ISLAMABAD-The speakers at a panel discussion have highlighted the importance of finance in achieving the goals and targets of the Paris Agreement and urged the need for making finance affordable, scalable and accessible.
The Ministry of Climate Change and Environmental Coordination organized a high level panel discussion at the Pakistan Pavilion at the 28th session of the Conference of Parties hosted by UAE in Dubai. Secretary Ministry of Climate Change and Environmental Coordination, Syed Asif Hyder Shah opened the session with welcome remarks and thanked the distinguished speakers for their presence and participation, a news release said on Saturday.
The discussion titled “Climate Justice: A New Narrative of Hope, Resilience and Security” was addressed by the Senior Supreme Court Justice Mansoor Ali Shah, Justice Jawad Hassan, Senator Sherry Rehman, Deputy Executive Director of UNEP Inger Andersen, Professor Dr. Christina Voight, Professor Marie Claire Segger and Ambassador Majid Al Suwaidi, Director General and Special Representative COP28 Presidency.
Justice Mansoor Ali Shah talked about the role of the judiciary in advancing climate justice and highlighted the role of constitutional support and adaptive jurisprudence in paving the way for a fair future.
He also shared the landmark decisions taken by the courts in Pakistan recognizing the need for a rights based approach to human security stating that addressing the mitigation with environmental justice was only possible by addressing the adaptation through climate justice.
He also talked about the challenges faced by the country and the critical link between finance and climate justice.
Justice Jawad addressed the issues around barriers on finance and stated that the constitution categorically recognizes the fundamental rights to life subject to law reinforced by the Supreme Court’s expanded definition of “life” to include the right to health, clean environment and pollution free environment.
He highlighted the need for overcoming barriers on finance and businesses as the first step toward a fair future with shared prosperity. Both the honorable justices apprised the audience that protection of the environment was part of Islamic ethos and should be regarded as a moral, ethical and religious responsibility by the people and the government. They advocated for a faith based approach to climate change and said that encouraging reverence for nature would go a long mile towards ensuring environmental protection and preservation.
Senator Sherry Rehman put climate justice at front and center of the Global Stocktake saying that it was imperative to respond to vulnerable communities and provide them with means of implementation to strengthen their adaptive resilience.
She reminded the audience that it was not possible to aspire to development that leaves no one behind when under the present distribution of resources nearly half the global population was trapped in a debt and poverty trap. In her talk, she elaborated on the next steps needed for mainstreaming equity and justice in climate change law and policy.
Professor Voight acknowledged the challenges faced by Pakistan and lauded the country on its efforts and ambition to strengthen resilience building on the principles of social, ecological and democratic equity.
Professor Segger appreciated the role played by the judiciary in Pakistan and recognized the need for systems that accelerate sustainable growth and expedite delivery mechanisms.
Ambassador Suwaidi highlighted the importance of the global stocktake and the role of the UAE Presidency reaffirming the Presidency’s resolve to deliver an ambitious COP outcome.
The high level event elevated the level of discussion to a new height with great appreciation from the audience. The session concluded with a consensus for urgent need in improving financial delivery systems and mobilizing and unlocking finance to meet the needs of those who are least responsible but most severely impacted by climate change.