Climate Change is a global issue and has become a national security concern of the states. The temperature of the earth is increasing day by day due to global warming, posing serious threats to life on earth. All the global actors are focused on making the rise in the temperature limited to 1.5 degrees as per the pre-industrialization temperature and making cooperation to mitigate the issue and save the humanity and world from a disaster. Pakistan is one of the 10 most vulnerable countries to climate change despite the fact that it contributes only 0.8% of the overall Carbon emission. But still Lahore and Karachi, the two megacities, are the most polluted cities in the world. In short, both the aforementioned regions are vulnerable to this climatic change, and cooperation to face the challenge and mitigation is crucial.
Pakistan is one of the 10 most vulnerable countries to climate change despite the fact that it contributes only 0.8% of the overall Carbon emission.
One of the major consequences of climate change that the Gulf region is likely to face is food security. GCC countries are dependent on food imports as they import almost 90% of their food from other countries, largely from the west. On the other hand, Pakistan is an agricultural country that is facing problems in this area due to climate change i.e. soil erosion, drastic rains, floods, etc. and it has largely affected the production rate and quality as well. Pakistan has the capacity to fulfill the needs and demands of the GCC countries and needs investment to enhance productivity. According to Strengthens Weaknesses Opportunities Threats (SWOT) analysis, food is an area where both Pakistan and Gulf Cooperation Council states can cooperate with each other to solve the problem. In this regard, Kuwait, one of the GCC countries, has shown interest in investing in the field of agriculture and technological advancement in this area.
Kuwait is planning to invest 750 million dollars in this area and that is going to be one of the largest proposed investments in Pakistan in the recent past.
Similarly Pakistan is very famous for its Billion Tree Tsunami project under clean and green Pakistan to plant 10 Billion trees in the country and 40 Billion trees further to enhance environmental stability and reduce the carbon concentration in the atmosphere as much as possible. Praising the initiative, the Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Muhammad bin Salman MBS showed interest in this project and wanted Pakistan to cooperate with KSA. Both states are focused on cooperation for green projects to reduce carbon emissions and ensure a healthy environment. In this regard, Pakistan offered support with knowledge and experience. A technique called “Miyawaki Forest Technique” that requires less water for the plants/trees to grow has been introduced to KSA which is suitable according to the environment of that region. Along with cooperation on green areas, both states can also cooperate on brown areas i.e. pollution control and waste management techniques, direly required for Pakistan.
Moreover, Pakistan can grow plants and send them to Saudi Arabia for plantation under the green middle east project. Another important factor, renewable energy sources, is the key factor in the war against Climate Change. Renewable energy sources are considered to be safe, cheap, and environment-friendly sources i.e., solar energy, wind energy, hydropower, and electric power as well. The world is making a shift towards renewable energy sources. Luckily Pakistan has the capacity to generate energy from solar and wind and can fulfill the needs at less cost. UAE, one of the GCC states, is working on renewable energy sources, even the International Renewable Energy Agency IRENA has set up an office in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Pakistan needs investment and cooperation in this area to reduce non-renewable energy consumption and generate more from wind and solar. Pakistan and UAE have signed an MOU in order to enhance the field of climate mitigation and environmental protection in line with the national legislation of both states. Further, both states can work together in the fields of health, energy, ecosystem restoration, tourism i.e. Eco-tourism and dessert tourism, information exchange, and joint research on climate issues.
The world is making a shift towards renewable energy sources. Luckily Pakistan has the capacity to generate energy from solar and wind and can fulfill the needs at less cost.
It is quite clear from the above discussion that climate change has posed serious threats to the states. The GCC states and Pakistan cooperation would ensure regional climate stability and mitigate challenges emanating from climate change. The GCC states and Pakistan are already enjoying multifaceted cooperation in the fields of economy, diplomacy, and security. Hence, climate cooperation between GCC and Pakistan will be another feather in their cap.
Usama Umar graduated in International Relations from Government College University, Faisalabad. He is currently working as a Research Assistant at Islamabad Policy Research Institute (IPRI). He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org