Tuesday, January 31

Pakistan 5th amongst countries most vulnerable to climate change impacts: Moot told

Quetta: WWF-Pakistan held the second consultative workshop in its series, which aims to address the issue of climate change being faced by the country, by seeking recommendations on revising the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) document, and raising the overall ambition. All relevant stakeholders from the Balochistan government, private sector, and non-profit organizations attended the workshop, which served as a forum to highlight initiatives and areas of improvement in the five leading sectors consisting of agriculture, energy, forestry and land-use, industries and waste, as well as to exchange knowledge and experience related to climate change mitigation and adaptation measures.

While inaugurating the event, Dr Tahir Rasheed, Regional Head Sindh and Balochistan, WWF-Pakistan stated that “Although Pakistan ranks 135 in terms of per capita greenhouse gas emissions globally, it is ranked fifth amongst countries most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change according to Germanwatch’s Global Climate Risk Index. It is evident as the country faces extreme weather changes and natural calamities such as urban flooding, heatwaves, rising sea levels, loss of biodiversity and droughts. The NDC document is an opportunity to delineate a climate-smart strategy for effective execution of interventions that will facilitate us in meeting the 20 per cent emissions reduction target by 2030.

This deliberation will not only aid us in adapting to climate change impacts as a nation but will also help citizens make lifestyle changes to tackle it.” The background of international treaties and the Paris Agreement, a legally binding accord on climate change aimed at limiting global warming well below 2o Celsius, preferably to 1.5o Celsius, was presented by Nazifa Butt, Senior Manager, Climate and Energy Programme. The Paris Agreement requires countries to communicate their actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to reach the goals of the Agreement. She also stressed the need of engaging the provincial public sector departments, academia, and the corporate sector, as without them climate change mitigation targets cannot be streamlined. The importance of a financial framework for the government and other entities to drive action, track progress and raise ambition to meet the Paris Agreement goals, was also discussed.

Furthermore, the framework is critical to pave the way towards low greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and climate robust development. Zulfiqar Durrani, Provincial Head, UNDP, chaired the dialogue, taking the participant’s feedback on existing GHG emission targets and goals – present in the existing NDCs document. Stakeholders from different sectors voiced their concerns and challenges, in addition to sharing suggestions for effective execution of climate action plans.

During the dialogue, Niaz Kakkar, Project Director, Balochistan Wildlife Department, stated that “Countries like Pakistan have to build resilience to the impacts of climate change through medium to long term planning and integrating adaptation considerations into all relevant policies and strategies.” This dialogue was a first of its kind initiative on NDCs in Balochistan, which was concluded with the following remarks, by Zulfiqar Durrani who stated, “The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) provide a comprehensive development charter for the world. For effective climate action, I strongly believe SDG 17 (Global Partnerships for the Goals) is the way forward for all key actors.”