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`Pakistan needs $348bn to deal with climate shocks`

SHARM EL-SHEIKH: Stressing the need for a collaborative action plan to deal with climate change, Minister for Climate Change Sherry Rehman said Pakistan will need $348 billion until 2030 `to keep its head above water` in the wake of recurring `climate shocks`.

In her address to the COP27 conference, the minister said even if low-emission countries like Pakistan completely transition to renewable energy, they will not be saved from the impact of global warming.

She was delivering a keynote address to the parliamentary meeting, jointly held by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and the Egyptian House of Representatives.

Ms Rehman added that Pakistan has already lost $30bn due to damages caused by floods this year. `If you want to hear from the frontlines of climate catastrophe, this is the voice of the lost and damaged.

Vulnerable countries came to COP27 to seek an action plan followed by tangible actions on the ground, Ms Rehman added.

`We come here in the hope that some path forward from intention to action, from ambition to process and delivery on the ground will be precipitated.

She added that the Pakistan government was prioritising climate adaptation and nature-based solutions to mitigate the impact of such catastrophes.Addressing the first `Forest and Climate Leaders Partnership,` the minister stressed the need for knowledge sharing and capacity building to ensure forest protection.

She added that emergency protocols were needed for forest fires, which have become a global phenomenon in the wake of extreme heatwaves.

Pakistan is `aggressively pursuing` afforestation by planting over three billion trees in the northern and southern regions of the country, she said, adding the effort, however, faces serious risks from forest fires and floods.

The minister also met with a delegation of US senators led by Senator Ben Cardin at the Pakistan Pavilion.

During the meeting, Senator Cardin expressed condolences and solidarity over the loss of lives and damage caused by the floods.

He assured every possible assistance for rehabilitation of the flood-affected population.

Ms Rehman also met Save the Children International CEO Inger Ashing and discussed the plight of children and their heightened vulnerability amid lack of healthcare, nutrition, and disrupted schooling after the floods.

Ms Ashing said her organisation will provide support to rehabilitate children in flood-hit areas and assist in restoring their schooling.

The minister is also scheduled to meet the delegations from other member states of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, along with representatives from multilateral institutions and internationalorganisations.-APP