Karachi: The Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce & Industry (OICCI) demonstrated its commitment to driving meaningful climate action at COP28 by hosting a pivotal high-level dialogue in collaboration with the Ministry of Climate Change (MoCC).

Nestled within the exclusive Blue Zone of the Pakistan pavilion in Expo City Dubai, the dialogue, themed ‘Decarbonization and the Role of the Private Sector’, tackled pressing issues such as mobilising private capital for achieving Net Zero carbon emissions, evaluating carbon market efficacy, and fortifying public-private partnerships.

The distinguished panel comprised experts from various sectors, such as Dr. Karen Olsen, Carbon Market Advisor, United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), Dr. Charles Ehrhart, Global Head Climate Risk, Resilience; Adaptation, Partner, KPMG International, Dr. Anis Nassar, Lead Decarbonization; Circularity, World Economic Forum (WEF), Fiona Duggan, Global Sustainability Senior Manager for Climate Advocacy, Unilever, Lina Osman, Regional Head of Sustainable Finance – West, Standard Chartered Bank, and Angelo Sartori, Director Regional Engagement, Verra.

The panel underscored the urgency for businesses to decarbonize supply chains, emphasising affordable levers such as circularity, efficiency, and renewable power. It identified OICCI, along with other businesses, as critical platforms for mobilising multi-sector business coalitions to drive sustainable practices and inform public policies. Amir Paracha, President, OICCI, highlighted the significance of private sector engagement in achieving Pakistan’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), stating, “Our dialogue at COP28 was not just a conversation, but a commitment to sustainable practices.

The private sector plays a pivotal role in driving innovation and solutions for a resilient, low-carbon future. OICCI is dedicated to spearheading this effort and supporting Pakistan’s climate goals.” Earlier during the year, furthering its commitment to climate action, OICCI organised its second Pakistan Climate Conference on November 01, where the urgent need to boost financial efforts for the environment took centre stage.

Speaking at the conference, Caretaker Finance Minister Dr. Shamshad Akhtar, emphasised the need for approximately USD340 billion in investment by 2030. Despite contributing less than 1% of global per capita emissions, Pakistan consistently ranks among the top 10 most vulnerable countries to climate action.

M. Abdul Aleem, CE/Secretary General, OICCI, stated “By partnering with MOCC at COP28, OICCI reaffirmed its commitment to champion private sector leadership in climate-resilient infrastructure, green energy, and sustainable agriculture.

This commitment,” continued M. Abdul Aleem, “is crucial for Pakistan and will help fucus the efforts to mitigating climate disasters and empowering the affected communities.” The OICCI is the collective voice of major foreign investors in Pakistan, with over 200 members, from more than 30 countries. OICCI members contribute over one-third of Pakistan’s total tax revenue and are involved in 14 sectors of the economy.

They facilitate the transfer of technology and skills and provide employment to a significant number of people.

About a third of OICCI member companies are listed on the Pakistan Stock Exchange, and many are associates of Global Fortune 500 companies. OICCI members also engage in corporate social responsibility activities benefiting 46 million persons from underprivileged communities.