DUBAI: Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar has said that adapting Pakistan to climate change is vital to adapting the Indus Basin to the impacts of climate change as the majority of population is linked to the river.

Addressing an event on ‘Living Indus Initiative’ held here at the Pakistan Pavilion at the venue of the United Nations’ 28th Conference of Parties (COP28) on Sunday, the PM said Pakistan’s climate challenge was primarily a water challenge that needed immediate action to be addressed.

He said Pakistan was the eighth most vulnerable country in the world to the impacts of climate change.

He pointed out that Living Indus was an umbrella initiative aimed at restoring the ecological health of the Indus within the boundaries of Pakistan.

NDMA showcases Green Pakistan Initiative at COP28; health minister to meet environmental leaders today

“The Indus River needs a voice, and we are here to give that voice,” he remarked.

This initiative, he said, suggested that “we need a minimum indicative investment between $11 billion and $17 billion over the next 15 years to mobilise from the public sector, private sector, citizens, and communities”.

He pointed out that Pakistan launched ‘Recharge Pakistan’, which was the first concrete step towards the Living Indus. The project will not only benefit millions of citizens but also serve as a model for climate innovation on a global scale, he added.

Besides, in an interview to Sky News Arabia on the sidelines of COP28, PM Kakar said Pakistan had been a strong voice for climate finance for developing countries that was fully acknowledged by the developed world at the conference.

He said Loss and Damage Fund (LDF) was advocated by Pakistan at COP27 to assist the developing countries in facing the climate challenges in terms of mitigation and risk reduction.

PM Kakar said operationlisation of the LDF was a testament that developed countries had morally accepted the argument that world must support those countries that were not responsible for the climate damage.

“Pakistan has always been advocating that the countries who have not contributed to the carbon emissions, but remained one of the worst affected by the climate disaster, must be compensated in terms of mitigation, climate adaptation and receiving climate finance to address all those challenges,” he added.

He noted that the operationalisation of LDF by the announcement of $30bn by UAE was a good start in the right direction.

Talking about the Israeli atrocities, the PM said that sustainable peace was only possible through a two-state solution to the Palestine issue according to the pre-1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.

He also spoke about the refugees and Kashmir issues.

Green Pakistan Initiative

The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) showcased the strategic Green Pakistan Initiative project during a plenary discussion at the COP28.

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and Green Climate Fund (GCF) organised the discussion “Strengthening Delivery: Aligning development, humanitarian and climate finance”.

Participating in a special session of the discussion, NDMA Chairman Lt Gen Inam Haider Malik highlighted the country’s Proactive Disaster Management aimed at enhancing indigenous capacities to prevent and minimise disaster losses.

He also discussed climate-smart agriculture collaboration with the IFAD and stressed the need for providing climate finances to undertake projects in disaster-hit countries like Pakistan.

Besides, he held separate meetings with Practice Manager, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management, South Asia Region, World Bank, Abhas Jha, and Chief Executive Officer, International Rescue Committee, David Miliband.

Carbon emissions

Caretaker Minister for Health Dr Nadeem Jan will meet top leaders of global environmental organisations at the COP28 on Monday (today).

The minister will participate in a panel discussion to deliberate the urgent need for nations to reduce carbon emissions.

Mr Jan will emphasise the need for global efforts towards zero carbon emissions.

Dr Nadeem said that all participants of COP28 aim to accelerate clean energy and transformation efforts in the future. He said an effective strategy will be formed by the panel to reduce the emission of gases that harm the environment.

Published in Dawn, December 4th, 2023

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