ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) unveiled on Monday a ‘Climate Change Financing Framework’ (CCFF) structured to respond to climate change and promote rationalising climate finance, starting from the planning stage and creating a robust monitoring system that can gauge the adequacy and effectiveness of financing.

The framework aims to make existing responses to the challenges and opportunities posed by climate change more effectively, and position the country to better engage in negotiations and resource mobilisation at the international level.

It outlined a reform agenda constituting new policies and processes to better align climate finance to existing climate policy objectives in Pakistan. The CCFF was elaborated in partnership with UNDP’s Governance of Climate Change Finance Programme, which has been supporting the government since 2012. The framework linked policy and budgeting to increase the transparency of allocations while improving the effectiveness of existing public finance.

In addition to the CCFF, the ‘Climate Public Expenditure and Institutional Review (CPEIR) document was also released, which provides an overview of the landscape of current climate policy and budget spending in the country, with a view to improve future climate action.

The CPEIR outlined all climate relevant expenditure federally and in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, Punjab and Sindh, and showed that the four provinces and federal government are collectively and individually, spending a decent percentage of their total expenditures on activities related to climate change. The report also provides insights on the strengths and weaknesses of the institutional set up at different tiers of government and how this contributes to the management of climate change.

Speaking on the occasion, Minister for Climate Change, Mushahidullah Khan said that the CCFF will be a milestone in bringing climate change to the mainstream planning and finance system.

“There is more need to create awareness on climate change issue since we are living under glaciers and have serious threats. The desertification is increasing in Pakistan whereas our contribution in carbon emission is only 0.08 per cent and among the top ten countries most affected by climate change,” he said.

The report says the pressing need for more energy and the mitigation of growing greenhouse gas emissions in Pakistan both require a substantial investment of over 5pc of gross domestic product (GDP). Ongoing significant national energy shortages have been estimated to require a $5 billion initial investment and annual variable costs of $2.9bn based on the use of a traditional energy mix.

There are significant mitigation possibilities on both the supply and demand side with energy conservation measures being most cost efficient. National adaptation requirements have been estimated to be between 1.5 and 3.0pc of GDP and there is presently a substantial global shortfall. Although estimates are difficult, the average costs for annual adaptation to climate change for Pakistan were estimated to range annually from $6bn to $14bn to 2050, or an average of $10.7bn per annum.

The CCFF in Pakistan will build upon the national climate change policy and the medium term budgetary framework, and their links with sectorial policies.

Pakistan ranks among the top ten countries globally affected by climate change, and it has experienced effects dramatically over recent years through devastating floods and catastrophic heat waves. It is only through integrated and coordinated approaches to mitigate and adaptation that these challenges can be adequately met, said UN Resident Coordinator, Neil Buhne while speaking at the launching ceremony.

The overall results found that Pakistan’s climate expenditure compares well with other countries.

Published in Dawn, October 17th, 2017

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