30th May 2022 Islamabad Federal Minister for Climate Change, Senator Sherry Rehman met Mr Najy Benhassine, Country Director, World Bank and discussed the ongoing projects in Pakistan by the World Bank.
During the meeting, the Federal Minister was briefed on the overall objective of the Bank’s climate initiatives in Pakistan.
While discussing the importance of all the projects, Minister Sherry said, “Such programmes are extremely vital for the materialization of our Climate goals. We recognize that sufficient, reliable, clean and cost-effective availability of energy, water and food – for now, and in the future – is indispensable to ensure sustainable economic growth and development. We need to strive for a cleaner, greener Pakistan.”
The Federal Minister, while discussing the need for energy transition said, “The infrastructure required in the direction of a clean energy transition still seems under-resourced for Pakistan, which is home to a substantial source of renewable energy. As far as electric vehicles are concerned our recommendations for phased usage are now with the Ministry of Industry. This is not an easy switch for the common man. We need to incentivise transitions that reduce emissions.
The Minister also met with an FAO Mission to the UN composed of Mr Dan Gustafson, Special Representatives to the DG and Nadine Valat, Head of the Green Climate Fund Unit alongside their team. To identify future avenues for cooperation.
Federal Minister for Climate Change Senator Sherry Rehman reviewed the implementation of large projects in Pakistan and discussed ways to strengthen future avenues for collaboration.
Minister Sherry Rehman stressed, “Pakistan is the third most water-stressed country, we need to streamline mitigation with adaptation as mitigation cannot be done in isolation. Projects by GCF have proven to be instrumental in achieving mitigation, along with adaptation and with continued cooperation, we can together move towards a more sound water strategy in Pakistan, however there needs to be an effort to move from pilot projects which look good on paper towards the scaling up of outcomes.”
“The springless weather, blistering heatwaves, and the temperatures in Dadu and Jacobabad are reminders of the immediate dangers of Climate Stress. The upcoming monsoon will provide little respite but we need to understand the ferocity and scale of the effects of climate change and the subsequent climate anxiety is unmatched in Pakistan. Climate Stress needs to be in the headlines not just when a disaster occurs. We can talk about how Pakistan contributes less than 1% to GHG emissions but the truth is there’s a fire in our backyard and we can’t ignore it.”
She further elaborated the need for increasing public awareness on the urgency of climate actions, “A robust communication strategy is imperative if the transition has to be initiated. People need to be informed of the potential fallout of a looming global climate catastrophe and its impacts on the food chain and biodiversity. Without public buy-in, any transition will be challenging. Pakistan needs to develop better technical and climate finance capacity immediately, and that is where the Bank can play a constructive role in unlocking global green funds for Pakistan”
Minister Sherry Rehman concluded by saying, “Pakistan is in the frontlines of a compounded climate catastrophe; we are facing a cascade of extreme weather events. The climate clock is ticking and we need to explain the intensity of this climate crisis to our population and to our policy elites as well in order to move forward .”