Making waves at COP27.

THE 27th annual Conference of Parties under The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change concluded at Sharm El Sheikh last weekend. The two-week-long conference resulted in a historical commitment for a loss and damage fund for particularly vulnerable countries but fell short of a consensus on phasing out fossil fuels, and thus endangering humanity's hope of restricting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The biggest takeaway for Pakistan, however, was the powerful advocacy and diplomacy displayed by its delegation at the conference.

Even with limited resources at their disposal, the Pakistani delegation at COP27 was able to successfully highlight the nation's misery against climate destruction brought by the monster floods this year. Using the warning slogan of 'What happens in Pakistan will not stay in Pakistan', the delegation strived to find common ground with countries facing similar climate and economic threats.

Even though the floods had already put Pakistan in the global spotlight, the kind of organised advocacy, diplomacy and negotiations that came out of the Pakistani pavilion this year were unprecedented in our historical participation. For two weeks at Sharm El Sheikh, loss and damage rhetoric overwhelmingly dominated the conference with Pakistan being at the forefront. For climate professionals in the country, and around the world who have been following these conferences, this is a refreshing improvement.

To begin with, Pakistan used its office as the chair of G77 plus China to push for loss and damage on the COP27 agenda. This was a big win going into the negotiations as developed nations have historically resisted the topic of loss and damage to evade liability of historical emissions.

Pakistan displayed powerful advocacy.

Over the two weeks, the Pakistani pavilion hosted 22 events including several full-house sessions. Minister for Climate Change Sherry Rehman attended a host of bilateral and multilateral panels where she advocated for Pakistan's cause of a loss and damage financing facility. Her approach was pragmatic, and she avoided harsh slogans that would have damaged any tangible outcome. 'A walkout is premature. It's not going to be helpful, look at the existential crisis we are facing. We are waiting for a plan to be operationalised,' she responded when asked if she would prefer a walkout in protest.

She made sure that not only was her voice heard but that it found common purpose to gather the...

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