Why Was Pakistan Not Invited to The US Climate Change Summit?

Pakistan’s exclusion from a virtual summit on climate change hosted by US President Joe Biden has surprised the civil society activists of the country.

Biden has invited 40 world leaders to his government’s first climate change summit scheduled for 22 and 23 April. Pakistan’s exclusion is surprising as it is the fifth most vulnerable country to climate change, and the issue has been one of the key areas of the focus of the incumbent government.

Senior journalist Kamran Yousaf mused that the decision is not surprising considering a recent statement of the former US Ambassador to Pakistan, Cameron Munter, who said, “Pakistan has lost a great deal of importance in the minds of the leadership in Washington”.


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The US-based expert on South Asian affairs, Michael Kugelman, tweeted,

Many in Pakistan are unhappy Imran Khan isn’t on the list of invitees. It appears the main criteria for being invited are (1) close partner of the US or (2) a major polluter or (3) highly vulnerable to climate change or (4) some combo of 1,2,3. Pakistan certainly qualifies for (3).

Another tweet by Kugenman read:

I don’t think it’s a deliberate snub. Nor do I think it is some type of attempt to play hardball to get Pakistan to cooperate more with the US in the Afghan peace process, as some have suggested. It’s more an issue of how the US views Pakistan and how it frames US-Pak relations.

According to the Special Assistant to the Prime Minister, Malik Amin Aslam, the countries invited to the summit can be categorized into two groups and added that Pakistan does not fit into either one. However, he did not define the two groups.


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The Spokesperson for the Foreign Office stated that the summit aims to bring together the heads of state responsible for approximately 80 percent of global emissions and GDP. He added that “Pakistan, despite being among the top ten countries affected by climate change, is one of the lowest emitters, with less than one percent of the global emissions”.

The leaders invited to participate in the summit are:

World Leader Country
Prime Minister Gaston Browne Antigua and Barbuda
President Alberto Fernandez Argentina
Prime Minister Scott Morrison Australia
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Bangladesh
Prime Minister Lotay Tshering Bhutan
President Jair Bolsonaro Brazil
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Canada
President Sebastián Piñera Chile
President Xi Jinping People’s Republic of China
President Iván Duque Márquez Colombia
President Félix Tshisekedi The Democratic Republic of the Congo
Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen Denmark
President Ursula von der Leyen European Commission
Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen Denmark
President Nguyễn Phú Trọng Vietnam
Prime Minister Boris Johnson United Kingdom
President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan United Arab Emirates
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan Turkey
Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez Spain
President Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa South Africa
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong Singapore
King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
President Vladimir Putin The Russian Federation
President Moon Jae-in Republic of Korea
President Andrzej Duda Poland
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador  Mexico
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern New Zealand
President Muhammadu Buhari Nigeria
Prime Minister Erna Solberg Norway
President David Kabua Republic of the Marshall Islands
President Uhuru Kenyatta Kenya
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga Japan
Prime Minister Andrew Holness Jamaica
Prime Minister Mario Draghi Italy
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Israel
President Joko Widodo Indonesia
Prime Minister Narendra Modi India
Chancellor Angela Merkel Germany
President Ali Bongo Ondimba Gabon
President Emmanuel Macron France
President Charles Michel European Council


  • Pakistan should record contempt in UN for U.S insolence in politicizing a global issue and trying to influence global climate change initiative inverse.


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