By Adnan Rafique
ISLAMABAD: The upcoming 28th Conference of the Parties to the Convention (COP) would be a “great opportunity” for Pakistan to discuss ideas on how to support countries most affected by climate change, UAE’s Ambassador to Pakistan Hamad Obaid Al-Zaabi said. The UAE will be the second Arab state to host the climate conference after Egypt hosted COP27 last year.
The Gulf country will host the COP28 from Nov.30 to Dec. 12, with the global conference expected to attract about 70,000 people, including heads of state, government officials, international industry leaders, private sector representatives, academics, experts, youngsters, and non-state players. Pakistan is recognized among the countries most affected by climate change around the world. In June 2022, raging floods triggered by unusually heavy monsoon rains and melting glaciers killed over 1,700 and swept away large swathes of crops and damaged critical infrastructure.
Pakistan estimated damages and economic losses from the floods to be over $30 billion, Arab News reported. “Pakistan is one of the top five countries affected by climate change,” Al-Zaabi said in an interview with Arab News.
“The Pakistani delegation who is going to participate in COP28 at Dubai Expo, it is a great opportunity for them to discuss more the ideas on how to support countries affected by climate change,” he added. “We are working closely with the government of Pakistan with regard to climate change and we have a lot of projects, a lot of responsibilities in this regard,” Al-Zaabi said.
He said COP28 would be a chance for the international community to gather in Dubai for “more engagement and more negotiations” to tackle climate-related challenges.
“It’s a commitment from the United Arab Emirates to continue working with the international community for the challenges of climate change and the environment,” he said. Speaking about COP28, the UAE envoy said it would also involve a review of the Paris Agreement, adding that the international community needed to assume greater responsibilities and generate more ideas to address the impacts of climate change.