The Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) organized a panel discussion, titled “Accessing Climate Finance for a Resilient Pakistan,” centered around a policy paper authored by Ahmed Awais Khaver, a research associate and policy expert at the Institute. The panel discussion was aimed at highlighting financial opportunities to address the environmental impacts of climate change, where experts emphasized the critical importance of exploring untapped funding sources, backed by clear strategy, planning, and comprehensive preparation to enhance Pakistan’s climate resilience.

Shafqat Munir, Deputy Executive Director of the Resilience Development Program & Policy Outreach at SDPI, opened the discussion by emphasizing the Institute’s extensive research efforts on Pakistan’s access to climate finance, disaster risk reduction (DRR), institutional capacity, and loss and damage fund. He stressed that Pakistan was not just facing climate change but also needed to undertake robust adaptation and mitigation measures to secure its sustainable future.

Ahmed Khawer, the author of the policy paper, presented his findings to the participants. He began by providing an international context for climate finance, noting that funding for adaptation had increased from 20% to 28% between 2017 and 2020. However, he pointed out that funding for both mitigation and adaptation projects had stagnated. Globally, $803 billion had been allocated for climate finance, with Pakistan facing significant challenges. The devastating 2022 floods alone incurred losses of $30 billion, requiring $16 billion for reconstruction and an additional $7-14 billion annually for adaptation efforts.

Khawer highlighted that Pakistan had not fully utilized climate investment funds (CIFs), emphasizing the untapped potential to engage CIFs, bilateral, and multilateral funds available on the global stage. To effectively access these funds, he stressed the need for Pakistan to build coherence and alignment within its existing policies, enhance the capacity of technical and human resources, and develop legal and institutional frameworks for public-private partnerships. These measures would make the country more attractive to international and domestic investments.

In conclusion, the panel discussion underscored the urgency of taking concrete steps to tap into climate finance opportunities. With Pakistan’s vulnerability to climate change and the associated economic costs, it is imperative for the country to strategically position itself to access funding sources that can bolster its resilience and contribute to a sustainable future.

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