Monday, November 28, 2022

Pakistan welcomes ‘loss and damage’ deal inked at COP27 climate summit

Pakistan has welcomed the “loss and damage” funding deal struck at the COP27 conference in Egypt, calling it the “first pivotal step towards the goal of climate justice.”

The compensation agreement was inked on early Sunday in Sharm el-Sheikh calling for establishing the fund to compensate for the losses and damages incurred by poor countries hit severely by climate change and global warming.

Pakistan, as Chair of the Group of 77 and China, played a key role in the establishment of the “loss and damage” fund, first by having it placed on the agenda of the COP27 conference held at Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt earlier this month and then pushing for a consensus agreement.

PM Sharif welcomes the initiative

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, welcoming the development, called it the “first pivotal step towards the goal of climate justice.” He said it was now up to a transitional committee to build on the historic development.

Foreign Ministry congratulates developing countries

The Pakistani foreign ministry said in a statement, “Pakistan congratulates the developing countries for their exemplary solidarity and steadfastness in pushing their case for a Fund for Loss and Damage.”

“We also appreciate the understanding and cooperation of the developed countries in recognizing the urgency to act on loss and damage.”

A massive win

The agreement is seen as a massive win for developing countries that have long called for cash — sometimes viewed as reparations because despite having contributed the least to the global-warming, they are often the worst sufferers of climate-worsened natural catastrophes including floods, storms, heatwaves, droughts, and famines and.

The South Asian country was hit by the worst flooding in history due to unprecedented monsoon rains, causing widespread death and destruction in one-third of the country. The climate-induced flooding affected 33 million people across the country, killed over 1,700 people, and caused an estimated $30 billion loss to the economy.

Early operationalization

Pakistan’s climate minister Sherry Rehman also welcomed the development hoping for early operationalization of the fund and expected it to bridge a major gap in climate finance architecture.

“We look forward to (the fund) being operationalized, to actually become a robust body that is able to answer with agility to the needs of the vulnerable, the fragile, and those on the front line of climate disasters.”

A 2009 agreement for a $100 billion fund created by richer nations to pay for the development of poor nations was never fully funded.

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