Climate Financing imperative for developing countries, Experts agree

ISLAMABAD: While there had lately been several debates about the significance of climate financing in tackling the unavoidable impacts of climate change, there was an inherent ambiguity in what finance entailed for various developing countries, said Mr. Mujtaba Hussain, Additional Secretary MoCC.

He was addressing a Roundtable titled ‘International Climatic Negotiations: Key Challenges and Pathways to a Safe Future’ co-hosted by Institute of Regional Studies (IRS), Civil Society Coalition for Climate Change (CSCCC) and the Embassy of France. He said that while Pakistan had played a vital role in bringing together the most climate stressed countries, at home, there was a serious need to strengthen our capacity in order to formulate workable project-oriented solutions to deal with the impacts of climate change. For this, he added, the Ministry of Climate Change was adamant in strengthening the climate finance unit as a major functional outlet to carry forward the planned tasks. A major challenge in the development of a longer lasting transformative roadmap was the full access to available financial opportunities and also capacity issues.

Jourdian Valliant, member Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs said that the window of opportunity was shrinking on a daily basis. He said that while the Paris Agreement was a wholesome framework to deal with the challenge of climate change, international provisions and initiatives could not be coupled with or viewed as domestic or national implementation plans. Solutions to climate change had to be organic and home driven, he said. Mr. Valliant further added that while the significance of climate financing was quite true, it was noteworthy that soft loans instead of grants and aids were only a means to ensure that goals were achieved and intended to add to the worth of the money while making sure that development remains consistently underway.

Other experts on the panel included Mr. Ahmed Kamal, Dr. Zeba Sathar, Dr. Irfan Khalid, Brig. Rashid Wali Janjua and Dr. Fayaz Hussain who agreed that since the goalposts were constantly changing, climate finance needed to be redirected towards adaptation instead of negotiation and improving ease of access.

The experts agreed further that there was a dire need to translate the loss and damage fund into a reality particularly for countries like Pakistan and that there was a serious need to develop a triage of risk resilience, risk management and sustainable development to work in sync when considering solutions for a challenge that is likely to stay.

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