H.E. President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
At the outset, let me commend and congratulate President Abdel Fattah ElSisi, for his leadership, hospitality and stamina in hosting the COP 27 and the World Leaders’ Summit.
To me and my country, including the Group of 77 + China that Pakistan Chairs at this conference, this COP rings an alarm bell for humanity. It is the only platform where the survival of the human race as a goal still holds promise. It is also the forum where we as vulnerable countries take our case to the rich and the resourced, to build common purpose for justice, carbon neutrality and a roadmap to crucial policy resets needed in a world that is burning up faster than our capacities for recovery.
I am sure you all have heard of the catastrophic flooding in Pakistan. It impacted 33 million people, (the size of three European countries), more than half are women and children. Despite seven times the average of extreme rain in the south, we struggled on as raging torrents from our melting glaciers in the north ripped out over 8000 kilometres of highways, damaged more than 3000 kilometers of railway tracks and tore apart hundreds bridges like toothpicks in their rage.
As we slowly bring communities back on their feet, I see my country transformed forever. The Post-Disaster Needs Assessment estimates US $ 30 billion in Loss and Damage.
Our low-carbon footprint of less than one percent did not contribute to this.
The priorities for Pakistan have never been clearer.
First, the Global Goal on Adaptation needs to be prioritized both in terms of financing and timelines. We are yet to see the promised 50:50 balance in adaptation and mitigation finance. The current financing gap is too high to sustain any real recovery needs of those on the frontlines of climate catastrophe.
Second, Loss and Damage needs to be part of the core agenda of COP 27, to meet the pressing humanitarian needs of those that are trapped in a crisis of public financing fueled by debt and yet have to fund climate-disasters on their own.
Third, Climate Finance must be clearly defined as new, additional and sustained resources with a transparent mechanism that meets the needs of developing and vulnerable countries with the speed and scale that is required. There should now be total clarity on what actually counts as climate transfers, and what counts as development finance, for instance, as they often overlap. We have been talking for years. But have failed to even agree on the basics. Pledges made at the Copenhagen COP 15 in 2009 for mobilizing USD 100 B per annum by 2020 have still not been realized. They need to be enhanced given the increased frequency and intensity of climate extreme events.
Fourth, a Global Climate Risk Index of all parties of the UNFCCC must be created under the auspices of the UN system. Projects from the most vulnerable countries on this Index must get prioritized and speedy approvals for Climate Finance.
Fifth, Mitigation ambition needs to be revived in a clear burden-share formula. The promise of Common But Differentiated Responsibilities (CBDR) must be respected as we race towards a much higher trajectory of warming than defined in the Paris Agreement. Pakistan’s 2030 ambition in the NDCs are already higher than many countries, but we understand our responsibilities as we move towards a Net Zero plan once we recover.
Unless there is a transformational shift in the flow of capacities, finances and technology that reverses the pyramid of climate capital, the bargain between the North and the South will not work. I am confident that under your stellar stewardship, this important COP may have a real chance to find common ground towards achieving the objectives of the Convention and the Paris Agreement. It is now or never. For us there is indeed no Planet B!
I thank you for your patience.