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Keeping in view the challenges of climate change, the Ministry of Planning Development & Special Initiatives unveiled a comprehensive blueprint for tackling climate change while enhancing sustainable development under the National Climate Change Policy (NCCP).
In 2021, the government approved the NCCP to pursue sustained economic growth by addressing the challenges of climate change, to integrate climate change policy with other inter-related national policies, to focus on pro-poor gender sensitive adaptation while promoting mitigation to the extent possible in a cost-effective manner; to build climate-resilient infrastructure and others.
Under the policy, the Planning Ministry prepared a National Climate Finance Strategy (NCFS) aimed at identifying sectoral priorities and scaling climate finance. This NCFS is a cornerstone in Pakistan's commitment to the Paris Agreement, focusing on leveraging private sector engagement, international climate finance and carbon markets.
It is noted that Pakistan is among the countries in the world that are most affected by weather/climate-related hazards such as floods, landslides, droughts, heat waves, extreme cold, and cyclones, etc. Significantly, the Sustainable Finance Bureau (SFB) has been established to revolutionize climate finance. The SFB will reorient Public Sector Development Program (PSDP) towards sustainable finance, with 20% (Rs 925 billion) of new PSDP schemes in FY2023-24 being green. This initiative is expected to qualify for concessional climate funds, enhancing Pakistan's capacity to meet its climate targets.
In a groundbreaking move, Pakistan requires $348 billion to achieve systemic resilience between 2023 and 2030, as per the World Bank's 2023 report. This investment is crucial for climate-proofing Pakistan's development trajectory and ensuring the well-being of its people.
The initiative also underscored the importance of a Climate Responsive Public Investment Framework (CRPIF), integrating climate considerations into the planning and execution of all development projects.
This approach aligns with the National Adaptation Plan (NAP) and Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) signifying Pakistan's dedication to climate-smart policies and practices.
Furthermore, the Planning Ministry’s Green Growth Framework aims to foster emerging green value chains and support economic activities that are both environmentally sustainable and financially viable. This framework is aligned with the latest global trends and best practices in green finance and technology.
Pakistan has been witnessing challenging impacts of climate change—ranging from devastating floods to prolonged droughts, from heat waves to melting glaciers. These changes pose immense threats to the country’s environment, economy, and the well-being of the people. Last year Pakistan faced an unprecedented devastation due to torrential rains and flooding in most parts of the country, particularly in Balochistan and Sindh affecting 33 million people resulting in economic losses worth $30 billion. In response, the government had devised a comprehensive 4RF framework, which proposed effective coordination and participation arrangements among federal and provincial governments, development partners, donors, international and national NGOs and academic and private sectors. Pakistan’s carbon emission is less than one percent; however, it is among the countries that are most vulnerable to climatic disasters. Pakistan pleaded his case before the COP27 summit held in Egypt last year and it will continue to plead the case in an upcoming COP28 to be held in Dubai.
The Planning Ministry reaffirms its commitment to leading Pakistan towards a sustainable and resilient future. The initiatives and strategies laid out in the presentation are pivotal steps in this journey, signaling a new era of environmentally conscious and economically sound development in Pakistan.