Pakistan needs $348b to respond to climate, development challenges between 2023-30: WB

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The World Bank has estimated that the total investment needed for a comprehensive response to Pakistan’s climate and development challenges between 2023 and 2030 amounts to around $348 billion, according to a report at the UN’s climate summit on Wednesday.

The estimated amount — equal to 10.7 per cent of cumulative Gross Domestic Product for the same period — was evaluated in the ‘Country Climate and Development Report’ for Pakistan, which was presented at the climate change summit held in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.

This amount consists of $152bn for adaptation and resilience and $196bn for deep de-carbonisation.

The report warned that the combined risks from the intensification of climate change and environmental degradation, unless addressed, would further aggravate Pakistan’s economic fragility and could ultimately reduce the annual GDP by 18pc to 20pc per year by 2050.

Between 6.5pc and 9pc of the GDP would likely be lost to climate change as increased floods and heatwaves reduce agriculture and livestock yields, destroy infrastructure, decrease labour productivity, and undermine health.

Additionally, water shortages in agriculture could reduce the GDP by more than 4.6pc and air pollution could impose a loss of 6.5pc of the GDP per year, the report warns.

It went on that a comprehensive climate-financing strategy would need to be developed with higher domestic resource mobilisation, more accountable and impactful allocation of public spending, and higher levels of international climate finance.

Given the size of expected climate shocks, the report deemed greater concessional international finance essential.

While the country “could and should forcefully make its case for this”, the report also stated that donors may be more willing to offer sustained support if revenue leakage and governance issues were systematically addressed.

The report further asked the government to prioritise interventions that simultaneously deliver development outcomes and climate benefits and sequence policy actions realistically, based on their overall impact and relative urgency.

It, however, added that as the magnitude of the recent floods showed, the government may also be forced to evaluate some hard trade-offs between investing in climate adaptation and other development interventions.

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