How does climate change affect future investment in Pakistan?

OICCI President Amir Paracha
OICCI President Amir Paracha

In Pakistan, we are no longer facing the distant threat of climate change, but rather the harsh reality that demands immediate action. The World Bank estimates that an astounding $348 billion is required from 2023 to 2030 for adaptation, resilience and decarbonisation. This surpasses our traditional annual development budgets. Private sector financing holds the key to filling these gaps, providing sustainable funding for both green initiatives and transition needs. Governments, businesses, and international stakeholders must unite to mobilise resources on a scale that matches the magnitude of the challenge.

With all eyes on the UAE, where world leaders have gathered for the COP28 summit, Dawn is speaking to experts to answer pressing, everyday questions that are on people’s minds about climate change-related issues.

What role can the private sector play in meeting these challenges?

It can utilise innovative technologies and sustainable practices to lead the way towards green transitions. However, private sector climate financing in Pakistan currently stands at a mere 5pc. This gap necessitates the active involvement of both local and international private investors. Pakistan must incentivise investments in sustainable infrastructure. A start has already been made through initiatives like SBP’s Financing Scheme for Renewable Energy and the recently-launched Gender Green Bond by Kashf Foundation. We must establish the necessary policy and regulatory changes to govern these actions and identify and empower implementation partners, including the private sector, who will be responsible for executing these actions on the ground. Furthermore, policy and regulatory consistency are crucial in providing a stable and predictable environment for sustainable development. The government must ensure that policies and regulations align with long-term sustainability goals and provide clear guidelines for investors and businesses.

Today, Amir Paracha, president of the Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce & Industry (OICCI), explains the role of the private sector in plugging the climate financing gap and boost investment.

What goals has OICCI set in this space?

The OICCI represents over 200 multinational investors spanning across 14 sectors. These organisations offer an opportunity to attract new investors and advocate for global grants and foreign direct investment in climate-positive initiatives. The OICCI has been working towards fostering collaboration between the public and private sectors to tackle climate challenges head-on. We will be hosting a multi-stakeholder dialogue with the Ministry of Climate Change within the Blue Zone at COP28 on Dec 9 to discuss strategic approaches for businesses to transition to a green economy.

Published in Dawn, December 6th, 2023

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