Pakistan Requires $340 Billion to Tackle Climate Challenges, Says Finance Minister

Pakistan Requires $340 Billion to Tackle Climate Challenges, Says Finance Minister

Karachi, November 1, 2022 – Pakistan Finance Minister, Dr. Shamshad Akhtar, has emphasized the need for a substantial investment of approximately $340 billion to address the country’s climate challenges.

Speaking at the Second Climate Conference organized by the Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI), Dr. Akhtar highlighted that this amount represents around 10 percent of Pakistan’s cumulative GDP.

During her address, the finance minister discussed the critical international issue of the trade-off between climate finance and developmental finance. She stressed that securing funds to combat Pakistan’s climate crisis should not undermine other vital development initiatives. Dr. Akhtar further announced that for the first time, the Ministry of Finance would collaborate with the Ministry of Climate to attend COP28 together in November, with a focus on exploring innovative climate finance mechanisms.

Minister of Energy, Muhammad Ali, added his perspective, underscoring the significant cost of climate change to Pakistan, which is continuously escalating, given the nation’s severe economic challenges. He emphasized the need for substantial investments in energy assets and infrastructure to facilitate Pakistan’s energy transition by 2040. Ali urged the leveraging of private sector capabilities, particularly the OICCI, which comprises advanced global organizations with the expertise to contribute to Pakistan’s climate future.

Despite being responsible for less than 1% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, Pakistan ranks as the eighth most vulnerable nation to the climate crisis, making addressing climate change a paramount concern for the country.

The Second Climate Conference organized by the OICCI revolved around themes aligning with the upcoming COP28, scheduled to take place in the UAE by the end of November. These themes included Climate Resilience and Capacity Building in Vulnerable Communities, Plastic and Waste Management, and Emissions Reduction and Green Energy.

Philip Skinner, Managing Director of GuarantCo, emphasized that there is no longer a distinction between ‘finance’ and ‘climate finance,’ emphasizing the need for financial institutions to incorporate climate considerations into their decision-making processes.

Last year’s devastating floods in Pakistan, which submerged a significant portion of the country, served as a stark reminder of the heavy toll that climate change can exact, impacting lives and causing extensive damage to infrastructure. The Pakistan Climate Conference 2023 brought together global and local climate change experts, business leaders, policymakers, and social change activists to address these pressing challenges.

OICCI Secretary General, M Abdul Aleem, emphasized the importance of the climate change discourse, highlighting initiatives, projects, and campaigns that demonstrate collaboration across various sectors and countries to combat the climate crisis.

The 2nd Pakistan Climate Conference 2023 built upon the foundations laid in the previous conference, providing policy directions and sharing best practices from leading multinational corporations in Pakistan to accelerate the nation’s efforts toward a climate-positive future.

Rehan Shaikh, Vice President of OICCI, emphasized the urgency of aligning policies and investments with a net-zero future in line with the Paris Agreement, to avoid the worst effects of climate change.

The conference featured notable speakers, including Dr. Shamshad Akhtar, Minister of Finance, Muhammad Ali, Minister of Energy, Adil Najam, WWF Global President, Bill Winters, Global CEO of Standard Chartered Bank, Philip Skinner, Managing Director of GuarantCo, and Sarah Mooney, British Deputy High Commissioner, among other business and thought leaders.

The event drew a diverse audience, including members of the business community, trade bodies, academia, NGOs, and social sector organizations, who applauded the OICCI for convening global experts to address this critical issue. Key sponsors of the event included OICCI member companies such as Chevron, Dawlance, InfraZamin, Standard Chartered Bank, Unilever, BASF, Toyota Indus Motors, Nestle, and Abbott.