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Lahore, Pakistan outreach event for the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report

On 24 February, LEAD Pakistan, with support from CDKN, collaborated with the Urban Unit of the Planning and Development Department, Government of Punjab (USPMU), and the IPCC to communicate the key messages of the Fifth Assessment Report to Pakistan audiences in Lahore, Punjab. The event was presided over by Mr. Irfan Elahi, the Chairman of Planning and Development for the Government of Punjab, and was well attended by eminent officials from different provincial departments, academic & research institutions and development organisations.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Elahi said that climate change has grave impacts for the region and as a result, the Punjab Government is working with its international partners on different resilience strategies and projects in the province. He appreciated the IPCC, CDKN and LEAD Pakistan in generating knowledge and understanding on the climate and its impacts on development, infrastructure and health. He urged the need to put more effort into research and development, and social network development as adaptation and mitigation measures to cope with risks associated with changing weather patterns.

The CEO of Urban Unit, Dr. Nasir Javed, the CEO of LEAD Pakistan, Mr. Ali Tauqeer Sheikh and contributing authors to the Fifth Assessment Report, Dr. Mohsin Iqbal, Dr. Joyshree Roy and Dr. Edwin Aldrian, shared different lessons for the South Asian region. The session concluded that there was a need to decouple economic growth from emissions and population increase, and the overall development of the region should follow a low carbon pathway.

In the panel discussion, Dr. Ghulam Rasool of the Pakistan Meteorological Department and Dr. Nazimuddin, Chairman of the Punjab Higher Education Board (and ex. Vice Chancellor of the University of Gujrat) also joined as panelists. Responding to different questions and comments, the audience was apprised that the IPCC periodically assesses the regional and global impacts of climate change on different regions and sectors based on scientific evidence and socio-economic trends. The IPCC report predicts that there will be increased incidence of flooding, drought, glacial melt and resulting impacts on crop yield and food security in the region.

The session concluded that there are many lessons for policymakers of the region in the report, such as developing regional climate cooperation for climate modeling and resource management, channeling more investment in different sectors, diverting attention to land-use planning and focusing on high emission sectors such as urban development, agriculture, power generation and transport.

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