The United Kingdom (UK) has pledged over £55 million to help Pakistan fight climate change, use water more sustainably and unlock climate investment as part of the ongoing 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26), a statement issued by the British High Commission (BHC) on Thursday said.
According to the statement, the funding has been split into three parts.
Of the promised financial support, £38m has been allocated for a five-year climate resilience programme to help Pakistan’s poorest communities in protecting themselves from the changing climate.
Another £15m has been set aside for a five-year water governance programme, aimed at making water use in Pakistan more sustainable and water access fairer. Moreover, £2.5m has been allocated to support "new ways of attracting [the] much needed climate investment to Pakistan, including on the development of a Nature Performance Bond," the statement said.
It added that the UK had committed to helping Pakistan attract climate investment on World Environment Day in June this year.
According to the press release, the British High Commissioner was due to announce "the urgently needed new programmes at a high-level reception for climate change stakeholders at the British High Commission in Islamabad this evening (Thursday)".
In this regard, the statement quoted British High Commissioner to Pakistan Dr Christian Turner as saying: “For Pakistan, climate change could be catastrophic. That is why we are working together on trees and finance, and mobilising leading Pakistani businesses. This £55m new funding will ensure Pakistan becomes more resilient to climate impacts, with more sustainable water use and greater access to climate finance, so improving lives and livelihoods.”
More than 120 heads of state and government have gathered in Glasgow for the COP26 summit, which is being billed as vital for the continued viability of the Paris Agreement, which countries signed in 2015 by promising to limit global temperature rises to “well below” two degrees Celsius, and to work for a safer 1.5 degrees Celsius cap.
"As global leaders come together for COP26, this is a critical time for Pakistan," the BHC said in the statement, adding that the country had been ranked the "8th most vulnerable country to climate change".
And by the year 2100, it warned, rising temperatures meant 36 per cent of glaciers along the Hindu Kush and Himalayan range would be gone.
On the other hand, the BHC said, "the UK had already achieved notable successes [in fighting climate change, and] 90pc of the world’s economy is now covered by net-zero targets, up from less than 30pc when the UK took on the presidency of COP26."
"This will help the most vulnerable countries like Pakistan," it added.
According to the BHC, as part of COP26, the UK has been working with Pakistan on a #26For26 campaign to have 26 Pakistani companies commit to halving emissions by 2030 and getting to the net-zero target by 2050. It said 29 companies had been signed up so far.
Moreover, it said, Pakistan had also joined over 100 other countries to pledge to end and reverse deforestation by 2030 at COP26,
The BHC added that even before COP26, "the UK had been working closely with Pakistan on climate change, and will provide £7m this year to help the country achieve its climate change objectives."
And earlier this year, the UK launched a new programme in Lahore to promote cleaner brick production practices, which would help improve air quality, reduce smog and fight climate change, the BHC said.