Pakistan should play leading role in establishing fund for climate victims

Pakistan should play leading role in establishing fund for climate victims

ISLAMABAD, Mar 27 (APP): As thousands of flood victims are still struggling in Pakistan to rehabilitate their lives and livelihoods, international climate experts are set to meet in Egypt this week (27-29 March 2023) to deliberate operationalization of a Loss and Damage(L&D) Fund. If L&D fund had existed already and Pakistan had access to its finances, the 2022 flood victims would have been in a somewhat better situation.

This was mentioned in a press statement by Resilient Future International, an Islamabad-based research and training company.

The agreement on a Loss and Damage Fund was the most important win for climate-vulnerable countries at the last climate change meeting, Conference of Parties – 27 (COP27) at Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt (Nov 6-Nov 18, 2022).

Loss and Damage refer to the permanent loss caused by climate change, including floods, heat waves, hurricanes, sea-level rise, drought and desertification.

The L&D Fund aims to provide financial assistance to climate-vulnerable countries, such as Pakistan that faced USD30-40 billion losses due to the historic floods in 2022.

A “Transitional Committee” was set up to deliberate the operationalization of the Loss and Damage Fund.

The Committee is meeting this week in the historic city of Luxor in Egypt and will meet two more times this year before sharing its proposals at the next global climate meeting (COP28) scheduled in Dubai from 30th Nov to 12 Dec 2023.

The Transitional Committee works with the support of the United Nations Framework Convention of Climate Change (UNFCCC). The Committee consists of 24 experts, including 14 from developing and 10 from developed countries.

Aftab Alam Khan CEO of Resilient Future International, believes that the COP27 agreement on an L&D fund was a big victory, the next big win would be creating a framework for the fund.

“Another phase of struggle starts for climate-vulnerable countries with the inception of Transitional Committee meetings. The vulnerable countries should join the meetings with a clear strategy. Pakistan should play a leading role as it played in COP27 for the agreement on L&D Fund.

It is important that the Transitional Committee achieves the first thing first. It needs to prioritize creation of a framework for the L&D Fund over discussion on funding arrangements. The discussion on funding arrangement at this stage may distract the committee because once the Fund is created the arrangements would follow, anyway.”

Aftab Alam Khan noted that the Transitional Committee has only three meetings this year to deliberate on the L&D Fund before COP28. The climate-vulnerable countries should conduct smart negotiations.

“Climate negotiations are arduous.

There exist important questions around L&D funding arrangements but they should be treated secondary to the primary deliverable of a new Fund.

For instance, a legitimate question is how to coordinate L&D funding with humanitarian assistance and other existing vehicles of climate finance.

Nevertheless, developing countries should ensure that such questions are considered in a separate process and 2023 is focused on the core work of creating the framework of the new L&D fund.”

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