ISLAMABAD: Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday urged a top United States official to explore the possibility of climate change mitigation investment in Pakistan and other developing nations, the prime minister’s office said, in a meeting held on the sidelines of the Middle East Green Initiative (MGI) summit in Riyadh.
PM Khan was in Saudi Arabia on the invitation of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to attend the MGI summit. He met US special presidential envoy for climate, John Kerry, on the sidelines of the moot on Monday.
The development came weeks after Pakistan and the US held an inaugural meeting of a joint working group on climate and environment, and agreed to take “greater action” for climate change mitigation and adaptation.
The US-Pakistan working group was formed in July this year at a meeting between Pakistani PM’s aide on climate change Malik Amin Aslam and US special envoy Kerry in London, where they both were attending a ministerial meeting on climate change on July 25-26.
PM Khan “encouraged the Special Envoy to further explore the possibility of enhanced bilateral engagement through the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) to support investment in climate [change] mitigation, resilience, and adaptation in Pakistan and the developing world,” the PM’s office said in a statement.
The Pakistan premier underscored the need to reinforce national as well as global emphasis against this existential threat.
Special Envoy Kerry agreed that “Pakistan and the US shared a longstanding relationship, which should be further reinforced in areas of mutual convergence, including climate and environment,” the statement read.
The US official briefed PM Khan on various measures undertaken by President Joe Biden’s administration to develop a broad global consensus on climate action in the run-up to the United Nations Climate Change Conference of Parties later this month.
The 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP26, is the 26th United Nations Climate Change conference, scheduled to be held in the city of Glasgow from October 31 to November 12 under the presidency of the United Kingdom.
PM Khan further said that Pakistan and the US should continue sharing ideas, expertise and technology to optimize mutually beneficial opportunities in the fight against climate change.
The two sides agreed to work in “close coordination to determine next steps in building an effective framework of cooperation in this regard,” the statement said.
PM Khan was in Saudi Arabia to share his perspective on the challenges faced by the developing countries due to climate change at the MGI Summit.
In January 2021, Germanwatch, a Bonn-based think tank, described Pakistan as the eighth most vulnerable country to climate change, having witnessed 173 extreme weather events and suffered an estimated loss of $3.8 billion as a consequence from 2000 to 2019.