COMSATS organized an expert panel discussion on Leveraging South-South Cooperation: De-Risking Climate Security on December 5, 2023, at the UNFCCC Conference of the Parties (COP28), currently being held in Dubai.
COMSATS, an intergovernmental organization of 27 member countries, is an Observer organization of UNFCCC. Executive Director COMSATS, Ambassador Dr. M. Nafees Zakaria is participating @COP28.
The high profile panelists included Mr. Naguib Sawairis, Chairman, Orascom Telecomm giant and Orascom Investment Holding, a significant investor and friend of Pakistan; Prof. Dr. Ashraf Shaalan, Director, Center of Excellence for Climate Change Applied Research, NRC, Egypt; Prof. He Zhang, Deputy Director ICCES, IAP-CAS, China; Mr. Filip Novakovic, Sustainable Finance Specialist, United Nations Climate Advisor; and Dr. Saad Uakkas, Coordinator of the Children, and Youth Pavilion COP28.
Welcoming the guests, Dr. Zakaria, briefed the audience on COMSATS’ objectives and activities, particularly Climate Change related. He highlighted the risks of conflict over resources under stress due to climate change such as water. He emphasised quantification of and compensation for damage to environment by the militaries and wars.
Emphasising the importance of Climate Change and responsibilities of corporate sector to address challenges, Naguib Sawairis assured Ora Development’s commitment to catalysing the UAE’s progression towards their net-zero targets, through various sustainable and smart investments in the real-estate industry & finance technology sector.
Ms. Nuzhat Amir Sadiq, Member of the Senate of Pakistan, was a distinguished participant at the event who shared Pakistan’s perspective on climate change.
He pledged that 5 billion dollars’ worth potential projects will play a pivotal role in ensuring the sustainability and energy efficiency of this massive development, which aligns with the UAE’s 2050 Strategy to reach net Zero and to reduce its carbon footprint.
Prof. Zhang shared China’s successful initiatives pertaining to tech based solutions. He said, ICCES has developed a seasonal prediction system based on the Chinese Academy of Sciences Earth system model CAS-ESM. The system can predict sub-seasonal to seasonal climate anomaly, including extreme events, such as heat waves, droughts, flooding and dust storm. Accurately predicting extreme climate events will help us to take necessary measures to reduce the risk due to climate change. We are willing to share the climate prediction system to other COMSATS members to improve the skill of climate prediction in their countries.
Dr. Filip threw light on the financial impact of climate change and shared his views on how the challenge could be converted to financial opportunities.
Prof. Shaalan, a paediatrician, shared his experience how climate change impacted the children. He called for political commitment and policy initiatives for tangible outcomes.
The Panel Discussion was skillfully moderated by the Coordinator Youth & Children Pavilion of COP28 , Dr. Saad Uakaas. COMSATS joined hand with Ministry of Climate Change of Pakistan to hold the event at Pakistan Pavilion.
COMSATS will also be organizing another event on the sidelines of this global forum.