Pakistan to push for climate reparations at COP27

Pakistan is counting on the next United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as the Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC, to adopt specific measures that will obligate the biggest polluters in the world to compensate countries suffering from climate change.

The 27th United Nations Climate Change Conference, or COP27, will take place in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, from November 6–18, 2022.

Following his support for an immediate climate action plan, Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif was appointed vice-chairperson for the COP27 and is expected to participate. This was revealed on Monday.

Abdul Fattah Al-Sisi, the president of Egypt and chair of COP27, invited the prime minister of Pakistan to co-chair the COP-27 roundtable conference with the prime minister of Norway.

World leaders think tanks, heads of state, and representatives from major financial institutions will attend the gathering, which the UN organized to discuss climate change and the need for sustainable solutions.

Due to Pakistan’s active participation in speaking out about the climate catastrophe and the need for action in international and regional forums, PM Shehbaz was chosen from among the 193 UN member states to receive the honor.

After the devastating floods lashed Pakistan and left millions displaced, Shehbaz called for immediate international action on climate change at local and global platforms, including the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly.

The prime minister will present Pakistan’s case and brief COP27 about the damages caused by the floods triggered by torrential rains. Pakistan has blamed the climate for the disaster. The country contributes less than 1 percent to global emissions but is among the top 10 nations affected by climate change.

According to the latest report of the Post-Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA), Pakistan needs at least $16.3 billion for post-flood rehabilitation and reconstruction.

The PDNA report, released by the representatives of the government and the international development institutions, calculated the cost of floods at $30.1 billion – $14.9 billion in damages and $15.2 billion in losses.

The figure is $2.2 billion less than initially announced by the government at a donors’ roundtable in the US earlier this month. The scope of the report is limited to 94 calamity-hit districts, excluding the areas that were affected by the floods but have not been declared as calamity-hit.

“Pakistan will require a minimum of $16.3 billion for rehabilitation and reconstruction, which is based on what the government and the international community can do for the flood-affected people due to limited resources,”
Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal said at the launching ceremony last week.

The sector that suffered the most damage is housing, sustaining $5.6 billion in damages and another $636 million in losses. A $2.8 billion will be required for the rehabilitation of this sector.

The agriculture, food, livestock, and fisheries sector also suffered the highest damages and losses to the tune of $13 billion, which include $3.7 billion in direct damages. The government will need $4 billion for rehabilitation and reconstruction.

The transport and communication sector sustained a total of $3.6 billion in damages and losses and its needs are assessed at $5 billion – the highest requirement by any sector.

Sindh has suffered the most – with $9 billion in damages and another $11.4 billion in losses, bringing the total cost to $20.4 billion or 68% of the total cost.

Balochistan sustained $4.1 billion in damages and losses, followed by Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa $1.6 billion, and Punjab $1.1 billion.

Officials said the prime minister will present the damage assessment report before the COP27 and seek the international community’s help.
Despite messages of solidarity from world leaders, the world has not yet provided the kind of assistance Pakistan has hoped for.

Officials said Pakistan would join other developing countries to seek climate reparations, an issue that has been consistently pushed down the agenda by rich nations in previous years.