10 May Pakistan confronts fear of floods and droughts
In a recent interview, Pakistan’s Minister for Climate Change Mushahid Ullah Khan stated that the country’s climate change targets would be submitted to the United Nations by September 2015 as part of their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC). The INDC would be focused on mitigation and adaptation in energy, transport, agriculture, forestry, industry and waste and addresses climate change beyond 2020. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) currently requires INDCs from more than 190 countries.
Minister Khan acknowledged that Pakistan is one of the countries that is most vulnerable to climate change and its impacts such as floods, droughts, variability in climate and weather; and therefore effective adaptation measures will be critical. Pakistan is fed by glaciers although it is facing significant water shortages and flooding in the next 25-50 years. Five consecutive floods since 2010 has resulted in losses of more than US$25 billion in public infrastructure, agriculture, health and educational facilities, and Khan estimated that the cost of recovery will be US$35 billion. Khan stated that developed countries should provide financial support to Pakistan which can be used to invest in solar, wind and hydropower projects.
Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has recognised the potential of climate change by creating a Ministry within his Government in order to deal with the threats it poses, and Minister Khan is expecting a budget increase in order to better equip his Ministry.