Dr. Ghazala Mansuri, Lead Economist, for South Asia in the Poverty and Equity Global Practice of the World and a Global Lead for the Welfare Implications of Climate Change visited the Graduate Institute of Development Studies (GIDS), Lahore School of Economics on 21st December 2022.
Her presentation was based on the Country Climate and Development Report for Pakistan of which she was the team lead, and has been published by the World Bank Group. Her presentation emphasized that though Pakistan’s contribution to global emissions are negligible, the country has contributed to its own environmental degradation. This includes our cropping and livestock farming practices, deforestation, rapid urbanization, unregulated transport expansion, lack of waste management and population growth. Owing to these factors, there are increasing risks of food and water insecurity, displacement of people and influx towards major cities and decline in labor productivity is expected to result in significant GDP losses.
The presentation also included strategies and measures for Pakistan to counter the impact of climate change, with estimates of expected costs and possible ways of financing them. The presentation concluded with an important takeaway message for policy makers, that there exists no tradeoff between investment needed for development and for building climate resilience. The latter cannot wait, and the two must be simultaneous processes. She highlighted five key policy priorities to build climate resilience and accelerate development: transforming the country’s agri-food system, transitioning to domestic sources of sustainable energy, strengthening human capital and reducing fertility, investing in city livability, and aligning policy measures to reduce fiscal stress and increase access to capital for climate finance.
After her presentation, Dr Rashid Amjad, Director GIDS showed her around the campus and the facilities made available to graduate students to provide a conducive environment for learning and research. GIDS annual lunch was also held the same day, which Dr. Mansuri also attended.