Letter: Pakistan not poster child for climate change loans
The FT’s call on rich countries to accept their responsibilities in financing investments that enable developing countries to adapt to climate change (“Pakistan’s perfect storm is an urgent call to action”, FT View, September 8) is convincing. However, using the case of Pakistan may weaken the argument.
A country with serious governance problems, now in its 22nd program with the IMF, may not be the best poster child for these investments. Of course, the human tragedy cannot be ignored and humanitarian aid must be delivered, even if the assertion that it is the fault of the rich countries risks falling flat.
The call for multilateral development banks to step up their “adaptation” finance is valid, but with some caveats. First, we must be sure that public investment will not be mismanaged. Second, if grants are to be made using International Development Association conditions for World Bank loans, they must be accompanied by actions by other creditors, such as Chinese banks which have lent heavily for projects basic infrastructure under the Belt and Road Initiative. careless about climate change. Third, these loans must be part of well-monitored comprehensive programs.
Ignoring the realities of governance and implementation on the ground would be a big mistake and would simply provide more arguments for inaction.
Professor of international trade
George Washington University Washington, DC, USA
Former Vice President, World Bank