Climate Agenda

Economic Affairs Minister Ayaz Sadiq’s visit to Baku to attend the Summit of the Contact Group of the Non-Aligned Movement to Combat Covid-19 comes at an important time. The government did well to submit its ‘build forward better’ plan for global food security and combating climate change at a time when attention from the issue has drifted away. After the devastating floods last year, Pakistan was in the spotlight in the debate for action on climate change, but we have seen this focus slowly ebb away as time has passed and relief efforts have slowed down.

However, for us here at home, the threat remains as great as ever. Yearly spells of smog, worsening and more unpredictable rain patterns, water scarcity, glacial melt and a whole host of other reasons should ensure that the climate crisis remains at the forefront of our domestic and international agenda. There is a need to move towards sustainability, disaster prevention and mitigation efforts, however, action on all of these aspects require funding which we are in short supply of at the moment.

‘Build forward better’ is an important strategy but only if it goes beyond what is on paper and actual implementation of projects is prioritised. It is clear however, that beyond diplomatic speeches, there is little on-ground action for efforts to implement action on the climate agenda. To counter this, the government will need to secure targeted funding for specific projects, through international funding institutions or bilateral allies and work out project timelines and implementation schedules.

There is a long way to go before Pakistan goes about securing the resources to counter the climate crisis, which affects all 220 million citizens in the country, but it is hoped that more discussions are being undertaken to make this possible sooner rather than later.

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