The British High Commissioner pledged that Pakistan will work with the UK to address financial needs for addressing climate change mitigation and to strengthen climate resilience.

The Disproportionate Impact of Climate Change on Pakistan

The British High Commissioner, Jane Marriott, pledged that Pakistan will work with the UK to address the financial needs for addressing climate change mitigation and to strengthen climate resilience during her visit to the National Agricultural Research Council (PARC).

Marriott highlighted the strides made in various collaborative projects, citing the success of the five-year water governance program that has enhanced the resilience of over two million people through nature-based interventions.

She also mentioned the development of a Pakistan Climate Investment Fund, aimed at mobilizing private sector climate finance for projects fortifying Pakistan’s climate resilience. Additionally, she revealed plans to triple the UK’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) budget to £133 million pounds for the financial year 2024-25.

Emphasizing the pivotal role of innovation and technology in the future, Marriott particularly noted the potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in paving the way for new solutions.

Marriott responded to a question by stating that the UK placed a high priority on working with Pakistan in mitigation the effects of climate change. She expressed her eagerness to meet with Pakistan’s leading agricultural experts, who play a crucial role in building climate resilience and safeguarding biodiversity.

Marriott also acknowledged the strong links between the institution and the environmentally-focused Chevening Alumni. She commended the inauguration of a ‘Chevening Garden’ at PARC, coinciding with the celebration of King Charles III’s birthday. She noted that King Charles III, an advocate for environmental causes for half a century, has championed change through the UN and Commonwealth to benefit developing nations like Pakistan.

Referring to the COP-28 conference set to take place in the UAE this month, Marriott outlined the UK’s priorities, including a commitment to deliver outcomes that aim to limit temperature rise below 1.5 degrees Celsius by halving global emissions by 2030. The UK also aims to bolster resilience to existing and future climate impacts, and halt and reverse global biodiversity loss by 2030.

During the visit, PARC Chairman Dr. Ghulam Mohammad Ali provided a briefing on the history and significance of the national herbarium of Pakistan and the work of the botanical conservatory. He also presented an in-depth overview of the research endeavors at the National Institute for Genomics and Advanced Biotechnology (NIGAB).

Discussing recent initiatives by PARC, Dr. Ali highlighted the institution’s latest breakthroughs related to four high-yield rice varieties. He underscored that these varieties are not only pest-resistant but also drought-tolerant, showcasing a significant advancement in sustainable agriculture practices.