Danish Minister describes meetings with Pakistani leadership as highly productive, fruitful

Abida Shaheen

Islamabad: Danish Minister for Development Cooperation and Global Climate Policy Dan Jørgensen on Friday described his meetings with Pakistani leadership as highly productive and fruitful.

Following the witnessing of the signing ceremony of two projects including Increasing Communities Resilience to Climate Change and Unlocking Pathways to support the implementation of carbon markets in Pakistan, he spoke to the media and expressed satisfaction with his discussions with Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Climate Change Minister Sherry Rehman.

The first project was signed with Agha Khan Foundation, heralding a new era of resilience in northern Pakistan. Over the next two years, a groundbreaking project will be implemented, encompassing a range of innovative measures designed to enhance disaster response, strengthen infrastructure, and promote sustainable practices.

This transformative initiative will witness the formation of community-based disaster risk response teams and committees, ensuring that local communities are equipped with the necessary tools and knowledge to effectively respond to emergencies. The project’s scope extends beyond disaster management, as it envisions a comprehensive habitat plan for ten villages in the picturesque Kalash Valley.

In close collaboration with government and civil society stakeholders, this plan will pave the way for sustainable development, balancing the needs of the communities with the preservation of natural resources.

A key focus of the initiative is promoting climate-forward natural resource management through nature-based solutions. This will include the installation and upgrading of irrigation infrastructure, harnessing solar power for lift irrigation, empowering communities to establish passive solar greenhouses, and providing training to local farmers on climate-smart agricultural practices. By embracing these solutions, communities will be able to adapt to the changing climate and ensure sustainable livelihoods.

The second project was signed with the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI). The project aims to steer the discourse around carbon trading and carbon markets in Pakistan by addressing knowledge gaps and fostering capacities to achieve maximum benefits from this mechanism.

While carbon markets present an enormous opportunity for Pakistan to mitigate its emissions, meet its NDCs, and generate revenue, their development, and utilization have not been effective. Denmark presents a remarkable model for the effective implementation of carbon trading in various sectors including agriculture, and transport electrification, further aims to introduce carbon taxes for sectors like the corporate sector. Denmark can offer Pakistan effective best practices and knowledge to transform the country’s carbon trading sectors.

This project will, therefore, focus on addressing current knowledge gaps in the implementation framework of carbon markets; expedite the discourse at both provincial and federal levels through capacity building and through advocacy, communications and outreach activities. These will include high-level policy dialogues, trainings, and workshops with public and private sector and journalists/social media influencers. The project will also focus on raising awareness regarding carbon markets for the community through podcast series and documentary

Danish Minister said, “Denmark and Pakistan have agreed to enhance cooperation in building climate-resilient green energy infrastructure including wind energy to overcome the challenge of climate change and to resolve energy problems in Pakistan.”

Minister Jørgensen emphasized the strong partnership and friendship between Denmark and Pakistan, highlighting Denmark’s belief that as a developed country, it had a special responsibility to assist in the fight against climate change.

He acknowledged that Denmark, having relied on fossil fuels for the past century, had undergone a significant transformation. Since 1990, the country had successfully reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 50% while simultaneously doubling its economy.

“Pakistan, unfortunately, has been heavily impacted by climate change, experiencing devastating floods and destruction, which Minister Jørgensen expressed solidarity towards on behalf of the Danish people.”

Recognizing the urgent need for action, the Danish government had committed to providing assistance and support to Pakistan.

During his visit, to Pakistan he also signed a new Green Partnership framework agreement.

He emphasized that this agreement would not be merely symbolic but would foster pragmatic and concrete collaboration, with a strong commitment to delivering tangible results.

Minister Jørgensen praised Pakistan’s close collaboration, partnership, and friendship with Denmark, stressing the importance of strengthening and enhancing these ties, particularly in the context of green transition and sustainability.

Denmark, with its expertise in the energy sector, aims to support Pakistan in achieving energy security through the development of clean, affordable, and sustainable energy solutions.

The minister underscored the shared ambitions between Denmark and Pakistan in addressing climate change. Mitigation efforts and the need to adapt and build resilience were identified as key priorities in Pakistan’s development, considering the country’s vulnerability to the impacts of climate change.

Meanwhile, Minister Jorgensen participated in a momentous tree plantation event at Margalla Hills in Islamabad to reinforce Denmark’s commitment to engaging youth in the climate agenda and supporting Pakistan’s initiative to plant ten billion trees. The event was attended by passionate young climate activists from Pakistan.

It is to mention here that Denmark and Pakistan are determined to forge ahead with their Danish-Pakistani Green Engagement, working hand in hand to address economic and climate crises, build resilient communities, and promote sustainable development. By fostering partnerships and embracing green solutions, both nations can create a brighter and greener future.