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Global Go To Think Tank Index (GGTTI) 2020 launched                    111,75 Think Tanks across the world ranked in different categories.                SDPI is ranked 90th among “Top Think Tanks Worldwide (non-US)”.           SDPI stands 11th among Top Think Tanks in South & South East Asia & the Pacific (excluding India).            SDPI notches 33rd position in “Best New Idea or Paradigm Developed by A Think Tank” category.                SDPI remains 42nd in “Best Quality Assurance and Integrity Policies and Procedure” category.              SDPI stands 49th in “Think Tank to Watch in 2020”.            SDPI gets 52nd position among “Best Independent Think Tanks”.                           SDPI becomes 63rd in “Best Advocacy Campaign” category.                   SDPI secures 60th position in “Best Institutional Collaboration Involving Two or More Think Tanks” category.                       SDPI obtains 64th position in “Best Use of Media (Print & Electronic)” category.               SDPI gains 66th position in “Top Environment Policy Tink Tanks” category.                SDPI achieves 76th position in “Think Tanks With Best External Relations/Public Engagement Program” category.                    SDPI notches 99th position in “Top Social Policy Think Tanks”.            SDPI wins 140th position among “Top Domestic Economic Policy Think Tanks”.               SDPI is placed among special non-ranked category of Think Tanks – “Best Policy and Institutional Response to COVID-19”.                                            Owing to COVID-19 outbreak, SDPI staff is working from home from 9am to 5pm five days a week. All our staff members are available on phone, email and/or any other digital/electronic modes of communication during our usual official hours. You can also find all our work related to COVID-19 in orange entries in our publications section below.    The Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) is pleased to announce its Twenty-third Sustainable Development Conference (SDC) from 14 – 17 December 2020 in Islamabad, Pakistan. The overarching theme of this year’s Conference is Sustainable Development in the Times of COVID-19. Read more…       FOOD SECIRITY DASHBOARD: On 4th Nov, SDPI has shared the first prototype of Food Security Dashboard with Dr Moeed Yousaf, the Special Assistant to Prime Minister on  National Security and Economic Outreach in the presence of stakeholders, including Ministry of National Food Security and Research. Provincial and district authorities attended the event in person or through zoom. The dashboard will help the government monitor and regulate the supply chain of essential food commodities.

Climate Change negotiations – time does matter
By: Shakeel Ahmad Ramay
Climate change negotiations started in Bonn with the promise to make progress on the Paris Agreement.
Germany announced 100 million euros to combat climate change before the start of the conference. This announcement conveyed the message of seriousness of Germany in negotiations.
Fiji, President of the conference, insisted on meaningful engagement and progress on the Paris Agreement. It presented the agenda for adoption.
China and India strongly objected to the agenda as it missed the “pre-2020” targets for developed countries. The pre-2020 targets set by the Kyoto Protocol are obligatory for Annex-1 countries, which included all developed countries.
Need to build Pakistan’s climate expertise
In 1997 at Kyoto, it was decided that it was necessary for the developed states to cut greenhouse gas emissions to control climate change. Developing countries look at these targets as historic responsibility of the developed world.
Although these targets had to be met by 2012, at Doha the deadline was extended to 2020 in response to requests made by the developed countries. Unfortunately, this could not bring positive change in the attitude of developed countries. Many of these countries did not ratify the 2012 Doha commitments.
The omission of the pre-2020 targets led developing countries and the G-77 to formally launch a request for the adoption of Kyoto Protocol at its 20th anniversary.
Fiji tried to solve the issue but got no success. China, India and G-77 countries rejected the proposal by the presidency. It was made clear that no compromise would be made with the European Union on the pre-2020 targets. The lesson learnt was that old tactics were coming back and the developed world was still trying to delay action.
Apart from this, the parties in the conference are trying to develop a rulebook for the implementation of the Paris Agreement. The rulebook will draw the sketch of an implementation plan to achieve the targets of mitigation, adaptation, financing, etc.
The major point of focus in the Paris Agreement is to reach the peak of emissions as soon as possible to ensure that the temperature rises by less than two-degree Celsius. However, words “as soon as” do not convey the urgency and seriousness of global players. Rather, they provide an open ground to the countries to play according to their intentions and will.
Scarce resources
Financing to cope with climate change would be the main point of interest for the developing and least developed countries. Right now limited resources are pledged. Although there are multiple actors in the field, the amount of finance is very low. The issue is very important for Pakistan which is ranked at seventh place on the vulnerability index. Although Pakistan’s contribution to the emissions is the minimum – 0.08% on per capita basis, it is feeling the impact.
UN confab key to coping with ‘catastrophic’ climate change
From 1999 to 2003, Pakistan faced droughts which severely damaged agriculture, livestock and economy. Thousands of animals died due to the drought in Balochistan and other parts of the country. Many people migrated from the province in search of livelihood opportunities.
From 2010 onwards, Pakistan has become a victim of floods. Estimates suggest that by 2015 Pakistan had suffered a loss of about $18 billion due to the floods. Therefore, it places very high importance to the fight against climate change.
Avoiding targets
Unfortunately, progress at Bonn did not support expectations. Developed countries tried to avoid pre-2020 targets and financing commitments by using different tactics. The US sent a low-level delegation to Bonn.
There were also other areas of concern for the developing countries. For instance, there was not much progress on controlling loss and damage as most of the countries vulnerable to climate change were from this group.
A recent index developed by Germanwatch, a German organisation working on climate change vulnerabilities, showed that the most vulnerable countries were from the southern Hemisphere.
Prominent examples from the recent past are floods in Pakistan, Bangladesh and India. Pakistan suffered heavily due to the 2010 floods as its economy lost about $10 billion.
To overcome the loss, these countries need help from the international community. Although two insurance initiatives were adopted on November 14, the utility of these initiatives still need to be analysed in the context of vulnerable countries.
Moreover, commitments under the Paris Agreement are not very ambitious rather they are well below required levels. Analysis shows that the committed emission cuts will allow a four-degree rise in temperature, which is well beyond the limit of two degrees.
Although a facilitating dialogue will start next year to look into the commitments and need to revise them, there is little hope that countries will take the right path.
It is clear that the world has to wait longer to get a meaningful outcome from climate negotiations. But the question is whether it has the luxury to waste time. A simple answer is No.
Climate change impacts are already in place and these are playing havoc with national economies and the social fabric. This year, widespread floods caused devastation all over the world. Although the US emerged as a biggest denier, it had to face the worst impact of climate change. It has faced losses of billions of dollars as hundreds of thousands of people have been displayed.
If the US cannot cope with the challenge, then it would be extremely difficult for the developing and least developed countries like Pakistan to counter the challenges of climate change single-handedly. Therefore, there is a need of global commitment to tackling the climate change.
However, the attitude of world leaders is not very hopeful and each country is focusing on its economic interest by ignoring climate change. Most importantly, we cannot waste time in negotiations and do nothing because timing does matter in the fight against climate change. If we missed the time, then it would be too late.


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The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint or stance of SDPI.