Climate and Environment Working Group's Second Meeting Concludes

The second meeting of the Climate and Environment Working Group was concluded in Islamabad on March 16, 2023, by representatives from the United States and Pakistan.

Climate and Environment Working Group's Second Meeting Concludes

The second meeting of the Climate and Environment Working Group was concluded in Islamabad on March 16, 2023, by representatives from the United States and Pakistan.

The delegations were led by the Minister of Climate Change for Pakistan, and Monica Medina, the Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.

Environmental and climate change issues, such as water management, climate-smart agriculture, and energy transition, are of interest to officials and experts. The two governments pledged to work together on issues related to climate, air quality, biodiversity, waste management, and plastics recycling through the Climate and Environment Working Group.

These are the outcomes of the U.S.-Pakistan Climate and Environment Working Group meeting on March 16, 2023. Fertilizer Efficiency: In order to assist Pakistani farmers use fertiliser more effectively and efficiently, reduce environmental pollution, and lower costs for farmers, the U.S. Department of Agriculture will launch the “Fertilizer Right” programme there in 2023. This four-year, $4.5 million project will work with local partners.

Real-time Flood Forecasting: To improve the capacity for flood forecasting, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will right away start exchanging snowpack assessments with a number of Pakistani government agencies. These analyses estimate the snow-covered areas and snowpack water volumes in Pakistan’s five principal watersheds—the Upper Indus, Kabul, Chenab, Sutlej, and Lower Indus.

Reducing Carbon Emissions: Since 2017, Pakistan has benefited from USAID’s efforts in preventing 55 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions, which has helped the nation reach its target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2030.

Climate Smart Agriculture: To increase the resilience of Pakistani farming communities facing climate change, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) will introduce a new, five-year Climate Smart Agriculture programme in Pakistan in 2023.

The initiative will promote climate-smart farm management techniques, boost the adoption of digital technology, and support the expansion of Pakistani agricultural technology companies.

Climate Finance Development Accelerator: In 2023, USAID will introduce a programme called the Climate Finance Development Accelerator to help Pakistan increase its use of clean energy. Through policy changes, public education campaigns, and a strengthening of the private sector’s role, it will also serve as a catalyst for funding for initiatives aimed at climate mitigation and adaptation.

Carbon Credit Market: To facilitate the tracking and trading of carbon credits, USAID will offer technical assistance to the Government of Pakistan as it expands its voluntary carbon market.

Green Shipping: In Karachi in 2023, USAID will organise a roundtable to discuss the future of “green” shipping in Pakistan. Officials from Pakistan, representatives from the private sector, and technical experts will participate in a roundtable to discuss ways that Pakistan can improve its economic competitiveness in the future by setting up zero-emission shipping operations at its ports.

Methane Abatement: The U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) will provide financial support for a delegation from Pakistan to visit the United States and meet with industry, financial, and policy experts who can help them achieve their objectives of reducing methane emissions and ensuring their energy security.

The delegation will also include representatives from emerging economies’ oil, gas, and other sectors. Additionally, USAID will collaborate with the private sector to lower methane emissions in Pakistan’s dairy industry. In order to find efficient ways to reduce emissions, the project will test new interventions, such as adjustments to animal feed, improvements to reproductive health, and improved manure management.

Expert from the United States on Protecting Natural Areas: In 2023, a senior park management representative from the U.S. National Park Service will travel to Islamabad to discuss conservation efforts and share best management practises with Pakistani park staff members.

International Visitor Leader Programs (IVLPs) for Pakistan: In 2024, the U.S. government will give professionals from Pakistan the chance to visit the country and take part in two IVLP exchange programmes focused on environmental issues.

There are 10–12 Pakistanis working on each project in these one-country programmes. One IVLP will concentrate on encouraging climate-smart agricultural practises and technologies in Pakistan. The second will assist Pakistan in improving its capacity to respond to natural disasters like earthquakes, floods, and droughts.

Green Videogaming Challenge: In 2023, USAID will announce grants for the “Green Gaming Challenge” and invite applications from Pakistani videogame creators and businesspeople who are committed to reducing the adverse effects of climate change. The games will encourage sustainable behaviour and increase public awareness of environmental problems.

Cattle waste can be converted into biomethane, a renewable natural gas, and fertiliser. The USTDA is funding a feasibility study grant to improve Karachi’s environmental conditions and waste management practises.

Environmentally Responsible Design: The Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) of the U.S. Department of State will apply environmentally responsible design principles to infrastructure projects in Pakistan, including the installation of solar panels and exterior solar lights at the Balochistan Police Training College in Quetta, eight border checkpoints, and two training facilities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The Pakistan-U.S. Alumni Network (PUAN) has chosen “Climate Change: Protecting Local Communities” as its country project for 2023, which will take place across all 14 regional chapters in that year. The project will increase Pakistan’s ability to adapt to climate change. With 39,000 members, PUAN has the largest U.S. government exchange alumni network in the world.

U.S.-Pakistani University Partnerships: University of Oregon and Karakoram International University for research on climate change in Gilgit-Baltistan; North Carolina State University with three Pakistani universities to establish a climate change consortium; and University of Nebraska and Shaheed Benazir Bhutta for environmental studies. The U.S. Embassy is currently funding $1.5 million over three grants for U.S.-Pakistani educational partnerships on climate and environment.

Current U.S. Department of State Notices of Funding Opportunity:  (1) the Regional Consortium of Student Societies on Climate Change (which includes Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka); (2) the Raise Awareness and Inspire Action on Environmental Protection in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa; and (3) the Capacity Building of Journalists on Environmental Issues.