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Pakistan’s new climate strategy hailed as a game changer

Framework will reduce economic, social and human costs of climate change

Gulf News

Islamabad: Pakistan has unveiled a strategy called ‘Climate Change Financing Framework’ (CCFF) to mainstream climate change into planning and budget systems. This strategy will make the country’s existing climate change policy more effective, guide future climate action and help access global climate funds, officials said.

Pakistan is the fourth country after Indonesia, Vietnam and Bangladesh to adopt the comprehensive climate change financing approach.

The Government of Pakistan together with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) released two key documents to improve how climate change can be integrated into its budget and public financial management.

Federal Minister for Climate Change Senator Mushahid Ullah Khan formally launched the Report in Islamabad on Monday.

“This framework [is a] milestone in bringing climate change in mainstream of planning and finance system that can help in effectively addressing climate change challenges” the minister said. The budgeting of climate change is formally now part of Pakistan’s budget policy.

“There is more need to create awareness on climate change issue since we are living under glaciers and have serious threats.”

Pakistan is among the top ten countries most affected by climate change although our contribution in carbon emission is only 0.08 per cent, he added.

‘Will reduce risks’

The country director of UNDP Pakistan, Ignacio Artaza, congratulated Pakistan in successfully developing the financing framework.

“Effective implementation of CCFF will reduce risks and the economic, social and human costs of climate change to Pakistan,” he said.

Pakistan ranks seventh among the most affected countries by climate change according to the Global Climate Risk Index 2017.

The South Asian country has witnessed catastrophic floods, heatwaves, droughts in the last few years.

“Pakistan is among the top ten countries globally affected by climate change”, which is why climate financing initiative will prove an important tool in adapting to and mitigating the effects of climate change, said Neil Buhne, UNDP Resident Representative.

Hailing Pakistan’s accomplishment on launching the landmark climate initiative, Buhne said: “CCFFs have been developed, with UNDP support and assistance from the United Kingdom and Sweden, in Indonesia, Cambodia, Bangladesh and Pakistan to budget and plan better to adapt to climate change.”

The Climate Change Financing Framework provides a strategic framework that reviews financing gaps and outlines key governance, planning and budget system reforms. It provides a road map to integrate climate change by linking policy frameworks with budgeting, and ensuring transparent allocations and effective use of public resources.

The second report, known as Climate Public Expenditure and Institutional Review (CPEIR), provides an overview of the landscape of current climate policy and budget spending in the country.

The Report results found that Pakistan’s climate expenditure compares well with other countries with the four provinces and the Federal Government spending a national average of around 8 per cent of total expenditures on activities related to climate change.

“This is a considerable achievement as Pakistan is one of very few countries that have undertaken CPEIRs that comprehensively cover all provinces as well as the federal level” noted Neil Buhne.

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