In advance of the upcoming Climate Change Conference (COP25), public and private sector representatives met at Climate Conclave 2019 to discuss a wide range of climate change issues faced in Pakistan ahead Climate Conclave meets to discuss Pakistan's agenda for upcoming UN conference.The said event was held on Tuesday, November 26, 2019 by Civil Society Coalition for Climate Change (CSCCC) in collaboration with the World Bank, Pakistan Red Crescent Society, Coca-Cola Pakistan, German Red Cross, and Swiss Embassy.

According to UN Environment (UNEP), climate change is one of the greatest threats to the fundamental human rights of our generation, posing a serious risk to the right to life, health, livelihoods, food and an adequate standard of living of individuals and communities across the world. Climate Change is also impacting communities and creating new patterns of migration, with its own unique impact on demographics and socio-economic drivers of change. The human rights implications of climate change range from its impacts on the World’s ecosystems and natural resources, physical infrastructure and human settlements, to its impacts on livelihoods, health, and human security. Of particular importance in this discourse are the human rights obligations towards special groups and marginalized communities, including women, children, minority groups, disabled people and indigenous communities.

The relationship between human rights and the environment has often been debated over the past few decades, supported by UNEP, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), and the Human Rights Council-appointed Special Rapporteur, specifically in the identification of positive, mutually reinforcing links between the fields of law and policy. While the United Nations and national governments around the world acknowledge that climate change and the responses to it can impact human rights, there is less agreement on the corresponding obligations of governments and private actors to address this problem.

The Santiago Climate Change Conference, which will feature the 25th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 25) to the UNFCCC and meetings of the UNFCCC subsidiary bodies, will convene from 2-13 December 2019. COP 25—also dubbed the “COP of Ambition”—is of particular importance as countries prepare to update their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) for 2020. In this regard, it is important and necessary for state and non-state actors to deliberate upon the position and Agenda for Pakistan at COP 25, and to assess its shortcomings and leverage its strengths in order to play a meaningful role in the annual climate negotiations. 

In this backdrop, Civil Society Coalition for Climate Change in collaboration with Coca-Cola Pakistan and World Bank hosted the Annual Climate Conclave on 26 November, 2019. The event addressed three thematic areas and put the spotlight on, (1) Climate Change and Human Rights, (2) The Role of the Private Sector in Climate Action, (3) Framing Pakistan’s Agenda for COP 25 with focus on Adaptation Strategy.

Coca-Cola was represented in a panel session entitled ‘Role of Private Sector in Climate Action’ by Fahad Qadir, Director Public Affairs, Communications & Sustainability (PACS), for Coca-Cola Pakistan & Afghanistan Region. Among the participants and speakers at the event were Advisor to PM on Climate Change, Mr. Malik Amin Aslam, Advisor to PM on Institutional Reforms, Dr. Ishrat Husain, Senator and Chairwoman of the Senate Climate Change Caucus, Ms. Sherry Rehman, Ambassador of the EU Delegation to Pakistan, Ms. Androulla Kaminara, UNDP and World Bank Country Director Mr. Patchamuthu Illangovan, in addition to a large number of public and private sector representatives of leading organizations and institutions from all parts of Pakistan.

Keynote speaker Ms. Sherry Rehman, Senator for panel session: Climate Change & Human Rights

Among the participants and speakers at the event were Advisor to PM on Climate Change, Mr. Malik Amin Aslam, Advisor to PM on Institutional Reforms, Dr. Ishrat Husain, Senator and Chairwoman of the Senate Climate Change Caucus, Ms. Sherry Rehman, Ambassador of the EU Delegation to Pakistan, Ms. Androulla Kaminara, UNDP and World Bank Country Director Mr. Patchamuthu Illangovan, in addition to a large number of public and private sector representatives of leading organizations and institutions from all parts of Pakistan.

Fahad Qadir, Director PACS, Coca-Cola Pakistan & Afghanistan Region at the panel session 

“The Coca-Cola Company and its bottling partners, through our Climate Protection strategy are committed to finding innovative ways to mitigate the environmental effects of our operations and products. From 100% recyclable packaging, to plastic recovery pilot studies with WWF and awareness campaigns, to replenishing 2.74 billion liters of the water annually, we don’t just recognize our responsibility to be a part of the solution to climatic challenges—we embrace it. For us it means using our scale and brand power to create shared opportunities in protecting our planet”, highlighted Fahad in his panel session with fellow participants from Nestle Pakistan, European Union, JS Bank with Dr. Abid Suleri, Executive Director SDPI. 

During the panel session Role of Private Sector in Climate Action, Coca-Cola led the discussion in sharing best practices to combat or cope with climate change as a part of the Company's business sustianability stratgey. Coca-Cola porposed startegy mapping around collective action within the industry and nationwide to tackle the recurring issue of plastic waste pollution. The Company announced the PET Baseline Scoping Study that it's conducting with WWF Pakistan to understand the situation of plastic waste management, and above all this study will provide a foundation to build strategy for waste management and recycling. Most of the attendees were pleased to learn about this and proposed ways to use this study for a nationwide study focused on all forms of packaging and not just plastic.The floor was later opened for questions which allowed for a fruitful discussion between private and public sector representatives. 

As The Coca-Cola Company grows, it will continue to support local economies and help create economic opportunity. It’s commitment to doing business the right way continued in 2018, as it’s set out to show the world that the drinks they love can make life more enjoyable, without harming our planet and the natural resources we all depend on. In early 2018, Coca-Cola announced its World Without Waste initiative with a clear, simple goal: to help collect and recycle a bottle or can for each one we sell by 2030.

As our product sales volume has gone up, our Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions have gone down. We track our emissions per liter of product sold at a system level, expressed as a ratio (grams of CO2 in relation to liters of product produced). This is an important performance metric as we continue to address our climatic impact.
The participants reiterated the need to recognize climate change as a human rights issue that calls for an integrated and intersectoral response with the collaboration of all stakeholders at the organizational and individual level, rather than being left to one government department or institution to solve. The participants also highlighted the extremely important role of the private sector and public-private partnerships in supporting efforts to combat climate change and promoting environmental sustainability.

The Climate Conclave aims to bring public, private, and civil society stakeholders together to engage in dialogue with the aim of supporting policy makers as well as government and private sector decision makers in planning and coordinating future strategies and interventions to support climate action.