In November 2022 Egypt is scheduled to host for the 27th UN Climate Change Conference (COP 27). A proper preparation for this conference is of the utmost importance. The recent floods in Pakistan and the devastation that they caused are likely to be cited by the media as one of the main instances that climate changes are taking place.
It is essential to send a top-level delegation like the one who recently took part in the UN General Assembly. This delegation managed get a substantial amount of financial assistance to help flood victims.
It is essential to translate these promises into concrete actions. In separate meeting, US President Joe Biden as well as his top aides which included Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Special Presidential Envoy John Kerry, expressed the intention to support Pakistan in reestablishing a strong infrastructure to help avoid any future crisis.
The heads of the financial institutions shared the same view. World Bank President David Malpass stated that Pakistan should be given the top priority to ensure resilient reconstruction agricultural urban and rural development, as well as social services. In the first instance Malpass has pledged to reuse $850 million in the next 24 hours to help Pakistan in the flooding relief initiatives. In addition, the IMF has also committed to let $1.17 billion to help the flood-stricken population.
The most well-known advocate in Pakistan’s fight has to be Antonio Guterres, the UN Secretary General of the UN. After witnessing the deaths as well as the destruction caused by flooding during his recent trip to Pakistan and the country, he demanded numerous remedial steps. When he spoke of Pakistan, “which is drowning not only in floodwater but in debt” He called for a dependable mechanism for debt relief. Additionally, echoing calls made by several developing nations and climate activists and climate activists, the UN secretarygeneral requested to ensure that “polluters must pay” for the increasing destruction caused by the effects of heat waves, floods and other impacts of climate.
He urged countries to tax the windfall profits from fossil fuel companies , and to divert the cash to nations who are facing a worsening loss from this crisis. Many journalists across Pakistan are also urging the government to demand compensation from developed nations as they are the main contributors to global warming.
Although “loss and damage” is likely to be a major aspect at the next conference on climate change, it would not be wise for Pakistan to take this process at this point due to two reasons. One, developed nations have resisted the idea of reparations. With the exception of Denmark who has pledged $13.5 millions to be spent by NGO’s in the countries that were the worst hit by the effects of climate change and no other country has agreed to this.
It could be several decades (if there ever is a time) before such a system is formulated and agreed upon. Our demands are urgent. It is common to observe that the international community has a very short memory. Within a few months following any catastrophe, they lose their commitments. In the year 2006, at the 26th Climate Summit at Glasgow, South Africa secured a $8.5 billion agreement with developed countries to shift away from fossil fuels in favor of renewable energy.
Pakistan requires a similar approach to address the challenges of climate adaptation. In his meeting with Pakistan’s Prime Secretary Shehbaz Sharif French the president Emmanuel Macron has proposed hosting an international conference prior to the close of the year. The conference will be with the aim of reviving Pakistan’s economy as well as its rebuilding after the devastating floods. It is vital that Pakistan select a full-time ministerial person who will oversee this process.
Miftah Ismail who has a proven track record of completing tasks and is an excellent option. Despite consistently being in the top 10 of the most vulnerable countries in the Climate Risk Index, Pakistan hasn’t received the appropriate amount of aid to combat the negative consequences of climate change, or adapting to it.
This is due in part to the fact that Pakistan is not part of relevant climate-related activities forums. For instance, Pakistan is not part of the 75-member Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action which was established in the year 2019 to assist countries to mobilize and align the financial resources needed to carry out their national climate action plans.
Pakistan is not part of the Climate Vulnerable Forum which is a global alliance comprising 55 countries particularly affected by the effects from climate changes. According to estimates by the government that the costs of reconstruction and rehabilitation caused by the destruction of the recent floods could range from $30-40 billion.
This is a lot more than our capabilities. Actually, it’s more than all the current expenses for the state. This means that Pakistan is in need of all the international financial aid it can obtain. The time is crucial. Pakistan’s crisis requires urgent intervention.