In a concerted effort to address climate change challenges in Pakistan, the Green Climate Fund (GCF), in collaboration with three international and local partners, has introduced a $77.8 million fund named “Recharge Pakistan: Building Pakistan’s Resilience to Climate Change through Ecosystem-based Adaptation for Integrated Flood Risk Management.”
This initiative is designed to tackle the escalating risks associated with flooding and drought in Pakistan, aiming to enhance climate resilience across the nation.
The collaborative project involves the Green Climate Fund (GCF), the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Coca-Cola, and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Its implementation has the potential to directly improve the lives of up to 10 million individuals.
Kanwal Bokharey, Senior Partnerships Advisor at USAID, announced this strategic partnership during the American Business Council (ABC) Environmental Social Governance (ESG) Awards, an event that recognizes businesses committed to ESG principles.
Bokharey shared, “USAID is investing $5 million, matched by an additional $5 million from Coca-Cola, and $1.8 million from WWF. Combined with financing from various sources, this collaboration has unlocked an impressive $66 million from the GCF Fund, resulting in a total project scale of $77.8 million. This represents the largest GCF-funded project in Pakistan.”
He also commended the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between USAID and Coca-Cola in March, emphasizing Coca-Cola’s role as an ESG-compliant company actively contributing to sustainable development in Pakistan.
During a panel discussion, speakers highlighted Pakistan’s vulnerability as one of the top three nations susceptible to climate change impacts, despite contributing less than 1 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. They stressed the importance of embracing ESG frameworks and investing in sustainable projects, not only to mitigate projected losses but also to generate additional revenue and profits.
The seven-year project focuses on elevating ecosystems, minimizing economic losses, and creating employment opportunities. It is expected to directly benefit 700,000 individuals and indirectly impact the lives of approximately 8 million people during its duration.
This initiative aligns with the 2050 vision of ecosystem-based adaptation, laying the foundation for robust climate resilience. Once implemented, the project aims to substantially reduce flood risks by 2030 and enhance water recharge along the four sides of the Indus Basin in Sindh.
Initially, the project will operate in various districts across three provinces: Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh, and Balochistan, with the possibility of expansion into Punjab at a later stage.
Jamshed Safdar, President of the ABC, urged corporations to integrate ESG principles into their budgets, emphasizing their pivotal role in advancing societal well-being. Senator Fawzia Arshad, the event’s chief guest, highlighted the imperative for both the private and public sectors to collaborate in addressing escalating climate challenges, underscoring that addressing climate disasters necessitates collective efforts.
A global study suggests that the corporate sector could face losses of $1 trillion due to climate change. However, investing $300 million in climate risk mitigation projects has the potential to yield an astonishing $2.1 trillion by transforming climate challenges into opportunities.