Underutilised: Pakistan spending 6% of budget on climate change

Published: May 26, 2015
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Total federal expenditure for climate change was estimated between 5.8 and 7.6 per cent of the total expenditure from July 2010 to 2014 PHOTO: STOCK IMAGE

Total federal expenditure for climate change was estimated between 5.8 and 7.6 per cent of the total expenditure from July 2010 to 2014 PHOTO: STOCK IMAGE

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s first-ever Climate Public Expenditure and Institutional Review (CPEIR) report was launched on Monday focusing on federal and provincial budgetary allocations for climate change.

The report was prepared by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) under guidance of the Ministry of Climate Change and in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance. The report contains data for four fiscal years — 2010 to 2014.

The report covers the federal government, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P), Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) and Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B). It aims to equip government policy makers with relevant data, and assesses allocation of public resources both at national and institutional level for climate change-related issues.

The report says that the total federal expenditure for climate change was estimated between 5.8 and 7.6 per cent of the total expenditure from July 2010 to 2014, which includes development and current budget. It showed the proportion spent on adaptation and mitigation varied significantly, with 25 to 60 per cent and 30 to 17 per cent respectively.

The CPEIR illustrated that the number of climate-related development projects and their proportion within each government institution varied widely, suggesting irregular resource allocation and policy delivery. It further disclosed that for mitigation purposes, 57 per cent expenditure in fiscal 2013-14 was recorded in the energy sector, 19 per cent in transport and nine per cent for health and social services.

After the 18th Amendment, K-P’s climate change expenditures jumped to 35 per cent, while its annual development plan presents 30 to 32 per cent of the total budget from 2010 to 2014.

Total spending on climate change in the province increased from Rs13 billion to Rs24.4 billion, which is greater than the increase in total revenues. On the whole, climate-related expenditure stood between 10 to 14 per cent of K-P’s development budget and 5.3 and 7.3 per cent of the total provincial budget, according to the report.

UNDP Country Director Marc-Andre Franche said it was the first-ever report about climate change expenditures in Pakistan and in the second phase a review of Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan will be published. It would help Pakistan in preparation of intended nationally determined contributions for COPE-21 which will be held at the end of this year in Paris. Pakistan is the least contributor of CO2 but it is among the worst climate change-affected countries, as it lost $6 billion due to climate change-induced disasters, compared to $1.6 billion Pakistan lost to terrorism, he added.

Dr Qamaruz Zaman Chaudhry, lead author of the report, said that spending by NGOs and dirty expenditures were not included in the report. “Pakistan is spending an average of six per cent of its total expenditure on climate change issues, which is not a small amount at federal level.”

Published in The Express Tribune, May 26th, 2015.

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