Climate Change and Pakistan – Editorials

EDITORIAL: As the rains wreak havoc on people’s lives and properties across almost all of Pakistan, the federal cabinet has also taken notice and decided that there is an urgent need to immediately implement the ‘Mitigation’ mechanism. and adaptation”.

He also decided that the issues of global warming and climate change should be included in school and university curricula, while rainwater harvesting should be tackled on a war footing. In fact, this has all been discussed before, but no concrete mitigation and adaptation action has yet come off the drawing board.

In March this year, Pakistan’s Ministry of Climate Change announced an updated version of the National Climate Change Policy, adopted in October of the previous year, with a view to making Pakistan resilient to climate change and lead to a low-carbon society like the ‘Tsunami 10 Billion Tree Plan’ was launched.

These saplings have yet to take root and the mitigation target of producing 60% of energy from renewable sources and shifting 30% of transport to electric vehicles by 2030 is nowhere in sight. seen. Being the 10th most vulnerable country to global warming and climate change, Pakistan suffered a series of wildfires before the monsoon unleashed its devastating spells which persisted beyond their predicted expiration.

In the context of climate change, Pakistan is extremely vulnerable due to its geographical location, high dependence on agriculture and water resources, low adaptive capacity of its population and weak emergency preparedness systems.

However, all of the above is of academic interest only; the fact being that the inhabitants of planet Earth provoked nature and earned her wrath. Certainly, Pakistan is not guilty of global warming as are many industrially developed countries, but it is part of the globe whose state borders have no consideration for Nature.

Nature is cruel and does not allow freedom with its order, as countries have done for the past hundred years or so. If today Pakistan is ruined by heated rains triggered by the oceans, the rest of the world is not immune to the onslaught of an angry nature either. Like never before, much of Britain, for example, is facing unacceptable drought conditions, while much of the Iberian Peninsula is on fire and wildlife everywhere is dying of thirst.

For human survival, all of this must change, and for a viable future, humanity must stem the rise in carbon emissions that are warming the planet. It’s a matter of now or never, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said when releasing the report prepared by the UN’s Intergovernmental Plan on Climate Change (IPCC) earlier this month. year.

A careful look at the causes that sparked the wildfires and flooded millions of people in Pakistan, however, suggests that the harm was caused not just by global warming, but also by government failure. Bridges washed away by floods, roads that disappeared under water, and fires in “chulgha” forests were as much due to official oversight and neglect as to global warming, if not more.

When talking about rainwater harvesting why not try to find out why the small dams built in the Potohar region in the 1970s do not exist. We need to revive the Small Dams Organization and entrust them with the task of building more small dams to harvest rainwater. Also, we would like to know why the criminals who started forest fires are not tried and locked up.

It is also necessary to know what happened to the “billion trees” initiative. Certainly, a lot of work remains to be done for Climate Change Minister Sherry Rehman, and I hope she will be allowed to fight these rain and fire demons as she chooses. Now is the time to translate in-depth thinking about climate change into real work on the ground.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

Teresa H. Sadler