Adaptation Brief COP 18

Adaptation has been the dominant concern of least developed and particularly vulnerable countries at COP 16 (Cancun) and COP 17 (Durban). The negotiations resulted in several outcomes in the form of enhanced financing mechanism (Adaptation Fund), Loss and Damage as a major area of concern with commitments to further the scope the agenda and finally the establishment of a 16 member Adaptation Committee. At COP 17 the adaptation group allowed the inclusion of particularly vulnerable countries with Pakistan playing a significant role in conceptualizing this definition. These outcomes of COP 17 provided the basis of furthering the action plans and NAPA’s amongst Nations1. The environments within which new groups are emerging have changed the whole scenario of negotiations and consequently highlight the need for Pakistan to put forth a consolidated position in line with the changing realties of climate change it faces. Also noteworthy is fact that while SID’s were the dominant focus in COP 16 at Cancun it received lesser attention at COP 17 where the definitions of vulnerability were widened to include the diverse group of countries now meeting the challenge of climate change and the exclusivity of SID’s as the major group impacted was abandoned. The general consensus within the working group formulated by the Ministry of Climate Change highlights the issues and positions Pakistan deems important.
Pakistan’s Climate Vulnerability 1. Pakistan faces serious climate challenges as shown by the floods of 2010 and 2011, and the unprecedented torrential rains that hit the country's coast. The impact on its people has been devastating. In addition to loss of lives and livelihoods, the country must now cope with massive numbers of climate refugees and migrants and with resettlement. The more recent Storm on the Coast of New York (Sandy, October, 2012) is likely to sober the stand of several antagonists and stallers of KP extension that undermines adaptation investments and the need for urgent implementation of Climate Adaptation Agenda-Pakistan’s should join hands to underscore this plight reminding the World that it has suffered the most in last decade from Climate induced disasters (German Watch, 2011). In terms of cost perhaps Sandy demonstrates the costs upwards of US 50 billion (unofficial estimates state it at US 130


Also see UNFCCC website for further details on these aspects under the adaptation section. Likewise the GOP Negotiation briefs for COP 16 and 17 provide the essential basis on which Pakistan negotiated the COP’s. 2. There is now a significant shift in terms of dissolution of the G-77 group and formation of special interest groups within G-77 that provide Pakistan a unique opportunity to further make its position consolidated and aim for a more forceful amicable resolve of some of its major concern that have gotten dissipated within the broader mandate of SID’s and LDC’s leaving out the plight of most vulnerable countries.

billion). Pakistan faces very similar threats in the Arabian Sea in form of repeat cyclones due to ocean warming and cyclical irregularities. 2. Climate change is affecting health patterns as a result of rising temperatures and shifting humidity patterns: the recent outbreak of the dengue in Punjab, Pakistan is just one example. Loss and damages to the population and its ramifications throughout the economy are emerging challenges as temperatures rise and oscillate during the colder seasons. 3. The economic cost of climate extreme events in Pakistan runs into billions of dollars, with the 2010 and 2011 floods alone costing the country around $15 billion (ADB/World Bank, 2010). According to a recent NEEDs study, Pakistan faces costs of $6-14 billion per year to adapt to climate change. Adaptation is critical for Pakistan as it is undermining its development by inflicting costs of over 5% on its GDP. Enhanced action of Particularly vulnerable countries like Pakistan should also include financing for NAP’s process and Pakistan should take strong position on the issue of exclusivity of who is vulnerable (e.g. LDC’s) while the actual damages are taking place in countries who are facing the immediate consequences of climate change. Gains were made on this account at COP 17, COP 18 should move ahead on this agenda item by broadening the consensus through lobbying and focused representation e.g. side events. 4. There is a need for greater awareness among stakeholders on the changing risks, with Pakistan ranked 16th of 192 countries at risk as a result of climate change in 2010/11, moving up from 29th in the rankings in 2009/10 (Maplecroft, 2011). Pakistan's status is now of 'Highest Vulnerability' and this needs to be stressed in climate change negotiations 5. There is a need to emphasize the complex impacts of climate change and Pakistan’s vulnerabilities, highlighting recent catastrophic events. Pakistan should push for refinement of the Climate Change Vulnerability Index (CCVI) for a wider and stronger focus on the HVCG by citing recent events and high costs. The CCVI should be revised in line with the threats faced by Pakistan, with certain agro ecologies declared as “permanently prone to climate extreme events” such as the coastline and areas affected by droughts and glacier melt. 6. Pakistan will emphasize that there is a need for much greater balance between finances between mitigation (emissions reduction) and adaptation. Such an imbalance is causing a widening gap amongst impacted and likely to be impacted countries in fair allocation of resources to combat climate change. 7. Pakistan should underline its rising adaptation costs in agriculture, water, health and energy that require immediate action to safeguard food security. Pakistan needs financing on a fast track basis and representation on the key committees addressing adaptation and should ensure that its interests are represented in loss and damage proposals. Pakistan must argue for: adequate, predictable and long term finance for adaptation ($3-4 billion), together with a limit on temperature increase of 2 degree or less to keep adaptation costs manageable, and funding commensurate to the impact of climate change on its people and economy. Institutionalization of the Loss and Damage agencies in each vulnerable country should also receive support under the adaptation fund. 8. Recent research studies confirm Pakistan’s high adaptation costs. The NEEDS study has highlighted adaptation to climate change as a primary development issue for Pakistan (Aslam et al., 2011). The study estimates that Pakistan needs to spend an average of $6 billion to $14 billion per year between 2010 and 2050 to cope with the effects of climate change, leaving aside the costs of 'residual damage' induced by climate change. Making necessary changes to adapt to climate change in Pakistan's nine agro-ecological zones and strengthening National Disaster Management would cost $2.5 billion over five years. New investments

for forestry are proposed at $500 million per year, and for coastal management at $200 million per year. Pakistan's costs are mounting in billions, while funding from sources like the Adaption Fund are in millions. The gaps are being filled through autonomous adaptation, fast becoming economically unbearable for the affected populations. This dilemma, and Pakistan's adaptation needs, must be stressed by negotiators. 9. Pakistan is developing a National Plan of Action on Adaptation (NAPA) and mitigation, focusing on marginalized groups for climate resilient development. Support is available for NAPA development through the LDCs funding mechanism. Pakistan should demand the expansion of such funding, given preparations for its Second Communication to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The NAPA will outline how Pakistan would address extreme events, focusing on 'slow onset' events over the next three years and beyond. Integration of targets plans and programmes with cross cutting themes will be an essential feature. The 2011 draft Climate Policy outlines policy measures for adaptation in: water resources; agriculture and livestock; forestry and biodiversity; health; disaster preparedness and diverse ecologies and calls for more focus on densely populated areas, given rural to urban migration and expanding urbanization. 10. The concept of 'direct access' financing under the Adaptation Fund is an opportunity to maximize the benefits of climate finance by making it country-driven and avoiding management fees charged by the multilateral agencies that usually control such funds. However, countries must create National Implementing Entities (NIEs) on adaptation to meet the required fiduciary standards. Pakistan needs to attract financing to establish its NIE. Urgent action, starting with the creation of our NIE. Building on indigenous know-how, supplemented with state of the art information, will mobilize resources to help Pakistan live with climate change prototypes to respond to emerging climate changing threats that engage in innovative funding, such as debt swaps or restructuring. 11. Pakistan should seek funding for such a Centre, which could develop into a regional body. Seeking funding should be a major point of negotiation through the existing window under which several countries have already embarked on upgrading national institutional capacity. Pakistan's position should be that it cannot address its high vulnerability to climate change without a highly responsive climate adaptation institution. 12. Effectiveness of the Adaptation Committee should be questioned and ways to improve national coordination and participatory effectiveness through linkages, more national level input and feedback for incorporation into policy debate is pushed in the COP 18 agenda. 13. Pakistan should seek urgent operationalization of the Adaptation committee and lobby for membership emphasizing its unique experience in confronting and adapting to climate catastrophes. Negotiators need to highlight disaster risk management and the provision of large-scale logistic support in insecure situations to meet climate challenges on the coasts and in the mountains. Pakistan should support the working of the Committee but ask for Fast Track' actions for tangible outcomes in countries like Pakistan where climate change is being felt. Pakistan should stress the urgency of its need for institutional support (an Adaptation Centre), technical assistance and capacity building. 14. One specific proposal is support for a Climate Change Documentation Centre with international connections and web-based resources to provide necessary linkages and services to all stakeholders. This should seek resources for review and evaluation of regional efforts on

climate change (e.g. initiatives by the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) and comprehensive assessment of ongoing work in South Asia for wider replicable application. 15. There is ongoing debate on loss and damage in the negotiations. Pakistan's interest lies in assessment and follow- up proposals on current extreme events (floods, droughts, and climate-induced diseases) and slow onset events. International insurance risk coverage, especially for its heavily populated coastal areas and asset valuation and leveraging are relevant topics. There is a growing focus on smallholder agriculture, including pastoral people, fishing communities and those dependent on forests. Pakistan has large populations impacted in these categories. Pakistan should offer its vulnerable areas as a Loss and Damage case study, allowing the international community to draw on its experience with the recent floods and how losses and damage were assessed following the earthquake. Pakistan can share its documentation, data, methodology, satellite imagery, academic resources, access to civil society and stakeholders and facilitate incoming teams. 16. Pakistan has embarked on several grass root level community based adaptation (CBA) initiatives especially in the deltaic and dryland regions by engaging local institutions. Community based adaptation is any area where Pakistan will explore financial support, especially for its most vulnerable ecologies. 17. Pakistan should also consider introducing the issue of creating debt swaps for adaptation financing. Countries like Pakistan should be considered for possible cancellation of outstanding national debt to free up resources for adaptation. This would be in line with international calls for climate debt repayment. Pakistan should propose that debt cancellation be tied to a reallocation of the debt and associated interest payments to finance adaptation efforts. This could be an attractive way to address adaption costs in the most vulnerable countries. 18. Urgent action is required in face of climate change in Pakistan. For example, Pakistan should regulate summer/ monsoon waters for winter use and adapt to water scarcity by prioritizing water investments. This requires heavy infrastructure (dams, canals) and institutional reform investments. Negotiators should highlight that Pakistan is in the market for linkages such business and for financing that will enable it to cope with climate adaptation. 19. Adapting to energy requirements in the wake of climate change especially for balancing human and livestock body temperatures put

extra stress on energy requirements during winters and summers. The shifting patterns are forcing countries like Pakistan to explore new and cheaper means of renewable energy. Pakistan will highlight its needs and find ways to link up with the adaptation agenda especially in rural, per urban and urban settings where migration patterns are creating extra stress and demand for energy.

To sum up, Adaptation will be the most sought after agenda at COP 18 especially with renewed international threats as evidenced by Sandy Strom in the USA. Pakistan should take lead in underscoring the plight of its own population that has very limited resources to address such huge challenges that even leaves advanced countries humbled. Loss and damage will require renewed focus on the methods of estimation, institutional mechanisms and standardization of methodologies. The present environment provides impetus to gain momentum in this area. Pakistan will want to exert its influence in the new proposals for reformulation of the G-77 group. It should ensure that it shows sufficient cohesion with those where its interests on climate change adaption are concerned without worrying too much about a consolidated position for overall international relations. Perhaps this can provide an opportunity to mend the unfair tarnished image and a way forward through climate change deliberations. Pakistan will have to put forth more specific proposals for adaptation financing2 for this it will seek technical assistance that enables it to put forth bankable proposals for adaptation on a fast track basis.


Bangladeshi example of climate adaptation proofing of its development portfolio in 2012 resulted in US 500 million worth of resources through the climate Adaptation Fund.

Adaptation brief 5 | P a g e