Climate victims: Pakistan asked to play role in setting up fund

M Waqar Bhatti
Wednesday, Mar 29, 2023

ISLAMABAD: As thousands of flood victims are still struggling in Pakistan to rehabilitate their lives, international climate experts are set to meet in Egypt to deliberate operationalisation of “Loss and Damage (L&D) Fund”.

Experts Tuesday urged the authorities here to play a leading role in the establishment of the fund for climate victims, including Pakistani.

“COP27 agreement on L&D Fund was a big victory, but 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 like it played in COP27 for the agreement on L&D Fund”, Aftab Alam Khan, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Resilient Future International (RFI) said.

The agreement on the 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 6-18, 2022). The Loss and Damage refers 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 30-40 billion dollar losses due to historic floods in 2022. “If the L&D Fund had existed already and Pakistan had access to its finances, the 2022 flood victims would have been in somewhat better situation”. This was mentioned in a press statement by Resilient Future International, an Islamabad-based research and training company. Aftab Alam said Transitional Committee is meeting this week in Luxor, Egypt and will meet two more times this year before sharing its proposals at the next global climate meeting (COP28) scheduled in Dubai from Nov 30 to Dec 12, 2023.

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

It is important that the Transitional Committee achieves the first thing first. It needs to prioritise creation of a framework for 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”, he said.