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Gates Foundation and PM’s Climate Aide Commit to Strengthening Pakistan’s Climate Resilience

Ministry of Climate Change and Environmental Coordination and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have agreed to work jointly for building Pakistan’s climate resilience. This agreement was reached during a high-powered Climate Adaptation Roundtable hosted by the Prime Minister’s Coordinator for Climate Change, Romina Khurshid Alam for the Foundation’s chairaman Bill Gates.

The roundtable was held at the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Headquarters and co-hosted by Chairperson of NDMA, Lt. Gen. Inam Haider Malik. The PM’s climate aide Romina Khurshid Alam also apprised Bill Gates of the various sectoral impacts of climate change, saying Pakistan’s socio-economic development gains at highly exposed to the adverse impacts of climate change.

She also informed him particularly of the floods, heat waves, forest fires and droughts, which have become frequent and intense in terms of their impacts on various socio-economic sectors, mainly agriculture, water, energy, health and education.  PM’s climate aide Romina Khurshid also informed Mr. Gates, “Despite the lowest contribution in climate change causing carbon emissions, Pakistan is facing the worst effects of global warming and making all-out efforts to deal with the impacts so as to protect lives and livelihoods of the country’s vulnerable communities.”

“Pakistan is also committed to support global climate action at all levels to protect the global community from the deleterious impacts of global warming,” she highlighted during her conversation with Mr. Gates.PM’s aide Romina Khushid Alsm also underscored the importance of continued dialogue between Pakistani stakeholders as well as international partners to explore avenues of collaboration and mutual support over the world’s most pressing collective challenge, climate change.

She said that both the domestic public and private sector stakeholders were already playing their part in climate mitigation and adaptation, highlighting further the need to develop and deepen linkages between the same and international partners. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation chairman appreciated the Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif government’s policy measures for building the country’s climate resilience and mitigation and adaptation initiatives despite limited financial resources.

Mr. Gates, however, assured the PM’s climate aide to engage with the climate change and environmental coordination ministry through his Foundation and extend every possible technical and non-technical support to launch climate change mitigation and adaptation initiatives to boost the country’s climate resilience in agriculture, water, energy, food, health and education sectors.

Meanwhile, during the roundtable, Mr. Gates held meetings with key private sector innovators in the health, agriculture, technology and climate finance sectors, who highlighted the various efforts of Pakistan’s private sector being taken for strengthening Pakistan’s capacity to cope with adverse impacts of climate change. Private sector representatives and Mr. Gates also explored possibilities of collaboration to overcome the challenges of climate change being faced by Pakistan’s various socio-economic sectors, particularly energy, water, food, health and education.

Mr. Gates also talked about key aspects of Pakistan’s overarching climate adaptation approaches and the opportunities offered by science-based solutions to problems and challenges exacerbated by climate change. During the roundtable, Mr. Gates spoke about the importance of using and applying artificial intelligence (AI) to problems of both scope and scale. He also acknowledged the unfrequented challenges Pakistan faces in dealing with climate risks.However, he reiterated his strong commitment to supporting climate adaptation efforts in the country.

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