Experts call for climate financing

Official says Pakistan played vital role in bringing together climate-stressed countries

Our Correspondent January 25, 2023
A boat stranded on the shore of Thatta after a flood. As a consequence of climate change, frequency of floods has increased, forcing entire communities living in the coastal areas to uproot themselves. After every devastation, fishermen, along with their meagre belongings are left with little choice to move elsewhere in search of livelihood. PHOTO: JAHANZEB TAHIR (@jt76007)


Ministry of Climate Change (MoCC) Additional Secretary Mujtaba Hussain has said that while there had been debates about the significance of climate financing in tackling the unavoidable impacts of climate change, there was an inherent ambiguity in what finance entailed for various developing countries.

He was addressing a roundtable titled ‘International Climatic Negotiations: Key Challenges and Pathways to a Safe Future’ on Tuesday co-hosted by Institute of Regional Studies (IRS), Civil Society Coalition for Climate Change (CSCCC) and the Embassy of France.

He said that while Pakistan had played a vital role in bringing together the most climate-stressed countries as there was a dire need to strengthen our capacity to formulate workable project-oriented solutions to deal with the impacts of climate change. For this, he added, the Ministry of Climate Change was interested in strengthening the climate finance unit as a major functional outlet to carry forward the planned tasks. Some major challenges in the development of a long-lasting transformative roadmap were complete access to available financial opportunities and capacity issues.

Jourdian Valliant, member Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs said that the window of opportunity was shrinking on a daily basis. He said that while the Paris Agreement was a wholesome framework to deal with the challenge of climate change, international provisions and initiatives could not be coupled with or viewed as domestic or national implementation plans. Solutions to climate change had to be organic and home driven.

Valliant further added that it was noteworthy that soft loans instead of grants and aids were only a mean to ensure that goals were achieved and intended to add to the worth of the money while making sure that development remains consistently under way.

Other experts on the panel included Ahmed Kamal, Dr Zeba Sathar, Dr Irfan Khalid, Rashid Wali Janjua and Dr Fayaz Hussain who agreed that since the goalposts were constantly changing, climate finance needed to be redirected towards adaptation instead of negotiation and improving ease of access.

The experts agreed that there was a dire need to translate the loss and damage fund into a reality, particularly for countries like Pakistan and that there was a need to develop a triage of risk resilience, risk management, and sustainable development to work in sync when considering solutions for a challenge that is likely to stay.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 25th, 2023.


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