India blocked a climate change project from Pakistan at the Green Climate Fund, raising eyebrows at the meeting in South Korea. The project, meant to reduce the risk of floods caused by bursting glacial lakes, is to be located in the Gilgit-Baltistan region.
Dinesh Sharma, special secretary in the finance ministry noted during his submission that the region had seen 900-odd lake bursts in the past two decades and it was ecologically too fragile to sustain the project.
Sharma noted that the project’s success was predicated on there being no glacial outbursts during its five-year tenure, which was unlikely considering the frequency of such outbursts in the region.
The project if it had been approved would have been funded by Green Climate Fund. The GCF is an arm of the climate change convention to fund projects in developing countries, supported financially by rich countries and multilateral donors. India is one of the three board members representing the Asia-Pacific region, along with China and Saudi Arabia. The fund’s board is meeting in Songdo, South Korea, to consider funding proposals.
The GCF board will on Friday take its final call on a number of projects, including the one opposed by India. Under the rule, the board will either clear all the projects or reject all if it is convinced of the objection raised. Since India has not opposed any other project, it is to be seen at the end of the discussion whether the board would clear the one flagged by India.