Pakistan and UAE explore ITMO’s potential in the AFOLU sector under Article 6 of the Paris agreement

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ISLAMABAD, SEPTEMBER 21, 2023 – Pakistan is embarking on a visionary path to harness the potential of its tremendous natural resources in generating over 2 billion USD in annual government revenue through carbon credit generation, under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement. This strategic endeavour seeks to implement carbon emission reduction and removal projects within the Agriculture Forestry and Other Land Use (AFOLU) sector to secure the high value potential of the emerging Article 6.2 Internationally Transferable Mitigation Outcomes (ITMOs) and address some of the nation’s environmental and economic challenges.

Accordingly, Pakistan is actively engaging in collaborative efforts with UAE-based Blue Carbon to unlock the significant economic and developmental potential of the nation’s environmental assets, within the Article 6 framework. Blue Carbon is currently developing similar Article 6 carbon projects in various countries, including Liberia and Zimbabwe. Through this initiative Pakistan becomes a world leader in Article 6 ITMOs origination and positions itself as a global player in climate action.

To ensure the effective implementation and desired outcomes of these initiatives, various climate finance instruments and structures are being considered, including the innovative concept of a debt-for-nature swap, designed to spearhead green investments in nature-based solutions.

It is well recognized that mounting debt liabilities can impede a government’s capacity to respond effectively to climate disasters, leaving countries with fewer resources to invest in social supports crucial for community resilience in the face of crises. In light of recent devastating floods and the increasing climate impacts confronting Pakistan, finance instruments such as Debt for Nature swaps are imperative to bolster the nation’s climate resilience.

To kickstart this transformative journey, The Ministry of Climate Change and Environmental Coordination hosted Blue Carbon, for a highly productive four-day technical workshop held in Islamabad from September 11th – 14th, with representatives from the provincial/AJK/GB forestry departments in attendance. Its primary objective was to explore the potential of Pakistan’s Agriculture, Forestry, and Other Land Use (AFOLU) sector in generating carbon credits in the form of ITMOs, as stipulated by Article 6 of the Paris Agreement.

As the current United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) convenes in New York, Pakistan’s active involvement in these innovative financing mechanisms is at the forefront of the conference’s anticipated themes. Supported by this collaborative initiative with Blue Carbon, Pakistan not only assumes a highly relevant position in UNGA discussions but also commits to enhancing much needed climate adaptation and resilience for local communities.

Pakistan’s commitment to harnessing the potential of its vast natural resources through the emerging ITMO’s market represents a monumental stride in global climate action. The strategic collaboration with UAE-based Blue Carbon underscores Pakistan’s determination to unlock the substantial economic, environmental, and developmental possibilities embedded within its environmental assets.