Climate Finance Remains Untapped in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD,  (Parliament Times) : Institute of Regional Studies (IRS), Islamabad, held a crucial event titled “Climate Finance: Towards Securing Sustainable Resilience in Pakistan”. The gathering brought together leading experts and policymakers in the field of climate action and finance for a timely evaluation of the global and domestic climate finance situation.

Environmental Policy Consultant Mr. Dawar Hameed Butt opened the floor by presenting findings of a report by Transparency International Pakistan published in March 2024, entitled “Financing Climate Action: Enhancing Effectiveness in Pakistan’s Climate Governance Frameworks.” He stated that multiple tools are already available publicly, and that Pakistan should learn from countries like Bangladesh that have optimized their pathways in climate finance.

The session chair Hon. Romina Khurshid Alam, Climate Coordinator to the Prime Minister, shared her insights on the government’s vision for carbon markets and stressed the importance of integrated approaches to climate finance.

A panel discussion followed, moderated by Ms. Selina Irfan, Energy and Climate Change Expert, who stressed the importance of creating enabling conditions for accessing climate finance and attracting private investment.

Mr. Ali Tauqeer Sheikh, Climate Advisor to the Planning Commission and member of the newly established Loss and Damage Fund, said the issue lies not in the availability of funds, but in the fact that they remain untapped. He also said the government should be developing its own projects rather than looking for international consultants, because we must “stop outsourcing our thinking”.

Mr. Fawad Hayat, Head of Climate Change at NDRMF, said that the main issue is that we are not using the resources we do have effectively. He stressed the need to get out of a self-interested mindset, highlighting that not a single funded project to date has been completed within the given timeframe. However, he noted NDRMF’s positive community interventions such as implementing early warning systems.

Mr. Farrukh Khan, a senior diplomat with over two decades of experience in the domain, believed that improving regional cooperation, investing in civil society, and defining rules and regulations was the way forward to tackling the governance issue.

The event concluded with remarks from Ambassador Jauhar Saleem, President IRS, who thanked the expert panel for setting realistic expectations about the availability and accessibility of green finance. He said the session was a significant step toward fostering dialogue and action on climate finance in Pakistan.