Pakistan holds event on Long-term Low Emission Development Strategy at COP27

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The Ministry of Climate Change of Pakistan (the Ministry) held an event at COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh at the Pakistan Pavilion on the morning of Tuesday, 15th of November 2022. The event was co-organized by the 2050 Pathways Platform, with support by Germany’s International Climate Change Initiative.

The session aimed to initiate a dialogue on Pakistan’s Net Zero Framework and the elaboration of the country’s Long-term Vision and Long-term Low Emission Development Strategy (LT-LEDS). Pakistan has launched the process of elaborating the Long-term Vision and the LT-LEDS to 2050, as invited by Article 4.19 of the Paris Agreement, in response to the call from the Glasgow Climate Pact at COP26 and reiterated in Sharm El Sheikh Implementation Plan at COP27 for Parties to the UNFCCC to submit their Long-term Strategies.

The event was opened by Iftikhar Gilani, Senior Joint Secretary of the Planning Commission, Ministry of Planning Development & Special Initiatives. Mr. Gilani delivered opening remarks, reflecting on the climate vulnerability of Pakistan, illustrated by two major floods in 2010 and 2022, with major impacts on livelihoods, as well as on the country’s fiscal space. The country remains committed to act on climate, with a revised, more ambitious NDC. Mr. Gilani also stressed sectoral priorities, including: the need to decarbonise electricity generation; and the importance of the agriculture sector as a major source of emissions as well as an area of priority for the country’s climate resilience.

Following the introduction, a scene setting presentation covering the Ministry’s conception for Long-term low Emission Development Strategy (LT-LEDS) and the 2050 Pathways Platform supported project on the Long-term Vision and the LT-LEDS workplan was delivered. Ms. Leena Aftab, Senior Analyst of Delivery Associates, implementing the LT-LEDS development project in Pakistan, conveyed that the Ministry’s inclination towards developing a LT-LEDS was driven by the potential of such interventions to deliver adaptation co-benefits as well as achieve sustainable development goals (SDGs). For Pakistan, adaptation and resilience programming is a priority, hence, LT-LEDS will be cognizant of the fact that it should drive a just transition, socio-economic stability and the achievement of SDGs.

It was shared that the Ministry is set to deliver LT-LEDS underpinned by a multi-stakeholder dialogue that develops a wide consensus on Pakistan’s vision for reducing emissions. This will allow for the delivery of a comprehensive and inclusive vision that captures the ambition as well as the practical limitations of the country. Following this, details on project deliverables and method of delivery was shared. The project design includes a series of stakeholder engagement activities distributed over three project phases where during the inception phase, consultations will focus on determining a baseline for Pakistan and drafting the Vision Statement. During the elaboration and validation phases, the stakeholder engagement will continue to build a consensus on project deliverables.

Once the scene had been set, with Richard Baron, Executive Director of the 2050 Pathways Platform as moderator, speakers on the panel contributed their views on the subject. Panelists included Kate Hughes, Senior Climate Change Specialist at the Asian Development Bank; Dr. Hina Aslam, Research Fellow at the Sustainable Development Policy Institute; and Jörg Linke, Head of Competence Centre for Climate Change, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ, the German Development Agency).

The panel discussion drew from participants what should be the key elements and objectives of Pakistan’s Long-term planning. Panelists were asked to share their views on priorities that Pakistan’s Long-term Vision should address, priority sectors that are crucial for Pakistan’s future development, and how the international community can help Pakistan realise climate ambition and commitments to tackling the climate crisis. Additional questions explored existing work by the panelists’ organizations that could be helpful in the Long-term Vision development process, how civil society organizations can engage, and the level of detail the Long-term Vision should have to ensure development partners’ support in the implementation phase.

During the discussion, Mr. Linke highlighted the importance of supporting the implementation of National Adaptation Plans, social protection for vulnerable communities, and strengthening insurance regimes. Priority elements for the LT-LEDS process in Pakistan, according to Mr. Linke, should include a just transition that leaves no-one behind, behavioural change, and how to access climate finance. Finally, Mr. Linke pointed to the Pakistan-German Climate and Energy Initiative that Pakistan could access for support in this regard.

Dr. Aslam raised the challenge of the narrow fiscal space available in Pakistan for financing climate action and the need to address access to climate finance. Priority sectors Dr. Aslam highlighted to consider in the Long-term Vision were industry, buildings, green jobs, and a just transition that improves livelihoods and the population’s social and economic conditions. Finally, Dr. Aslam stressed the value of sharing best practices, capacity building, and bringing in expertise to strengthen national capacity.

Ms. Hughes explained that a strong LT-LEDS can help inform support from multilateral development banks (MDBs) and what needs to be financed, stressing the importance of providing the opportunity for upstream input from MDBs to the LT-LEDS process, and establishing clear and ongoing consultation process with stakeholders and institutions through a collaborative approach. One of the challenges Ms. Hughes mentioned was the prioritization and sequencing of these goals, which the LT-LEDS can aid in providing direction, as can linking climate change and development goals. Finally, Ms. Hughes shared that Asian Development Bank just launched a new Platform for Just Transition Support that includes Pakistan and stressed the importance of linking the different agendas such as water, energy, transport, industry, and lastly, linking climate change with economic development to bring together multiple ongoing activities.

In closing, Dr. Saima Shafique stressed that Pakistan is still considering whether to aspire to a net- zero emission objective by mid-century, and hoped that this constructive process for the elaboration of Pakistan’s long-term strategy will deliver the needed analysis and multi-stakeholder engagement needed to guide this decision.

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