ISLAMABAD: The Green Climate Fund (GCF) approved Pakistan’s $36 million Climate Change Adaptation project responding to glacial outburst in northern areas of Pakistan.
GCF approved the project in its 14th board meeting, held in the Republic of Korea.
The Ministry of Climate Change together with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) had submitted this project for the board’s approval, said in a statement. The Indian board member attempted to reject Pakistan’s proposal but the other 23 board members shot down this effort and instead approved the project.
The project will impact lives of thousands of people who are living in constant danger of periodic glacial outbursts in northern Pakistan. Approximately 700,000 people will directly and about 30 million people will indirectly benefit from the project.
It will address climate change impacts and Glacial Lake Outbursts Floods (GLOF) risks by preventing loss of lives and community infrastructure based on a holistic approach in all seven districts of Gilgit-Baltistan and five districts in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, thus, contributing to a climate-resilient sustainable development in the long-term.
The project, thus, benefits about 15 per cent of the total population of Pakistan, estimated at 185 million [by World Bank data in 2014].
The project outcome will strengthen adaptive capacity and reduce exposure to climate risks posed by climate change impacts and GLOF risks through the increased technical capacity of provincial and line departments to integrate CC and GLOF risks into development plans, tools and budgets and by expanding the Pakistan Meteorological Department’s Early Warning System (EWS) based on hydrological modeling and flood scenarios.
The project will also strengthen sub-national institutional capacities to plan and implement climate change and disaster-resilient development pathways as proposed outputs and activities will develop the capabilities of local level institutions and federal level institutions to incorporate climate change adaptation considerations into development plans in G-B and K-P.
In a major step towards curbing global warming, the world community agreed on Saturday to phase out a category of dangerous greenhouse gases widely used in refrigerators and air conditioners.
Nearly 200 countries agreed to end production and consumption of so-called hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) under an amendment to the 1987 Montreal Protocol on protecting the ozone layer.
The agreement was greeted by applause from exhausted envoys who worked through the night in Rwanda’s capital Kigali to put the finishing touches on the deal.
“Last year in Paris, we promised to keep the world safe from the worst effects of climate change. Today, we are following through on that promise,” UN Environment Programme chief Erik Solheim declared.
US President Barack Obama said in a White House statement that the agreement was “an ambitious and far-reaching solution to (the) looming crisis” of climate change.
Among green groups, WWF said the deal was “great news for the climate”.
“It sends a powerful signal that our governments are serious about tackling climate change,” its climate spokeswoman Regine Guenther said.
Under the agreement, rich countries will move faster than developing giants to scrapping HFCs — a concession that was a source of regret for some.
The Paris Agreement aims to keep global warming below two degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit), compared with pre-industrial levels. Its principal target is carbon dioxide (CO2), emitted especially by coal, oil and gas.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 16th, 2016.