Report identifies Pakistan as ‘highly vulnerable’ to climate change impacts

Internally displaced flood-affected people take shelter in higher places in the flood-hit area following heavy rains in Dera Allah Yar city of Jaffrabad district, Balochistan province, on September 7, 2022.  - AFP
Internally displaced flood-affected people take shelter in higher places in the flood-hit area following heavy rains in Dera Allah Yar city of Jaffrabad district, Balochistan province, on September 7, 2022. – AFP
  • Climate change will continue to be a primary force influencing policy-making.
  • The need for developed countries to help the poor was stressed.
  • The underdeveloped countries of Africa will suffer the most severe effects.

Karachi: According to a recently published report, Pakistan has been classified as “highly” vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Economist Intelligence Unit on Wednesday.

The report, ‘The Climate Change Crisis: Understanding Trends Affecting the Unpredictable Future’, noted that climate change will continue to be the primary force influencing policy-making and social change in the foreseeable future.

It emphasizes the need for developed countries to provide greater assistance to the poor who face increased vulnerability to the devastating consequences of changing climate patterns around the world.

The report highlights projections from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that show how the underdeveloped countries of Africa will bear the most severe impacts of the consequences of irreversible climate change.

Even if countries are able to meet the 2 °C target with respect to global warming, the impact of extreme storms, droughts, heatwaves and heatwave-like events flood According to the EIU report, it would still be “unprecedented”.

Pakistan, which is staring at catastrophic floods in 2022, has taken some remarkable steps to mitigate the physical effects of climate change. Its project ‘Recharge Pakistan’ has been approved by the Green Climate Fund (GCF), the news was shared by Climate Change Minister Sherry Rehman on his Twitter account on July 11.

According to his tweet,[the] The Recharge Pakistan project, which will be implemented over the next 7 years, has been approved today for funding of $77.8 million. The GCF funding of $66 million represents 84.8% of the total funding needed for the project. The remaining 15.2% will be covered by other co-financiers.

The funding, which was originally in the form of a loan, will now come in the form of a grant.

A separate tweet by Rehman said: “After the megafloods of 2022 it was our view that Pakistan needed grant-based climate financing, and [we are] Grateful to GCF for accepting our advice.”

Information available on the Green Climate Fund’s website says, “The primary objective of the Recharge Pakistan initiative is to flood local watershed sites in the Indus Basin river system and transform the country’s approach to water resource management.”

“This will be accomplished by implementing ecosystem-based adaptation (EBAs) and green infrastructure interventions, as well as enhancing community-based natural resource management. These activities will help reduce the risk of long-term drought, setting a paradigm shift for future EBAs. and will address flood resilience initiatives in Pakistan.”

While such initiatives would help vulnerable countries reduce the risks and impacts of climate change, “more funding is still needed to fight climate change”, according to the EIU report. One reason for countries’ inability to meet their climate goals is a lack of private investment. In the South Asian region, about 70 per cent of total climate financing (2019-2020 average) came from the public sector.

2022 ukraine The war has become the biggest disruptor in recent times. In addition to negatively impacting global supply chains, it has also reversed progress made on clean energy initiatives. As countries deal with energy crises, they turn to fossil fuels.

In 2022, fossil fuels will account for 81% of total global energy consumption. The EIU estimates that this will drop to 78% by 2032. However, there are also countries whose dependence on fossil fuels will continue. Pakistan is one of the top 10 countries where fossil fuel consumption is increasing and will continue throughout 2023.

The report forecasts that investment in sustainable finance will decline further in 2023. “Extremely low interest rates amid the pandemic have triggered an increase in sustainable financing…with record high inflows of funds based on environmental, social and governmental (ESG) standards in 2021.”

But as soon as the energy crisis emerged after the Ukraine war, funding waned. Factors such as high inflation, rising interest rates and fears of recession also forced investors to look at other options. EIU sees no boom in ESG investing in 2023. But it says the appeal of sustainable finance will improve in 2024 as the global economy recovers.

With food prices expected to rise, things are going to be challenging for governments around the world. EIU report says lack of rain in North Africa threatens to further reduce yields Rain Will contribute to rising food prices in Europe.

In Europe, rising food prices are already contributing more to annual inflation than energy. EIU expects crop yields to drop in 2023 [in Europe], which could push up food prices and increase inflationary pressure on the economy. This could spark public discontent and pose challenges for governments trying to deal with the cost of living crisis.


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