Pakistan welcomes 'loss and damage' deal for climate change inked at COP27 summit

Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif welcomes the development as the first pivotal step towards the goal of climate justice



A flood victim stands in his damaged house, following rains and floods during the monsoon season, in Nowshera, in August. — Reuters file
A flood victim stands in his damaged house, following rains and floods during the monsoon season, in Nowshera, in August. — Reuters file

By PTI

Published: Sun 20 Nov 2022, 11:22 PM

Pakistan, which was ravaged by unprecedented floods this year, on Sunday welcomed the historic decision of the COP27 summit to set up a fund to address loss and damage caused by climate-induced disasters.

The COP27 climate summit in Egypt on Sunday created history by deciding to establish a fund to address loss and damage from climate change suffered by vulnerable countries.

Pakistan Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif welcomed the development as the “first pivotal step towards the goal of climate justice”.

“The establishment of loss & damage fund at the UN climate summit is the first pivotal step towards the goal of climate justice. It is up to the transitional committee to build on the historic development,” he tweeted.

More than 1,700 people were killed, 33 million displaced and a third of the country was submerged under water in the worst floods to hit Pakistan, brought about by record-breaking rains since mid-June.

The consensus decision taken by the COP27 is a “momentous achievement” especially for the Group of 77 and China, as the developing countries have been demanding such a fund for the past 30 years, the Foreign Office said in a statement.

The dedicated “Fund for Loss and Damage” will address losses and damages in developing countries, such as Pakistan, which are particularly vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate change.

“The catastrophic climate change induced floods in Pakistan early this year that resulted in losses and damages of over $30 billion that refocused the global attention towards this critical issue,” the Foreign Office said.

Pakistan, as Chair of the Group of 77 and China, galvanised support for establishment of the fund in COP 27 in Sharm El Sheikh, first by having it placed on the Agenda of the Conference, and then pushing for a consensus agreement.

Pakistan congratulated 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 recognising the urgency to act on loss and damage,” it said.

Pakistan also appreciates the Egyptian Presidency of COP27, especially Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, as well as UNFCCC Executive Secretary Simon Stiell, for this historic breakthrough, the FO said.

“We look forward to early operationalisation of the fund, with the hope that it would bridge a major gap in the climate finance architecture,” it said.

As part of its climate diplomacy and given the fact that it is one of the most climate vulnerable countries, Pakistan would continue to constructively contribute to global climate change debate, negotiations and action, it added.

Prime Minister Sharif also thanked Climate Change Minister Sherry Rehman and her team for their hard work.

Rehman in a tweet said: “It's been a long 30-year journey from demand to formation of the Loss and Damage Fund for 134 countries. We welcome today's announcement and joint text hammered out through many nights.” Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari in a series of tweets hailed the “monumental achievement” for climate justice.

“Having experienced first-hand the scale and devastation of Pakistan’s floods, we travelled to the United Nations General Assembly to advocate for climate justice,” he said.

“When I chaired Group of 77 at the UN, Pakistan’s proposal was unanimously adopted to demand loss and damage be part of the COP27 agenda…In Egypt, we were happy to report that Pakistan’s proposal as G77 chair to include language on loss and damage on the agenda had achieved consensus,” he said.

Bilawal added that he spoke to US climate envoy John Kerry in Egypt and over the phone “once negotiations went into overtime”.


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