COP28 President-Designate meets Pakistan Prime Minister, calls for greater support for climate-vulnerable countries

COP28 President-Designate meets Pakistan Prime Minister, calls for greater support for climate-vulnerable countries

ISLAMABAD, 7th July, 2023 (WAM) -- COP28 UAE President-Designate Dr. Sultan Al Jaber met the Prime Minister of Pakistan Shehbaz Sharif, senior government and diplomatic officials and youth climate advocates in Islamabad as part of his global listening and engagement tour.

During his visit, he called for greater collaboration on climate and support for developing countries on the frontlines of climate change.  

Dr. Al Jaber met with Prime Minister Sharif to discuss priorities linked to the COP28 agenda, including building a robust response to the Global Stocktake, climate finance and operationalisation of the loss and damage fund, tripling renewable energy capacity by 2030, climate adaptation and resilience and nature-based solutions.

Dr. Al Jaber met with Sherry Rehman, Pakistan Minister of Climate Change and Environment, to discuss Pakistan’s vulnerability to extreme weather events linked to climate.

“The reality is that climate change is already having a profound impact on the lives of billions of people and this is something Pakistanis understand all too well,” said Dr. Al Jaber, referring to last year's devastating floods that affected at least 30 million people and resulted in mass displacement and infrastructure and economic loss.

Dr. Al Jaber added, “At COP28, the world’s focus must be fixed on the needs and hopes of people, their voices must be heard and we must respond to their demands with ambition and action.”

Supporting Pakistan’s efforts to advance a just energy transition, the COP28 President-Designate and the Pakistani Prime Minister witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the UAE’s Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan to cooperate on the development and investments of renewable energy projects in Pakistan. 

The agreement was signed by Sharif Al Olama, Undersecretary of the UAE Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure, and Rashid Mahmood Langrial, Federal Secretary from Pakistan’s Ministry of Energy.

“We must build the energy system of the future while decarbonizing the energy system of today,” stressed the COP28 President-Designate. “This includes tripling renewables and doubling both energy efficiency and hydrogen production. We must also achieve net zero methane emissions by 2030 and deliver on net zero carbon emissions by 2050.”

Dr. Al Jaber added, “We must streamline and simplify access to climate finance and reform IFIs and MDBs, while incentivizing the private sector to play a larger role in climate finance. Developed countries must deliver on their promise of $100 billion annually to the Global South and the Loss & Damage fund must be operationalised.”

During his visit, Dr. Al Jaber also delivered a speech at the Pakistan Foreign Service Academy, emphasising the need for course-correction to get the world back on track towards meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement.  

The COP28 President-Designate also pointed to the need to “protect nature, enhance food systems, upgrade adaptation responses and bring health onto the climate agenda for the first time.”

He commended Pakistan’s pioneering reforestation initiatives, which “will lead to the expansion of natural carbon sinks, the protection of ecosystems and biodiversity, and better protection against land degradation and climate impacts.”

Dr. Al Jaber was accompanied on the visit by the Emirates Red Crescent Secretary-General Hamoud Al Junaibi, who emphasised the crucial need to respond to the humanitarian needs in Pakistan, especially in the aftermath of last year’s disastrous floods.

The Secretary-General highlighted the Emirates Red Crescent’s significant contribution in providing humanitarian assistance to those affected through its office in Pakistan.

“The authority has been actively engaged in Pakistan for many decades, implementing numerous relief programs and development projects in areas such as healthcare, education, social welfare, housing, and other essential services,” said Al Junaibi. “The Emirates Red Crescent will continue to support vulnerable countries to alleviate the impact of natural disasters, particularly floods and earthquakes.”

In Islamabad, Dr. Al Jaber met with Pakistan-based youth delegates from the COP28 International Youth Climate Delegates Programme and representatives from YOUNGO, the Official Children and Youth Constituency of the UNFCCC.  He listened to their personal stories and efforts to mobilise climate action and welcomed their views for meaningful youth inclusion in the multilateral climate process.

“We must have the most inclusive COP ever ─ one that brings everyone to the table, using every tool available, to take a holistic approach to this global challenge,” said Dr. Al Jaber.