Pakistan sets an ambitious way forward for COP26

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Climate experts urge govt to take inclusive decisions by engaging stakeholders

Zubair Qureshi

Climate experts and civil society representatives speaking at a national webinar have maintained that Pakistan government has set an ambitious Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) for the 26th Conference of Parties (COP26) under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) being organized in Glasgow (UK).

The webinar was organized by the Development Communications Network (Devcom-Pakistan) and DTN Saturday on the subject “UNFCCC COP26 – What shall Pakistan look for?” Special Assistant to Prime Minister Malik Amin Aslam Khan was the keynote speaker.

Malik Amin Aslam Khan said reduction in carbon emissions, cleaner energy and forestry are the main components of the National Determined Contribution (NDC) that has been presented to the COP26.

Pakistan has already reduced 20 percent of its carbon emissions under the previously submitted NDC.

Another 15 percent reduction is planned with the country’s own resources by 2030 while 35 percent may be reduced if Pakistan is provided financial support up to US$ 100 billion for major infrastructural development to enhance capacity of cleaner energy and to opt for nature based solutions. Pakistan needs US$ 6-14 billion for climate smart agriculture.

However, they urged the government to make such decisions as are more inclusive and participatory by engaging different stakeholders in the pre-decision process.

Strangely, the government did not open the NDC’s process for wider civil society deliberations through sub-national and national consultative discourse.

By reducing carbon emissions, which is the one goal under the UNFCCC we also need to take into account the causes and impact of natural disasters and calamities the different parts of the country have been facing for over a decade.

Massive tree plantation is on and much of it would add more stress on the already diminished water resources.

Climatic conditions are making Pakistan more vulnerable to natural disasters.

Financial and technical support to such issues shall also be part of the country’s NDC.

Devcom-Pakistan Executive Director Munir Ahmed hosted and moderated the discussion. The guest speakers included WWF Pakistan Director Environment Dr. Imran Khalid, Asstt.

Professor Dr Nilofar Jamil (Guetta), Asstt. Prof. Dr. Khushboo Ejaz (Lahore), Marine Ecology expert Shahid Amjad (Karachi), senior scientist Global Change Impact Study Centre (GCISC) Dr. Muhammad Amjad , National Defense University Asstt.

Professor Dr Imran Ashraf, SDGs Academy chairman Ammar Jafri, Development expert Aftan Alam Khan and Art and Design senior teacher Riffat Ara Baig.

Malik Amin said despite climate change impact, covid-19 and debt crisis, Pakistan has shown remarkable progress on the climate action that has been appreciated by the World Bank too besides other international forums.

According to a World Bank report Pakistan’s climate friendly development goes beyond 44 percent at the moment which is the highest on the world map.

Devcom-Pakistan Executive Director Munir Ahmed said widely inclusive and participatory approaches needed to develop NDCs.

Pre-COP events shall include vigorous participation to propagate the country’s NDCs, financial and technical needs to influence the donors.

Pakistan’s policy framework is much appreciable that shall be implemented in letter and spirit taking all stakeholders on board.

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