One of the world’s most important climate change conferences, the UN’s COP28, came to an end on Tuesday.

With Pakistan taking a major hit from the impact of climate change, still reeling from the devastating floods of 2022, Business Recorder looks at which announcements were most important for Pakistan at this year’s summit.

1. ‘Recharge Pakistan’

Caretaker Prime Minister of Pakistan Anwar-ul-Haq Kakar introduced ‘Recharge Pakistan’ — a seven-year, $77.8-million project that will aim to use nature to help adapt to climate change.

According to a press release, Recharge Pakistan will be a big step for Pakistan to protect itself from the effects of climate change.

“The Recharge Pakistan project is a flagship project, which is central to our efforts to reducing flooding and drought impacts,” said the interim PM.

“This project will not only benefit millions of our citizens but will also serve as a model for climate innovation at a global scale.”

2. Pakistani orphan school wins $100,000

KORT (Kashmir Orphans Relief Trust), a non-profit organization that runs one of the largest orphan schools in Mirpur, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, won the prestigious $100,000 Zayed Sustainability Prize - the UAE’s global award in sustainability and humanitarianism.

“We are thankful to the UAE government for recognizing our efforts to fight climate change through education and awareness. We will be using the award money to promote organic farming and water conservation in our area in Kashmir,” Zaib-un-Nisa, the school principal, told Arab News.

3. $30-billion climate fund

UAE President Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed announced the establishment of a $30 billion climate fund for global climate solutions that could lead to $250 billion of investment by the end of the decade.

Dubbed ALTÉRRA, the fund will allocate $25 billion towards climate strategies and $5 billion specifically to incentivise investment flows into the Global South, according to a statement by the COP28 Presidency.

4. Loss and damage fund

Nearly 200 nations agreed to launch a fund to support countries hit by global warming, in a “historic” moment at the start of the talks.

Wealthy countries most responsible for the climate emergency have so far pledged a combined total of more than $700 million to the loss and damage fund.

Pakistan caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar said the responsibility shown by the wealthy nations is a welcome step as he stressed the need to immediately operationalise the fund, ensuring its utilisation on merit to cope with the issues of climate change.

He also said the fund was advocated by Pakistan during COP27.

However, according to a report in The Guardian, the amount so far pledged to the fund is “the equivalent of less than 0.2% of the irreversible economic and non-economic losses developing countries are facing from global heating every year.”

5. Health and farming

Two updates around tropical diseases and farming that may be of relevance to Pakistan came out of COP28.

Funding for a joint effort by the US and the UAE to advance climate-friendly farming around the world has grown to more than $17 billion, the countries announced.

The Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate (AIM for Climate) was launched in 2021 at COP26 in Glasgow and its funding comes from governments, companies, and non-governmental organizations.

Separately, the UAE and several charities offered $777 million in financing for eradicating neglected tropical diseases that are expected to worsen as temperatures climb.

Climate-related factors “have become one of the greatest threats to human health in the 21st century”, COP28 President Sultan Ahmed Al-Jaber said in a statement.

The pledges included $100 million from the UAE and another $100 million from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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