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ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Climate Change Senator Sherry Rehman on Wednesday said that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif – who will be the co-chair of COP27 moot – will highlight the damages done by devastating monsoon floods in the country at the international conference set to be held in Egypt from November 6 to 18.

Briefing journalists via Zoom session from Stockholm, she said that Pakistan will plead the case of the country at the 27th Conference of the Parties (COP-27) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

She said that the prime minister will highlight the scale and impact of climate disasters faced by the country with unprecedented frequency and risk to environment, habitat, ecology, human life, and property.

She said that a short video will also be displayed at the international moot highlighting prolonged droughts, glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs), floods, recurrent heatwaves and present monsoon torrential rains devastation which affected 33 million people.

The minister underlined that for the past two decades, 162 extreme events occurred in the country, whereas, a 300 percent increase in GLOF events was noticed within just one year.

Besides, she said that the country also witnessed high-intensity heatwaves spiking up the temperatures to 53.7 degree centigrade in Jacobabad and other cities as the country hosted the hottest cities in the world for the past three years.

She said there was also serious projections highlighting food insecurity crisis because of crop damage to rise by 40 to 60 percent by 2050, whereas, sea level rise was increasing rapidly threatening Thatta, Badin, and Karachi to be submerged in the future due to sea intrusion.

“There will also a threefold increase in climate-induced migration from 0.7 to two million by 2050, whereas, the country’s post-disaster need assessment report noted that some 8,330 km roads and 3,127 km railway tracks were damaged, whereas, one million livestock perished which was the income of an entire community in the flood-affected areas,” she added.

She continued that there had been 1,739 deaths, 12,867 injuries, and over two million houses destroyed with 70 per cent of it in Sindh in the recent monsoon floods, adding the World Bank has estimated cumulative losses of $30 billion which will have a direct impact on our GDP.

She said that poverty to rise from 8.9 percent in Sindh, 7.5 to 7.7 per cent in Balochistan and multi-dimensional poverty to rise at an alarming rate, adding 15 million people to get impacted through non-monetary poverty, whereas, the most impacted is the agriculture sector with a 0.9 percent GDP loss.

Our priority is adaptation for long-term measures to ward off climate change impacts, she said, adding Pakistan is in the front line for advocacy and played a proactive role for highlighting climate finance.

“Our efforts will be focused on seeking $100 billion per year as promised in 2009 for climate finance and do the advocacy to increase the pledge three times,” she added.

She said that Pakistan would be suggesting to develop a transparent mechanism clearly defining climate finance needs with an easy access to the funding for the developed countries most impacted due to climate change, adding at present, there were three climate funding facilities namely Green Climate Fund (GCF), Global Environment Facility (GEF) and Adaptation Fund whereas the last one had no funds available.

Rehman said the prime minister’s speech during the world leaders’ summit was the most important as it was the country’s statement to be delivered at the COP-27.

“Pakistan will hold 25 panel events from November 9-18 whereas the prime minister and the UN secretary-general would pay their visit to the pavilion of Pakistan,” she added.

She said the country would showcase its Living Indus initiative project, snow leopard conservation, mangroves protection, and others, highlighting its efforts in protecting nature and fragile ecosystems.

Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari will also attend the COP-27 moot, she added.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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