South Asia vulnerable to climate change

Rasheed Khalid
Thursday, Nov 24, 2022

Islamabad: South Asian region is vulnerable as the region is frequented by climate induced calamities, said Shafqat Kakakhel, chairperson BoG, Sustainable Development Policy Institute.

Mr Kakakhel was delivering keynote address at a seminar on ‘Regional cooperation on climate change in South Asia’ organised here by Institute of Strategic Studies in collaboration with Hanns Seidel Foundation.

Kakakhel lamented that still different agreements under the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) on Climate were not been implemented due to lack of political will.

Dr Philipp Johannes Zehmisch from South Asia Institute of University of Heidelberg said that lack of funds was impacting Pakistan’s Climate change performance. Climate change is an all-encompassing area from disaster relief to mitigation, he said adding that it is important for the countries in the region to work on green energy initiatives.

Dr Shailly Kedia, associate director, TERI, Delhi, said that decoupling of political differences is important to tackle Climate change issue in the region. Climate diplomacy needs to be driven by science and its paradigm needs to shift from countries to people.

Ali Tauqeer Sheikh, adviser, Ministry of Planning, said that there are different methods of tackling the issue of climate diplomacy. The leadership in South Asia had the vision to put programmes together to deal with climate issues but implementation was not possible due to lack of adequate resources. Climate diplomacy can help in implementation of action plans developed through negotiations between the various stakeholders, he concluded.

Aisha Khan, executive director, Civil Society Coalition for Climate Change, said that loss and damage fund put forward at COP 27 is very vague. External finance is the only requisite to deal with climate change and address adaptation and mitigation issues. Principle of equity should be respected when countries talk about climate finance, she observed.

Anam Rathor, technical advisor, Climate Finance, GIZ said that limited climate spending is hindering the fight against climate induced-damages in Pakistan adding the main issue for developing countries like Pakistan is how to get access to international climate fund and get adequate support from it.

Dr Imran Khalid from World Wildlife Fund (WWF) said that negotiations at COP 27 allowed the Global North to continue its emissions without much consequence. There is inequity and inequality built into the system need to be addressed to deal with issues of climate change at the global stage, he said.