Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif expressed the hope on Tuesday the ongoing COP27 Summit in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt would yield concrete results in terms of focussing on providing financial assistance to the developing countries faced with environmental damage and loss.
Talking to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on the sidelines of the COP27 talks, and addressing Saudi ‘Green Initiative Summit’ the prime minister said that Pakistan looked forward to work closely with Middle Eastern countries on the environmental and other issues.
In the bilateral talks, Shehbaz appreciated the crown prince’s ‘Middle East Green Initiative’ and assured the Saudi leadership of Pakistan’s full support. He thanked Saudi Arabia for its assistance to the flood-affected people of Pakistan.
During the meeting, both the leaders reiterated their determination to further strengthen the multidimensional bilateral partnership. The prime minister and the crown prince also expressed satisfaction over the growing high-level contacts between the two countries.
The prime minister appreciated the hospitality and cooperation of Saudi Arabia for the two million Pakistanis working in the Kingdom who, he said, were contributing to the development, prosperity and economic progress of the two brotherly countries.
Shehbaz said that he looked forward to the upcoming visit of the crown prince to Pakistan. He hoped the visit would further deepen bilateral cooperation. He particularly emphasised the importance of increasing trade, investment, development and people-to-people ties between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.
Addressing the Saudi Green Initiative Summit, Prime Minister Shehbaz was appreciative of the Saudi crown prince for undertaking the landmark ‘Middle East Green Initiative’ and expressed Pakistan’s keenness to work closely with the Middle Eastern countries to secure the planet against climate change impacts.
“It [Middle East Green Initiative] is a big step in the right direction for human survival, regional rejuvenation and seed a much-needed hope for a world looking for a greener and more bio diverse future,” he said. “Pakistan is fully committed to the broader objective of the initiative,” he added.
Pakistan, Shehbaz continued, looked forward to working in close collaboration with the Middle Eastern states for restoration of forests in dry land areas, management of protected areas, carbon stock assessment and establishment of forest monitoring system.
The nature-based solutions are also at the heart of Pakistan’s ambitious climate action agenda,” Shehbaz told the summit. “The objectives of the Initiative are aligned with Pakistan’s forest policy and Green Pakistan Programme which focused on protecting and managing our forests, wildlife and ecosystem by 2030.”
Separately, Prime Minister Shehbaz jointly chaired the Roundtable Conference on Climate Change and Sustainability of Vulnerable Communities, along with his Norwegian counterpart, Jonas Gahr Store on the sidelines of the COP27.
Addressing the roundtable, Shehbaz urged the international community to focus on climate justice, stressing that Pakistan was one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change despite less than 1% emission of the greenhouse gases.
On the occasion, Shehbaz highlighted the devastation caused by the recent climate-induced floods in Pakistan and it impact on the people’s lives as well as the national economy. He stressed that the government was working in its full capacity for the relief and rehabilitation of flood victims.
Shehbaz stressed that climate induced changes had provided an opportunity to the global community to cease the moment and chart a course to secure its future and support the vulnerable communities in the countries like Pakistan.
“The task is herculean but they must address the climate change impacts with shared responsibility and by enhancing the capacity and supporting the developing countries like Pakistan to address the issue,” he said.
He added that the climate change had ravaged Pakistan. “It is very important for the world to realise that no more countries could become victims of this climate-induced changes.”
Earlier, speaking at a high-level meeting titled ‘Scaling up Action and Support on Losses and Damages-the Global Shield against Climate Risks’, Shehbaz called for renewed international solidarity and cooperation to address the challenge of climate change.
The event was jointly hosted by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, and President of Ghana Nana Akufo-Addo, and attended by a number of heads of state and government. On the occasion, Shehbaz welcomed the inclusion of ‘Loss and Damage’ as an agenda item of COP27 summit.
The prime minister said the desired financing facility should serve as primary vehicle to coordinate and mobilise financial resources to address loss and damage in the developing countries. He added that COP27 was a timely opportunity to take a clear and decisive” action in this regard.
The prime minister was in Sharm el-Sheikh to attend the Climate Implementation Summit. Nearly 100 heads of state and government convened in the Red Sea resort for two days of talks aimed at deepening emissions cuts and financially backing developing countries.
Shehbaz said in a tweet that during his interaction with the world leaders on the sidelines of the COP27, he explained the challenges of the post-flood reconstruction in Pakistan. He added that he also highlighted the urgent need for continued international support for rehabilitation of flood victims.
(AGENCIES WITH INPUT FROM NEWS DESK)