COP-28 an opportunity to achieve goals set in Paris Accord: UAE Envoy

Hamad Obaid Ibrahim Salem Al-Zaabi says Pakistan needs to develop conducive ecosystem for attracting international climate finance

ISLAMABAD  -   The Ambassador of United Arab Emirates, Hamad Obaid Ibrahim Salem Al-Zaabi has said that the upcoming COP-28 is a crucial moment in the global fight against climate change and we must use this opportunity to create an enabling environment to achieve the goals set in the Paris Agreement in 2015.

Hamad Obaid Ibrahim Salem Al-Zaabi, the Ambassador of United Arab Emirates, said this while speaking at a High-Level Policy Dialogue on “COP-28 and Beyond: Strengthening Climate Action through Public-Private Partnerships.”

The dialogue was jointly organised by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), Pakistan Renewable Energy Coalition, and the Embassy of United Arab Emirates in Islamabad, here. 

The envoy said that the upcoming COP-28 is an excellent opportunity to reset our course, accelerate global commitment and efforts to refocus global stock take for finding solutions to the common climate challenges. “We firmly believe that this global challenge requires collaborative efforts of the governments and private sector at global level.

Jacob Linulf, the Ambassador of Denmark, while reiterating his country’s support for loss and damage fund for Pakistan, said that Pakistan needs to develop a conducive ecosystem for attracting international climate finance.

Syed Mujtaba Hussain, Senior Additional Secretary, Ministry of Climate Change, said climate agenda has to be an all-nation effort, encompassing collaboration between all stakeholders from public, private sector and civil society organisations through comprehensive cross-sectoral interventions. “We must translate the plan of action into actionable projects to tap into the real potential of international climate finance.”

Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri, SDPI Executive Director, said that climate change is a multi-pronged issue, which is manifesting in different forms and affecting countries without any discrimination. Highlighting the role of public-private partnerships in developing net-zero cities, he recalled that the City of Masdar is the only zero carbon city in the world, which was built in the aftermath of collaboration among public and private sectors, academia, civil society organisations, etc.

Earlier, in his opening remarks, Ambassador Shafqat Kakakhel, the Chairperson of SDPI Board of Governors, said that the most significant development in COP-27 was the loss and damage fund and technology transfers among states. However, he said, the question of early warning systems and technologies transfer to developing countries is still there. He stressed that the commitment of $100 billion annually can be met and scaled up in COP 28 with particular focus on green and sustainable technologies. He said public-private partnerships must be strengthened in letter and spirit to increase financing in clean energy sources for a sustainable future of the world.

Zafar Masood, President of Bank of Punjab, said that the Gulf Cooperation Council is the most relevant region for climate finance as they have evinced keen interest in financing bankable projects in Pakistan. He added that the role of private sector is crucial but public sector must take up projects and financing in novel and unchartered areas to attract international climate financing.

Aisha Khan, the Executive Director of Civil Society Coalition for Climate Change, remarked that the financial commitment made by the global north in Paris Agreement has to be met and the upcoming COP 28 should focus on increasing investments in global climate finance architecture, resilient infrastructure and loss and damage. She added that public finance is insufficient, public private partnerships and blended finance must play a key role in climate action.

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