Pakistan and Italy have joined forces to tackle climate change and strengthen cooperation in water management. During the fifth meeting of the Pakistan-Italy Joint Economic Commission (JEC) in Rome, Federal Minister for Climate Change Senator Sherry Rehman and Italy’s Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Maria Tripodi co-chaired the session. The meeting resulted in the establishment of a collaborative framework to address climate change issues and improve water management practices, further bolstering the bilateral relationship between the two countries.
Boosting Bilateral Trade and Climate Collaboration
Senator Sherry Rehman expressed her pleasure in co-chairing the JEC meeting, highlighting the positive impact of the establishment of the Italian Trade Agency office in Islamabad on bilateral trade. She emphasized the need for a common framework between Pakistan and Italy to effectively tackle climate change and enhance water management. Senator Rehman also noted the significant growth in bilateral trade, with expectations that it will reach $2 billion by 2022, while Pakistan’s exports are projected to surpass $1 billion.
Senator Sherry Rehman expressed her pleasure in co-chairing the JEC meeting, highlighting the positive impact of the establishment of the Italian Trade Agency office in Islamabad on bilateral trade.
Pakistan’s Climate Change Challenges
Despite Pakistan’s minimal contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions (0.88 percent from CFC gases), the country ranks as the eighth most vulnerable nation to the consequences of climate change. Pakistan has experienced the adverse effects of climate change on its economy, with projections indicating potential long-term economic decline. The World Bank estimates that climate change could result in an annual GDP reduction of 18% to 20% by 2050.
Impact of Climate Change on Pakistan
Pakistan has witnessed numerous devastating floods throughout its history, causing immense economic losses, human casualties, food insecurity, and the spread of diseases. Recent flooding events, such as the 2022 flood, resulted in a staggering $30 billion economic loss, making it the deadliest flood in the nation’s history. Climate change has also contributed to temperature variations, droughts, repeated heatwaves, declining crop yields, negative impacts on the livestock sector, and rising sea levels, further exacerbating the country’s vulnerabilities.
Pakistan’s Climate Change Policies and Mitigation Efforts
Pakistan has implemented comprehensive policies aimed at adaptation and mitigation. The country is a signatory to international agreements like the Kyoto Protocol of 1998 and the Paris Agreement, which advocate for compensation to climate-vulnerable nations. To address the challenges of climate change, Pakistan estimates a need for $348 billion for climate-related initiatives and development projects.
Climate change has also contributed to temperature variations, droughts, repeated heatwaves, declining crop yields, negative impacts on the livestock sector, and rising sea levels, further exacerbating the country’s vulnerabilities.
The country has plans to establish 15 model protected areas nationwide and expand protected areas to cover at least 15% of Pakistan’s total area by the end of 2023. Additionally, Pakistan has set ambitious targets for emissions reduction, renewable energy adoption, and electric vehicle usage, with a goal of achieving a 50% emissions reduction by 2030 and shifting to 60% renewable energy and 30% electric vehicles by the same year.
Global Financial Support and Pakistan’s Commitment
While Pakistan has demonstrated its commitment to mitigating climate change through its participation in international agreements, the country continues to face challenges in securing adequate financial support from the global community. As a signatory to several climate-focused treaties, Pakistan recognizes the urgent need to address the hazards of climate change and remains dedicated to implementing effective measures to mitigate its impacts.
The collaboration between Pakistan and Italy through the establishment of a joint framework signifies a significant step towards addressing climate change challenges. By combining efforts and expertise, both nations aim to improve water management practices and combat the adverse effects of climate change.
Pakistan’s commitment to preserving its ecosystems, implementing renewable energy solutions, and reducing emissions demonstrates its determination to overcome the climate-related risks it faces. However, global financial support remains crucial to enable Pakistan to effectively implement its climate mitigation and adaptation policies and build a more sustainable.