Innovation necessary to address climate change challenges: MCC secretary

ISLAMABAD: Ministry of Climate Change (MCC) Federal Secretary Syed Abu Ahmad Akif said Saturday that serious and innovative policy actions were required to deal with climate change induced challenges.

He said that at present, Pakistan was facing huge economic loss that almost amounted to Rs 1 billion annually, due to the impact of climate change. The government had limited resources to deal with the situation in a proper manner.

The federal secretary said this during a specially convened meeting attended by Green Parliamentarians’ Caucus, government officials and representatives of civil society organisations. The meeting was held by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) and Heinrich BOL STIFUNG (HBS) Pakistan.

The secretary said that the innovation would play a critical role in coping with multiple threats in the face of rapid climate change. While appreciating the support for climate change related issues by the parliamentarians, he expressed his hope that more support would be provided for the cause in the future to effectively deal with the challenges at various levels.

Secretary Akif informed the audience that MCC had launched a report, titled ‘Climate Public Expenditure Review’, for better tracking of climate public expenditure. He argued that the rapid rise of population has increased the vulnerability of Pakistan in the face of climate change and its impacts. He concluded that new water accountability mechanism should be developed to facilitate overall economy, besides, changing our social behaviors on how to respond to climate change.

Standing Committee on Climate Change Chairman Malik Muhammad Uzair Khan highlighted various drivers of climate induced challenges, role of parliamentarians and nation, as well as global policies as a way forward for upcoming Conference of the Parties (COP-23). He said that it was the need of the hour to bridge the gap between parliamentarians and civil society organisations for addressing climate induced challenges and taking right policy actions.

Earlier, SDPI Executive Director Dr Abid Qayyum Suleri presented an overall outlook of climate change related issues in the country. He said that the frequencies of natural disasters have increased in recent years, adding that the situation could only be tackled with the right policies and practices.

He said that the upcoming COP-23, to be held in Germany, would be a crucial platform for countries to devise adaptation and mitigation policies, financing mechanism and nationally determined commitments (NDCs). Therefore, we need to focus on our national commitments and measures that could be taken to support it, he added. He said that SDPI would continue playing its role, and ensure collaborative efforts with different stakeholders through research and advocacy on policy actions.

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