Since the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report was published in August 2021, the government has not taken any drastic measures to curtail the ever-increasing threat of global warming. While the report asserts that consequences of the ecological crisis are largely irreversible, prudent measures must be taken to make the country more resistant against the coming disaster.
Clear signs of the crisis have started to unfold as the country has witnessed increased instances of flooding, heatwaves, monsoons and droughts. Moreover, glaciers have been melting at a rapid pace while marine life is slowly disintegrating. With time, the situation will continue to deteriorate and affect all other spheres of life. Pakistan’s response to this have come in the form of the Billion Tree Tsunami project as well as other similar projects – something which indicates that the authorities are not aware of the scale and scope of the crisis at hand. The situation has escalated drastically. Considering that Pakistan is a low-income country, the impact of the crisis could be unimaginable and unprecedented at both the ecological and the economic end. The government has recently announced a rather ambitious target to cut down the carbon emissions by 50% by the year 2030 — which is “strictly conditional on the availability of international funding resources such as the Green Climate Fund”. While the plan is welcomed, it will have no significant impact on the overall situation.
Authorities must understand that climate change is a global phenomenon and that its impact will not be instant. Instead, it will gradually unfold or come in waves. Pakistan must ferociously advocate at the international forum and push for holding accountable the countries and companies significantly contributing to the global carbon emissions. Our diplomatic relations must now be centred around climate change and our foreign minister must exert considerable pressure. This must be done as if our life depends on it, because it does.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 18th, 2021.
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