A landmark deal has been struck which has changed the face of history and for the first-time developed countries have agreed to help pay damages to the countries affected by the climate crisis, thus paving way for a momentous victory. So here we have an international organisation with a serious intention to create a global, “Loss and Damage” fund which takes us one step closer to avoid worst impacts of climate change. This demand has been delayed for quite sometime by the industrialized countries.
Nevertheless, the resilience and willpower of the developing nations under the leadership of Pakistan, which had been designated as the vice chair of the summit finally managed to convince the authorities to establish an operational funding system. However, it has not been an easy ride for Pakistan’s negotiating team, but every obstacle was treated as a stepping stone and eventually sheer perseverance, relentless efforts and determination resulted in a breakthrough.
After attaining outright independence from their European colonial masters, aspirant developed world has been trying hard to shed its third world stature by pursuing various progressive projects.
Amidst this, catastrophic climate change with its unique characteristics has posed adverse impacts on the most vulnerable countries of the third world. Pakistan has recently witnessed formidable climate injustice when massive downpour affected approximately 33 million people. Since the beginning of June, unusually high rainfall and melting of glaciers has caused huge loss of human life and massive damage to infrastructure.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, after visiting the flood ravaged areas categorically stated that the developed countries were overwhelmingly to be blamed for the immense catastrophe of climate change. Pakistan on the contrary has not only embraced this chaotic situation but at the same time gathered courage to accept the challenge by leading from the front at the COP27 summit and calling upon the rich nations to compensate the developing countries for the gross crisis of climate change.
At the same time Pakistan being the chair of the Group of 77, has constantly highlighted the disproportionate impact of global climate change and has remained focus on urging solidarity to support the developing countries.
Pakistan’s Prime minister also adopted a definite stance according to which Pakistan had little responsibility for this devastating climate catastrophe. Further on, Pakistan’s minister for Climate change, Sherry Rehman maintained a policy of constructive debate, vision with execution and at the same time pushing for a well-organised cooperation across the globe with respect to global warming.
Besides this at the ministerial negotiations session at COP27, Pakistan demanded to maximise climate finance which would eventually meet needs and requirements of the developing countries. The minister further emphasised on the fact that people of developing countries had equal rights to breathe clean air, to live in cities that are not burning and most importantly to have a future. The energy and innovation invested in holding the audience’s attention was admirable throughout the session. A good teamwork coupled with well-organised homework eventually resulted in effective negotiations and planning of long-term strategies.
Pakistan’s negotiating team remained strong in their call to establish a financial mechanism in order to support the developing countries and they kept their focus on the thorny issue of financial provision, which has been facing resistance from the developed world for quite some time. Ultimately meaningful engagements acted as a driving force in pushing the ambitious agenda and resulted in an agreement to help climate vulnerable countries.
The comments by the UN Secretary General were especially comforting when he said that “From the beginning this conference has been driven by two overriding themes: Justice and ambition. Justice for those on the frontlines who did so little to cause the crisis including the victims of the recent floods in Pakistan that inundated one third of the country.”
At this moment in time when, developing countries are celebrating their goals which they had set out to accomplish at the very beginning of the summit, it should be kept in mind that every right implies a responsibility. We as individuals are responsible for thinking about the impact of carbon foot print and steps taken to minimise them.
As the UN Secretary General clearly notified that our planet was still in the emergency room and reducing emissions was need of the hour. Despite securing a last-minute deal there is a grave concern that the summit made little progress on emissions. EU and UK were a bit disappointed by the final outcome of the conference as they argue that the final deal did not make enough progression on the crucial issue of cutting emissions and phasing out of fossil fuels.
According to climate scientists the world is burning much more carbon than it can afford which would eventually lead to the collapse of ecosystems. As for Pakistan, its extremely imperative to figure out whether how to capitalize on the recent outcome of COP27 summit. A long-term development agenda has already been formulated to create resilience for future natural catastrophic events which has highlighted the paramount importance of water security.
At the same time an effective strategy on human security is also highly desirable, as cataclysmic events impact various aspects of human security such as economic security, displacement, health security etc. The frequency and ferocity of natural disasters has further exacerbated these issues.
Reasonable fund allocations to established organizations such as National Disaster Management Authority, which deals with a whole spectrum of disaster management activities is absolutely necessary. At the same time its alignment with global standards must be ensured. Along with this well-organized forest compensation programs with continuous monitoring can help effect emissions from deforestation, thereby contributing towards its share of reducing carbon emissions at global level.
Although Pakistan, with its team of other developing countries have eventually succeeded in making outstanding contribution towards global ecological discourse, signalling a new dawn for climate justice but at the same time further sets us on a pathway to face bigger and bolder challenges with meaningful and constructive engagement. Simultaneously keeping in mind that, “The day you plant the seed is not the day you eat the fruit.”