LAHORE: Activists from Pakistan Kissan Rabita Committee, Labour Education Committee and Crofter Foundation staged a protest on Tuesday outside the US consulate near Lahore Press Club demanding G-7 countries pay up for climate finance.

The protest was organized in response to the 50th G7 summit happening on June 13. The protest was conducted as part of a series of protests across South and Southeast Asia led by the Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development (APMDD), whose campaigners have been calling for climate finance that will enable developing countries to address climate change.

The UNFCCC’s first Needs Determination Report, released in 2021, estimated that the cost of mitigation and adaptation would be $5.9 to $11.4 trillion until 2030.

However, this amount represents the cost of only 26% of the needs of 24 countries, out of the 164 developing country parties to the UNFCCC, meaning the real cost of mitigation and adaptation is much higher. This figure also excludes economic loss and damage, which is estimated to cost at least $400 billion per year by 2030.

General Secretary of Pakistan Kissan Rabita Committee Farooq Tariq said “We demand that G-7 countries rise adequate financing to meet adaptation and mitigation needs of all global south countries.”

According to most conservative estimates, Pakistan suffered USD $35-40 billion losses due to monsoon rains in July. Any climate finance mechanism needs to address the damages caused by climate change which is basically driven by rich, industrialized countries. It is their historical obligation to pay for the destruction that they have caused," Farooq Tariq added.

The $100 billion pledge, made in 2009 and reiterated in 2015, has already been exposed and criticized as severely inadequate, yet the world’s richest nations have continuously failed to meet it. The G7 has collectively delivered only $30.9 billion through the UNFCCC’s climate funds.

Zaighum Abbas, country staff of the Asian People’s Movement on Debt and Development, said: “The countries in the Global South are the worst hit due to climate change. Recent heat waves in South and South East Asia corroborate that despite contributing the least to the climate crisis, countries in the Global South suffer because of the actions of rich industrialized countries.

The proportion of historical and current greenhouse gas emissions is responsible for such heat waves and unpredictable weather. It is imperative that countries in the Global North realize their responsibility and pay up for adequate climate finance.”

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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