A way forward for climate change financing

Jul 18, 2016

During the summer of 2015, two natural disasters struck at opposite ends of Pakistan. In Karachi, a massive heatwave, with temperatures exceeding 44 degrees, took more than 1,200 lives. In Chitral, several valleys were hit by sudden glacial lake outburst floods which washed away roads, crops and homes. As climate change takes grip across the world, such extreme events are becoming more common and more severe, with implications in every aspect of life, from agriculture to energy.

Pakistan ranks eighth in the world for vulnerability to the effects of climate change, and it is essential to develop a coordinated response and access global funding to mitigate its worst effects on efforts to improve the lives of ordinary Pakistanis through sustainable development. Climate resilient development is only possible if there is understanding of how climate change affects sectors across government, and if it is considered in planning and budgeting by government departments.

In July this year, the Government of Pakistan and UNDP held a consultative workshop on a Federal Climate Change Financing Framework for Pakistan.

Co-chaired by the Special Secretary of the Ministry of Finance, Dr Shujaat Ali, and the Secretary of the Ministry of Climate Change, Abu Ahmad Akif, the meeting saw representatives from various ministries discuss the framework’s functions and their potential roles in the process.

The participants drew up 11 key actions that will advance the inaugural Federal Climate Change Financing Framework and create a structure to better manage, mobilize and target climate finance using a whole-of-government approach.

UNDP committed to providing further technical assistance to the government in the areas of governance, public finance, and climate policy.

UNDP and the Ministry of Finance will now work with government stakeholders to develop the technical parameters of the Framework and offer their recommendations in the coming months.

The meeting came at an opportune time, less than 50 days before the expected ratification of the Paris Agreement, and just as the National Assembly is considering a proposal to establish a new national authority to strengthen resource mobilization and oversight of government-wide actions related to climate change.

Outlining Pakistan’s financial commitments and demonstrating the country’s ability to transparently utilize international climate funding, the Framework will safeguard livelihoods from the effects of climate change and is critical to gain access to much-needed international climate funding. The integrated, budgeted and structured response offered by the Framework is thus essential for Pakistan to achieve economic progress and protect its people’s lives, livelihoods and wellbeing in a changing climate.

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