Pakistan already spending 8% budget on climate, says minister

Published: November 17, 2017
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Mushahidullah says climate change impacts efforts to reduce poverty, enhance food security. PHOTO: ONLINE / FILE

Mushahidullah says climate change impacts efforts to reduce poverty, enhance food security. PHOTO: ONLINE / FILE

BONN / LATEST / CLIMATE: Pakistan is already contributing 8% of its budgetary allocations to address the issue of climate change as it faces huge impacts like recurrent floods, heat waves, cyclones, drought, desertification, glacial-melt and sea level rise despite its minimal contribution to global warming.

“These have far-reaching impacts on the government’s efforts to reduce poverty, enhance food security, improve health care, and improve access to energy.

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“Nationally, we are already incurring 8% of our budgetary resources to address climate change, creating extreme pressures on our economy,” said Minister for Climate Change Mushaidullah Khan while addressing negotiators and observers on Thursday at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP23).

“Hence adaptation and climate resilient development have become essential priorities,” he added.

As COP23 comes to a close on Friday, ministers from over 196 countries are giving speeches to the high level segment of the conference. Mushaidullah also gave his written speech on Thursday afternoon and took over 8 minutes to outline Pakistan’s case, while speaking slowly and carefully.

He summarised the steps taken at both the national and sub-national levels: a comprehensive approach on disaster risk reduction and management along with structured policies and institutional arrangements for disasters, mitigation, rescue and relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction.

Khan said Pakistan was also working hard in bringing about mitigation within the domains of energy, transport, town planning, agriculture etc.

“Energy sector remains a high priority and we are working on altering the energy mix; develop renewable energy sources and increase the share of nuclear and hydel power to reduce carbon emissions.”

He said Pakistan had ratified the Paris Climate Agreement and also submitted instrument of acceptance for the Doha Amendment to Kyoto Protocol, adding that the Paris Agreement must move from discussions to work on the ground.

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“We need an outcome that will foster greater progress and concrete actions towards enabling environment for implementing climate action in developing countries. Enhancing ambition, both for the mitigation and for availability of resources, remains critical”.

He said securing climate finance in the developing world must continue to remain a key priority area. “The trust and confidence of the process depends on this critical element”.  He pointed out that in Pakistan mitigation has very high potential, but obviously with corresponding resources.

“Our calculations indicate that US $40 billion would be required to achieve 20 per cent reduction in greenhouse gases. Similarly, adaptation to climate change impacts require additional investments of up to US $14 billion annually”.

He said effective mechanisms needed to be put in place internationally to ensure this. He concluded by saying: “Climate does not know borders, political systems or cultural diversity – it is a common threat and a common challenge. We all must act collectively and urgently”.

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