It is appropriate that the IMF advises Pakistan to make better use of its resources in order to develop climate-resilient infrastructure and bolster its appeal to climate investors. Pakistan is among the nations most susceptible to the effects of climate change, and in order to reach their climate financing commitments, the government is appealing for help from other countries.
A good first step would be to create sensible public investment policies and match them with national reduction and adaptation targets for climate change. The Fund hopes that the upcoming budget will be a “turning point” for investment portfolios and planning techniques centred around climate adaptation. Pakistan’s capital stock and governmental investment efficiency are now low. In the budget documents, the IMF has emphasised the need for increased transparency on climate-related measures by supplying details on important facets of the public investment programme.
It also wants the government to release its spending on climate change for the current fiscal year. It wants the Planning Commission and the Finance Ministry to develop a proposal that, if approved, can be included in the next budget.
Global warming has resulted in multiple climate disasters that have affected Pakistan. According to estimates from the World Bank’s Country Climate and Development Report, unless steps are taken to mitigate the effects of increasing heatwaves and floods, which are decreasing labour productivity, destroying infrastructure, and reducing agricultural yields, 6.5–9 percent of GDP will likely be lost by 2050 due to climate change. Millions of people were forced to flee their homes due to last year’s catastrophic floods, which also destroyed infrastructure and crops valued at over $30 billion. These events serve as a stark reminder of the need for increased funding for climate-resilient infrastructure. Regretfully, despite a high level of awareness among decision-makers regarding the risks that swift global warming poses to the stability of the economy and financial system, it is disheartening to discover that the nation is least equipped to handle the consequences of climate change.
The people and economy of Pakistan have suffered greatly as a result of ad hoc policies, bureaucratic lethargy, and a hasty response to climate calamities. Despite the official assurances to the contrary, there hasn’t been a coordinated effort to date to plan and match public investments with national targets for climate adaptation and mitigation.
Given that Pakistan is only one natural disaster away from experiencing another catastrophic event that would affect both people and the economy, it is imperative that the economy be made climate resilient through prudent management of public investments.
It is critical that our legislators create sensible development strategies to reduce the danger of floods, cyclones, droughts, and heatwaves as a result of rising temperatures and erratic rainfall patterns.
In order to mitigate the effects of climate change and the rising number of natural catastrophes the nation is experiencing, transparent investments in climate-resilient infrastructure based on measurable demands are essential.