Loss and damage fund should be operationalised through World Bank: PM

UN climate talks open in UAE with pressure for urgent action

Kakar says Pakistan’s focus is on transformation from coal-based power plants to renewable energy projects n PM to lead Pak delegation in COP-28.

DUBAI  -  Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar Thursday stressed the need to immediately operationalise the Loss & Damage Fund, ensuring its utilisation on merit to cope with the issues of climate change.

He said the utilisation of Fund should not be linked with the development funds and loans from multilateral financial entities, but the funding should be additional and tangible.

The prime minister, in an interview with CNN on the sidelines of United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) COP28, said that currently Pakistan’s focus was on transformation from the coal-based power plants to renewable energy projects to contribute towards minimising the climate change impacts in the region and beyond.

“This is the area which could attract interest of countries here in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the settled economies and democracies on the Western side, so it is an opportunity for all of them and all of us,” he added.

He said the climate change was no more a fashionable point to discuss as it hit Pakistan very hard last year. The prime minister pointed out that Pakistan was not primarily responsible for contributing to the climate disaster in which the country’s two provinces Sindh and Balochistan faced historical devastation.

“Everyone knows who have been contributing in last one century so it is more of a question of an honest conversation rather than passing judgment on countries and economies,” he remarked. Therefore, he said, the responsibility shown by the wealthy nations themselves would be a welcome step.

To a question whether the Fund should be operationalised through a United Nation framework, the prime minister said, “If we wait for a UN framework it will take years of years. Therefore, initially it is possible to operationalise it under the World Bank and other multilateral entities.”

Meanwhile, the UN climate conference opened Thursday with nations urged to make faster cuts to planet-warming emissions and phase out fossil fuels as the United Arab Emirates is hosting the talks. The two-week-long negotiations in a vast exhibition venue in Dubai come at a pivotal moment, with emissions still climbing and the UN saying this year is likely to be the hottest in human history.

World leaders, Britain’s King Charles III and activists and lobbyists are among more than 97,000 people jetting into the flashy Gulf city, which boasts the world’s tallest skyscraper, one of its busiest airports, and an indoor ski slope.

Double the size of last year’s conference, COP28 is billed as the largest-ever climate gathering and the UN and hosts the UAE say they will be the most important since Paris 2015.

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt