Pakistan is spending an average of around 8 percent of its total expenditures on activities related to climate change and this expenditure compares well with other developing countries striving to tackle adverse impacts of the menace. This was revealed in two key documents, Climate Public Expenditure and Institutional Review (CPEIR) and Climate Change Financing Framework (CCFF), released jointly by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Ministry of Climate Change here on Monday.
"This is a considerable achievement as Pakistan is one of very few countries that have undertaken the CPEIR that comprehensively covers all provinces as well as the federal level," said Neil Buhne, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative.
Federal Minister for Climate Change Senator Mushahidullah Khan said the government has taken numerous solid initiatives for future planning and budgeting of climate change. Ministry of Climate Change with the collaboration of Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Planning has formulated comprehensive Climate Change Financing Framework (CCFF) and this will be a milestone in bringing the climate change related issues in mainstream of planning and finance system, he said.
The minister said that budgeting of climate change is formally now part of budget call circular and budget policy. "Desertification is increasing in Pakistan whereas our contribution in carbon emissions is just 0.08 percent," he said, adding that Pakistan is among top ten countries most affected by the climate change.
The review also shows that most federal funds lean towards mitigation activities (that aim to curb greenhouse gas emissions) whereas most provincial funds are oriented towards adaptation (which aim to adapt to the effects of climate change).
The CCFF outlines a reform agenda constituting new policies and processes to better align climate finance to existing climate policy objectives in Pakistan. The CCFF was elaborated in partnership with UNDP's Governance of Climate Change Finance Programme, which has been supporting the government of Pakistan since 2012.
The CCFF links policy and budgeting to increase the transparency of allocations while improving the effectiveness of existing public finance. Neil Buhne said that Pakistan is among the top ten countries globally affected by climate change and has experienced these effects dramatically over recent years through devastating floods and catastrophic heat waves.
"For Pakistan to respond to these challenges, a comprehensive approach is needed as part of planning and budgeting," he said, adding that all available resources must be used more effectively if countries are to minimize the effects of climate change.
The CCFF has been developed with UNDP support and assistance from the United Kingdom and Sweden, in Indonesia, Cambodia and Bangladesh, he said, adding this helps each of these countries budget and plan better to adapt to climate change.
Buhne lauded the government in successfully completing the important exercise and in institutionalizing the expenditure tracking system that will prove an important tool in adapting to and mitigating the effects of climate change. The CPEIR outlined all climate relevant expenditure at federal level as well as in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, Punjab and Sindh.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2017