ISLAMABAD: Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar while lauding the United Arab Emirates’ announcement of a $30 billion fund to channel investments to mitigate climate change, has said that the climate fund initiative by the UAE is promising and will be translated into tangible projects, especially in the Global South.
However, at the same time, the prime minister noted that the challenge was global, and the contribution has to be global as well. “It is not just the UAE who should cater to climate mitigation,” he opined during an interview with Aletihad, a leading Abu Dhabi based, UAE newspaper.
The caretaker prime minister also highlighted the importance of modern knowledge-based economies and the transformation towards low carbon, adding that Pakistan considered the climate change a “national security challenge” and a shared global issue.
He said the climate change was a common challenge to all of them, whether it was a small nation or a large nation.
Elaborating his viewpoint, the caretaker prime minister further said that one could not rely on the assumption that drought would only affect a particular country, or a hurricane would target a specific nation, or the melting of a glacier would only occur in certain regions.
“Yes, there will be more vulnerable countries, but that vulnerability does not protect others. Climate change is changing its face, shape, and form, affecting more or less the entire globe,” the media outlet quoted the prime minister as saying.
Emphasising the need for solutions, he said that scientific and empirical evidence should guide governments. Vulnerable nations as well as emitters determined the terms of reference for dialogue. These terms outlined the role of all contributors, he observed.
“Rather than being judgemental, the focus should be on resolving the challenge, and the key question is who would play that role!” the caretaker prime minister said.
In the initial stages, the outcomes of the process were beyond the scope of human knowledge. Now, all were aware of the situation, he said, stressing that defining roles and determining who would actively contribute, held the key to resolving the climate issue.
The caretaker prime minister also highlighted the importance of closely watching scientific developments in the climate domain.
“The buzzwords of one decade would be obsolete in another. So we have to think that the change will be kaleidoscopic, and it will be quite speedy. So we have to be vigilant about what scientific developments are happening. And we have to keep an eye on that,” he maintained.
He also outlined Pakistan’s efforts in sustainability and climate fight, noting that the country could also benefit from the UAE-led climate fund.
“Pakistan, I presume, would be one of the beneficiaries of such funds, particularly when it comes from a brotherly country like the UAE. There are many offers on the table, where we are showcasing our renewable projects, be it solar or others. The specifics of the bankable would be discussed at the working group level. I’m sure it would be part of our climate adaptation initiatives where we’re trying to adapt our energy requirements,” PM Kakar said.
Prime Minister Kakar hailed the UAE’s hosting of the global climate conference and congratulated President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed and the Government of the UAE for hosting such a fabulous event.
Elaborating on the close bonds between the two nations, he paid tribute to the UAE’s Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, for laying a strong foundation for the two countries’ bilateral relations.
He said that the relationship had been strengthened further converted into more opportunities, not only for the people of the UAE and Pakistan, but also for the entire region.
Furthermore, the caretaker prime minister attributed the strengthening of the ties to the 1.7 million-strong Pakistani diaspora in the UAE, whom he acknowledged contributed further to enhancing the close bond between the countries.
The Pakistani diaspora’s contributions extend beyond the UAE’s economic structure, he said, adding “Their presence has brought about important contributions towards their own communities back home.”
The PM stressed the long and sustainable partnership between the UAE and Pakistan in terms of climate mitigation, adaptation, climate, finance, among others.
He said that they had signed a number of bilateral agreements in the last few days. One of the contributing and guiding principles in translating all these agreements would be the consideration of climate change problems.
“The new investment is centred on the idea of addressing climate change in the social and other economic areas. We do see a sustainable partnership between the two countries, with a convergence of interests between the two economies,” he added.
The prime minister termed the MoUs between the countries as the beginning of a new chapter and expressed the hope that the joint projects would increase with result-oriented projects in the coming decades.
He said that there was a regional awakening when it came to climate change.
“The UAE plays a leading role in the region. It understands and appreciates its economic potential, relying on resources earned over almost half a century. There are plenty of opportunities around the region, where Pakistan contributes with its youth and their entrepreneurial and professional skills in diverse sectors,” he added.
The caretaker prime minister highlighted agriculture, food security, mining, IT, and industry and manufacturing sectors as potential areas for joint projects, especially given the country’s 14 million population, of which 65% are under the age of 25, and could communicate in major global languages.
While the UAE has the right kind of capital, making partnerships in various sectors viable, he stressed.
“You would find Pakistan a reliable and sustainable partner, and we do trust the UAE and its leadership, President Mohamed bin Zayed blindly,” PM Kakar said.