Pakistan is 7th most vulnerable country to climate change according to Global Climate Risk Index 2018 report published by German Watch. Pakistan’s economy is dependent on the agriculture sector and irrigation is hugely dependent on water supplied by Indus Water System. Weather plays an important role in crops growth. Most of the farmers rely on timely rains to gain high yields from their crops. Extreme weather conditions like floods, droughts, heavy rains pose a major threat to Pakistan’s agriculture. Due to climate change these extreme weather events likely to occur more frequently. Pakistan’s super-floods in 2010 and the recent dust storms in India are examples of this extreme weather.
Under this scenario, it is even more important for Pakistan to brace itself against climate change. On one hand effective & stringent policies should be made to combat climate change and on the other hand, we should also have to change our esurient lifestyles. By esurient, I meant to draw attention towards our natures which always want more and never remain content. We as a nation have a habit to waste our resources. It’s a simple equation, the more we consume more will be the waste which results in environmental pollution.
We have to review our consumptions patterns. We are consuming our resources at such a high rate that is unsustainable for nature. Just look at our daily consumptions of water, fuel, and electricity. Our lives become so much dependent on these resources and we are not focusing to conserve these precious resources. Number of cars on the road is increasing every year. People are shifting from cycles, motor-bikes, and public transport to cars. Every car that runs on the road is emitting harmful gases into the atmosphere. Look around you, our homes are flooded with industrial products. An ordinary citizen in a metropolis of a country now consumes more industrial products than one used to consume a few decades before. Increasing population results in more demand for these industrial products, which in turn forces the industrialists to set up more industrial units to catch up growing demand. But every industrial unit is contributing to carbon emissions and on top of that, the industrial waste of these units are an environmental hazard.
With a population of over 200 million, it is even more important for Pakistan to conserve its resources. Water, a basic necessity of life, is becoming scarce in Pakistan. According to Indus River System Authority (IRSA), Pakistan wastes away about 21 million USD worth of water into the sea each year. As per the report published by Water Resources Institute, Pakistan is on track to become the most water-stressed country in the region and 23rd in the world by the year 2040. Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources warned that Pakistan may run dry by 2025 if we did not do much to alter present miserable condition. PCRWR claims that Pakistan touched the “water stressed line” in 1990 and crossed the “water scarcity line” in 2005. Full determination and a spear-headed approach is required not only at the governmental level but also on the individual level to pull out our country from this quagmire.
The challenges due to climate change hamper the economic growth of a developing country like Pakistan. A list of most affected countries by climate change was issued in the report of Climate Risk Index in 2016. Pakistan was ranked 40th in the list, suffering 566 casualties, losing 47.313 million USD which is equivalent to 0.0048 percent of the GDP. An Asian Development Bank study predicts that losses in Southeast Asia from the impact of climate change could reach 11 percent of the gross domestic product by the year 2100.
Pakistan has to take climate change more seriously and buckle up to fight this unpredictable menace. It’s need of the hour for developing countries like Pakistan to start taking actions to combat climate change as this may be the last century to save the world before it’s too late.