Pakistan to push for climate reparations at COP27
Pakistan is pinning hopes at the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference, more commonly referred to as the Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC to take concrete measures that will bind the world’s largest polluters to pay damages to countries affected by the climate change.
The COP27 will be the 27th United Nations Climate Change conference, to be held from 6 to 18 November 2022 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif is scheduled to attend the COP27 as he has been made the vice-chairperson for the COP27 after his advocacy for an urgent climate action plan, it was announced on Monday.
Egyptian President and COP27 Chairperson Abdul Fattah Al-Sisi invited the Pakistani prime minister to co-chair the COP-27 roundtable conference along with the prime minister of Norway.
The meeting – organised by the UN regarding climate change and the need for sustainable solutions – will be attended by world leaders, think tanks, heads of governments and international financial institutions.
Pakistan received the honour from among the 193 countries of the UN as a result of the active voice raised by PM Shehbaz at the global and regional forums about the climate crisis and the necessity of action.
After the devastating floods lashed Pakistan and left millions displaced, Shehbaz called for immediate international action on climate change at local and global platforms, including the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly.
The prime minister will present Pakistan’s case and brief COP27 about the damages caused by the floods triggered by torrential rains. Pakistan has blamed the climate for the disaster. The country contributes less than 1 per cent to global emissions but is among the top 10 nations affected by climate change.
According to the latest report of the Post-Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA), Pakistan needs at least $16.3 billion for post-flood rehabilitation and reconstruction.
The PDNA report, released by the representatives of the government and the international development institutions, calculated the cost of floods at $30.1 billion – $14.9 billion in damages and $15.2 billion in losses.
The figure is $2.2 billion less than initially announced by the government at a donors’ roundtable in the US earlier this month. The scope of the report is limited to 94 calamity-hit districts, excluding the areas that were affected by the floods but have not been declared as calamity-hit.
“Pakistan will require a minimum of $16.3 billion for rehabilitation and reconstruction, which is based on what the government and the international community can do for the flood-affected people due to limited resources,”
Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal said at the launching ceremony last week.
The sector that suffered the most damage is housing, sustaining $5.6 billion in damages and another $636 million in losses. A $2.8 billion will be required for the rehabilitation of this sector.
The agriculture, food, livestock, and fisheries sector also suffered the highest damages and losses to the tune of $13 billion, which include $3.7 billion in direct damages. The government will need $4 billion for rehabilitation and reconstruction.
The transport and communication sector sustained a total of $3.6 billion in damages and losses and its needs are assessed at $5 billion – the highest requirement by any sector.
Sindh has suffered the most – with $9 billion in damages and another $11.4 billion in losses, bringing the total cost to $20.4 billion or 68% of the total cost.
Balochistan sustained $4.1 billion in damages and losses, followed by Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa $1.6 billion and Punjab $1.1 billion.
Officials said the prime minister will present the damage assessment report before the COP27 and seek the international community’s help.
Despite messages of solidarity from world leaders, the world has not yet provided the kind of assistance Pakistan has hoped for.
Officials said Pakistan would join other developing countries to seek climate reparations, an issue that has been consistently pushed down the agenda by rich nations in previous years.