpointed, adding that is why Pakistan needs to strengthen cooperation with China in tackling climate change.

For example, in China there is a concept of "sponge city" where the rainfall is absorbed in the soil through leakage. “When it is dried it gives you an effect of soil like it releases water in the atmosphere. However, such a mega project has not been seen in any of Pakistani cities. And related technology has reached such a level that we should start thinking about it," Joudat Ayaz told China Economic Net.

As he put it, there had been a lot of rain in Lahore, Islamabad and Karachi even today. "Our urban centres are not ready for 2 to 3 inches of rainfall. Water stands 2 to 3 feet on the ground when it rains. We need to utilise that water through rainfall harvesting techniques like China so that water would create minimum damage and can be utilised in some other areas like in agriculture sector as a substitute," he added.

"I have visited China seven to eight times," he told CEN, adding that Pakistan will never close the door to China on climate change. "If you had been to China and knew it well enough, you might know there was a desert once from Urumchi to Kashghar. They have planted trees on both sides and have changed the landscape. Similarly we have a forestation program appreciated all over the world. Thus, we enjoy high potential in this type of area to collaborate with China," he said.

To deepen the bonds between the two brotherly countries, Joudat Ayaz reckoned that expert exchanges, conferences and networking will be significant as they help both sides figure out where and how to collaborate. "Pakistan can learn a lot about local solutions from China," he further said.

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