“Pakistan needs access to global climate funds to combat climate change impacts”
The effects of climate change and global warming on Pakistan, the melting of glaciers in the Himalayas, threatening the volumetric flow rate of many of the most important rivers of Pakistan. In Pakistan, such effects are projected to impact millions of lives.
As a result of ongoing climate change, the climate of Pakistan has become increasingly volatile over the past several decades; this trend is expected to continue. Pakistan makes a tiny contribution to total global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, less than 1% (among the lowest in the world) but it is among the countries most vulnerable to climate change, and it has the very low technical and financial capacity to adapt to its adverse impacts.
How is Pakistan affected by climate change?
Pakistan contributes very little to the overall Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, but remains severely impacted by the negative effects of climate change by the following ways:
Glacier melt in the Himalayas is projected to increase flooding will affect water resources within the next two to three decades. This will be followed by decreased river flows over time as glaciers recede.
Freshwater availability is also projected to decrease which will lead to biodiversity loss and reduce availability of freshwater for the population.
Coastal areas bordering the Arabian Sea in the south of Pakistan will be at greatest risk due to increased flooding from the sea and in some cases, the rivers.
Being a predominantly agriculture economy, climate change is estimated to decrease crop yields in Pakistan which in turn will affect livelihoods and food production. Combining the decreased yields with the current rapid population growth and urbanization in the country, the risk of hunger and food security will remain high.
Endemic morbidity and mortality due to diseases primarily associated with floods and droughts are expected to rise. Increases in coastal water temperatures would exacerbate the abundance of cholera.
The impact of climate change will also aggravate the existing social inequalities of resource use and intensify social factors leading to instability, conflicts, displacement of people and changes in migration patterns.
What measures can be taken to cope with climate change?
Increasing access to high-quality information about the impacts of climate change
Improving technological responses by setting in place early warning systems and information systems to enhance disaster preparedness
Practicing energy efficiency through changes in individual lifestyles and businesses
Reducing the vulnerability to livelihoods to climate change through infra-structural changes
Promoting good governance and responsible policy by integrating risk management and adaptation
Developing new and innovative farm production practices, including new crop varieties and irrigation techniques
Improving forest management and biodiversity conservation
Empowering communities and local stakeholders so that they participate actively in vulnerability assessment and implementation of adaptation
Mainstreaming climate change into development planning at all scales, levels and sectorsC
Karachi was named among the least safe cities of the world in a 2017 report of 60 cities published by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).
“Only five cities across the globe were placed above Karachi in the category of deaths from natural disasters.”
Annually, more than four people among one million lost their life in Karachi due to natural disasters.
If actions are not taken to combat the impact of climate change, environmental factors will continue to worsen the political and economic instability in Pakistan and one of their biggest threats, in the long term, is the stabilization of Karachi, the country’s economic backbone.