13 June | 2024

Lahore, Pakistan

Indus as the second most plastic chocked river in world

In summer season, Pakistan is becoming the ‘hottest place’ on planet, as world is also passing through an accelerated phase of warming with rising temperatures

We need collaborative efforts to deal with multifaceted impacts of climate change and investors must invest in climate resilient development projects. Pakistan is facing multifaceted issues like economic challenges as well as serious implications of climate change. Besides investment of billions of dollars, multi-pronged strategies are required to deal with the situation. We must remember that record breaking rains and floods are a wakeup call from nature which affected millions of people and a vast area of our country.

Nothing is going back to be normal as it is not a business as usual. Pakistan as well as South Asia and even the entire world had not to make any mistake it could happen again, and destruction would come again and again as if one echo system fails it is followed by the other one. The world is passing through an accelerated phase of warming with rising temperatures while Pakistan from the last three years is the hottest place on planet in summer. On the other hand, River Indus has been the second most plastic chocked river in the world with prevalence of 38 million metric tons of plastic every year.

It is a non-traditional risk to overall economy as reported by the World Bank that pinpointed serious consequences of climate change for Pakistan and short-, medium- and long-term measures required to deal with the threats. Concept of climate change resilience is closely associated with the development now and both could not be separated anyway. The climate resilience measures in all the relevant sectors ranging from education and awareness to preparedness and mitigation required huge investment of $348 billion by 2030. The Ministry of Climate Change is working on comprehensive policies in the regard as well while our plan is declared as a model of hope at international forums.

The industries and business entities either large or small ones contributed over 70 percent in pollution over the last 100 years and now businesses have to take the lead in mitigation measures as well. The government realized that eradication of impacts of climate change could not be done in vacuum and all the stakeholders, including the government, had to respond well in time. Investors should invest in climate resilience and development projects. While working in partnerships and joint ventures, the businesses should contribute in measures for net zero Pakistan, promote green financing, properly report SDG compliance, adopt recycling protocols, discourage extended use of plastic, be transparent in carbon footprint, invest in sustainability and impart awareness.

This is excerpts from a speech of Sherry Rehman, the federal minister for climate change, during inaugural session of sixth edition of ‘The Future Summit’ in Karachi under the theme of ‘Prepare for Disruption.’ In collaboration with Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI) and the Habib Bank, the two-day summit was jointly organized by Nutshell Conferences Group and Engro Corporation