Joint Statement on U.S.-Pakistan Climate and Environment Working Group

On March 16, 2023, the United States and Pakistan concluded the second meeting of the Climate and Environment Working Group in Islamabad.  Pakistan’s Minister for Climate Change Sherry Rehman and the U.S. Department of State’s Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs Monica Medina led the delegations.  Officials and experts engaged on climate and environment issues, including climate change, energy transition, water management, climate-smart agriculture, air quality, biodiversity, and waste management including plastics recycling.  The delegations discussed the impacts of the devastating floods in Pakistan in 2022 and emphasized the importance of building resilience to the impacts of climate change.  The United States expressed support for Pakistan’s “Living Indus” initiative to restore the ecological health of the Indus River Basin in Pakistan.  The two governments recommitted to tackling the climate crisis through cooperation on climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Both governments resolved to continue deepening their bilateral partnership through the U.S.-Pakistan “Green Alliance” framework.  The “Green Alliance” will help Pakistan and the United States jointly face the climate, environmental, and economic needs of the present and future, especially through partnership on agriculture, water, and clean energy.  Regarding agriculture, the delegations discussed the importance of adopting modern farming practices and innovative seed varieties to bolster resilience against climate change.  On water management, the governments identified technical assistance, governance, and water efficiency mechanisms as areas ripe for cooperation.  Both governments emphasized the importance of supporting nature-based solutions and building community resilience to climate change.

The United States and Pakistan also acknowledged their long history of working together to advance sustainable economic growth.  For example, in the 1960s, the United States supported Pakistan’s “Green Revolution” to improve agricultural crop yields and strengthen food security.  The delegations committed to advance future cooperation in agriculture, water, and energy transition through the U.S.-Pakistan “Green Alliance” framework.

Through the Climate and Environment Working Group, the two governments made new commitments to partner together.  The United States announced new programs in Pakistan, including a $4.5 million program from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to strengthen fertilizer efficiency and effectiveness for Pakistani farmers.  The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) announced new activities in Pakistan to promote climate-smart agriculture and climate finance.  The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will start sharing weather data on glacial melt with the Ministry of Climate Change and other local stakeholders to strengthen Pakistan’s flood forecasting and disaster response capabilities.  Pakistan informed the United States about the approval of its new National Clean Air Policy and explained its recent waste management actions, including on plastics.  The United States and Pakistan also pledged to collaborate on a successful year as the 2023 Co-chairs of the Green Climate Fund Board.