ISLAMABAD: Minister for Climate Change Sherry Rehman on Friday said climate finance was uncharted territory for many developing countries due to significant knowledge and capacity gap on this critical issue.

Speaking at the ‘Climate Finance Accelerator (CFA) programme’ whose phase 2 was inaugurated in Pakistan to seek investment proposals for low-carbon projects, the minister said Pakistan’s contribution to global warming was less than one per cent, but it had been suffering huge weather-related losses and damages, making it a climate-stressed country.

Ms Rehman said Pakistan faced the dual challenges of limited accessibility to climate finance and a lack of technical capacity, impeding its progress in achieving crucial climate adaptation and mitigation goals.

“We need promises made at COP27 to materialise, but clearly the financial challenges faced by the international public sector in meeting the massive funding requirements of the developing world, which have gone to trillions from billions, fall far short of the quantum of funding now needed,” she added.

Calls for materialising promises made at COP27

The world is not only missing its emissions reduction targets but is also failing to fulfill the promised funding pledges made by the global community. The Paris goal of limiting global warming to 1.5ºC is no longer alive and we are hurtling towards a 2.8ºC where countries like Pakistan will feel the burn first, she said.

The launch of CFA was held in Islamabad where ‘Call for Proposals’ for the CFA Pakistan Phase 2 was unveiled, inviting project developers to participate and benefit from the programme’s technical and capacity assistance.

The CFA is a £11.8 million technical assistance programme funded by International Climate Finance (ICF), through the UK Government’s Department of Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ). The CFA is implemented in nine countries including Pakistan.

According to a press release, direct discussions with local and international investors were also made possible, with many of them now advancing to investment decisions. “Mobilising in private finance on a large scale is critical to delivering Pakistan’s ambitious climate commitments communicated in the National Energy Generation Plan and Nationally Determined Contributions”, affirmed Arsalan Ali, the Country Director of DAI while opening the event.

Later, Development Director of British High Commission Jo Moir shared FCDO’s commitment to Climate Finance in Pakistan, highlighting the importance of international collaboration in addressing climate change and ensuring a greener future for all.

“Through the Climate Finance Accelerator programme, the UK is helping Pakistan to deliver its ambitions for a just transition to a low carbon economy. After the success of the first phase, CFA Phase 2 in Pakistan, will build partnerships between projects, the financial community, and policymakers to help attract investment in Pakistan’s green economy,” Jo Moir added.

Published in Dawn, July 8th, 2023

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