Wednesday February 08, 2023

Better share of climate finance sought for Pakistan

September 10, 2021

Islamabad : Eighth on the list of countries most vulnerable to climate change despite contributing only one per cent to the worldwide greenhouse gas emissions, Pakistan needs a better share of the international climate finance for an effective response to global warming, insisted climate experts and advocates in an event here.

Declaring climate change a shared responsibility and encouraging a global partnership to address it, they praised Pakistan for turning to its nature-based solutions.

The panellists also pushed the developed countries for contributing at least $100 billion to the climate finance annually to help developing countries combat environmental issues.

The event titled Pre-COP26 Dialogue was organised by the Institute of Regional Studies in collaboration with the Civil Society Coalition for Climate Change, the Sustainable Development Policy Institute, and the Embassy of France in the run-up to the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) slated to be held in Glasgow, Scotland, from October 31 through November 12.

Aide to the prime minister on climate change Malik Amin Aslam said despite being affected by climate change in an unjust manner, Pakistan would adopt nature-based approaches to be part of the solution to global warming. Parliamentary secretary for foreign affairs Andleeb Abbas said climate was a priority of the government and a personal focus of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

She listed the 10 Billion Tree Tsunami afforestation project, the switch to cleaner fuel, and the introduction of electric vehicle policy as some of the achievements of the government.

British high commissioner to Pakistan Dr Christian Turner said the COP26 had four major goals, including more national commitments on emission reduction by 2030, further support for vulnerable countries like Pakistan in terms of climate adaptation, climate finance mobilisation to the tune of $100 billion annually, and developing partnerships not only between governments but also with the private sector and the civil society.

He said Pakistan was in a great position to assume global leadership on climate change due to its climate vulnerability and prioritisation of climate in national policy-making. Italian ambassador Andreas Ferrarese said Pakistan contributed only one per cent to the worldwide greenhouse gas emissions but was eighth in the world in terms of climate vulnerability.

He said Italy and Pakistan would co-host a side-initiative of the COP26 on mountain climate in with the latter playing a central role in addressing challenges related to conservation of the central Karakoram ecosystem, meant to be a model for the world.

Chargé d'affaires of France in Pakistan Yves Manville said Paris was supporting Islamabad on climate change front by providing small grants to civil society organisations for environmental projects and awarding climate scholarships to Pakistani students.

He added that France was also assisting Pakistan directly through the French Development Agency.

Calling for better collaborations, CSCCC chief executive Aisha Khan said climate diplomacy would be the most important aspect of bilateral and multilateral engagements in future but it required careful diplomacy and inspired leadership to leverage cooperation at both regional and international levels.

Referring to an Asian Development Bank study, IRS president Nadeem Riyaz said Pakistan faced a $3.8 billion annual economic loss due to climate change. He said COP26 was expected to play a crucial role in paving the way for sustainable recovery and setting ambitious but achievable targets for climate adaptation and mitigation.

SDPI executive director Dr Abid Suleri appreciated Pakistan’s initiatives to tackle climate change, especially its commitment to phasing out coal-based power generation, and said the government had adopted an inclusive approach toward climate.

Also, the other speakers, including World Bank country director Najy Benhassine, Development Director for Pakistan at the British Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office Annabel Gerry, director general (environment) at the climate change ministry Muhammad Irfan Tariq, and chairman

of the SDPI board of governors Shafqat Kakakhel, called for an accelerated global action against climate change, warning the time is running out for it.