Pakistan Lacks Access To Finance, Technical Capacity To Mitigate Climate Change Impacts: Rehman


Pakistan lacks access to requisite climate financing and does not have the technical expertise to make the necessary progress in achieving crucial climate adaptation and mitigation goals. That the global community is failing in its financial commitments on climate change is compounding the issue.

This was stated by Federal Climate Change Minister Sherry Rehman on Friday while delivering the keynote for the launch of the Climate Finance Accelerator (CFA) organized by the UK government.

“Climate finance is uncharted territory for many developing countries due to a significant knowledge and capacity gap on this critical issue,” she said.

Senator Rehman said Pakistan faces the dual challenges of limited accessibility to climate finance and a lack of technical capacity, impeding its progress in achieving crucial climate adaptation and mitigation goals.

Pakistan is an extremely climate-stressed country, Rehman said and drew attention to the increasing frequency of extreme weather events.

She stressed that these events are no longer isolated or random occurrences. Rather, they are a direct result of climate change.

She emphasized that climate inaction has disrupted nature’s ability to maintain its natural weather patterns, and it is crucial for society to take responsibility for creating an environment where nature can thrive and preserve its existing balance.

“We need promises made at COP27 to materialize, but clearly, the financial challenges faced by the international public sector in meeting the massive funding requirements of the developing world, which have gone from billions to trillions, fall far short of the quantum of funding now needed.”

She added that the world is missing its emissions reduction targets, and the global community is failing to fulfil the promised funding pledges.

“The Paris goal of limiting global warming to 1.5ºC is no longer alive, and we are hurtling towards a 2.8ºC where countries like Pakistan will feel the burn first.”

Carbon markets

The minister said Pakistan is committed to exploring carbon markets as part of its efforts under the Paris Agreement.

She mentioned that the country is developing an interim framework for a voluntary carbon market and that Islamabad has signed on a collaboration with Verra, a global standard-setting body, to share knowledge and educate stakeholders on carbon markets and the certification process for generating carbon credits.

The federal minister spoke about the Delta Blue Carbon Project initiated by the Sindh government as a flagship in voluntary carbon markets, which is the world’s largest blue carbon project, with a 60-year lifespan and the aim of restoring 350,000 hectares of land in the Districts of Thatta and Sujawal in Sindh.

The restoration of the mangrove forests has the potential to increase Pakistan’s mitigation capacity by reducing emissions worth 27 million tons of CO2e over the project’s life cycle.

Most of the resources from that carbon trade will go into regenerating mangroves, enhancing water conservation projects, and building climate-smart agriculture opportunities for small farmers.

She emphasized the significant role programs like CFA can play in knowledge creation, building capacity and new pathways within the public and private sectors. She underlined the challenge of prioritizing climate change in both sectors. She highlighted the potential of such initiatives to elevate the government’s narrative on climate finance.

By creating awareness and aligning public interests with government objectives, these programs can effectively enhance the discourse on climate finance.__The Friday Times