Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation Mechanisms in Developing Countries

Adaptation:

  • Adjustment in Response to climate stimuli
  • Moderates harms OR Exploits opportunities
  • Maybe anticipatory or reactive

Mitigation – reducing climate change – involves reducing the flow of heat-trapping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, either by reducing sources of these gases (for example, the burning of fossil fuels for electricity, heat or transport) or enhancing the “sinks” that accumulate and store these gases (such as the oceans, forests and soil).

Adaptation – adapting to life in a changing climate – involves adjusting to actual or expected future climate. The goal is to reduce our vulnerability to the harmful effects of climate change (like sea-level encroachment, more intense extreme weather events or food insecurity).

Climate change is an increasingly urgent issue. Current estimates indicate that globally we are going to exceed a 2⁰C warming by the end of this century. The impacts of climate change are already being felt in several parts of the world. Adaptation is crucial, nevertheless, people’s ability to adapt is critically influenced by the kinds of knowledge accessible to them.

Adaptation to climate change is given increasing international attention as the confidence in climate change projections is getting higher. Developing countries have specific needs for adaptation due to high vulnerabilities, and they will in this way carry a great part of the global costs of climate change although the rising atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations are mainly the responsibility of industrialized countries.

How much climate change?

Which will be determined by how our emissions continue and also precisely how our climate system responds to those emissions. Despite increasing awareness of climate change, our emissions of greenhouse gases continue on a relentless rise. In 2013, the daily level of carbon dioxide within the atmosphere surpassed 400 parts per million for the first time in human history.

“Climate change is the biggest global health threat of the 21st century … the impacts will be felt all around the world — and not just in some distant future but in our lifetimes and those of our children.”

Developing countries are vulnerable to extremes of normal climatic variability, and climate change is likely to increase the frequency and magnitude of some extreme weather events and disasters. Adaptation to climate change is dependent on current adaptive capacity and the development models that are being pursued by developing countries. Various frameworks are available for vulnerability and adaptation (V&A) assessments, and they have both advantages and limitations. Investments in developing countries are more focused on recovery from a disaster than on the creation of adaptive capacity. Extreme climatic events create a spiral of debt burden on developing countries. Increased capacity to manage extreme weather events can reduce the magnitude of economic, social and human damage and eventually, investments, in terms of borrowing money from the lending agencies.

Taking an example

Pakistan contributes less than 1 percent of the world’s greenhouse gases blamed for causing global warming, yet its 200 million people are among the world’s most vulnerable victims of the growing consequences of climate change.

The nation is facing ever-rising temperatures, drought, and flooding that threaten health, agriculture, water supplies and hopes for the development of a society that ranks in the bottom quarter of nations, based on income per person. Pakistan is among 10 countries affected most by climate change, according to the 2018 Global Climate Risk Index released by the public policy group Germanwatch. Bridging the Middle East and South Asia, Pakistan is in a geographic location where average temperatures are predicted to rise faster than elsewhere, increasing 7.2 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius) by the year 2100.

Issues Facing by Pakistan:

The human activities like burning of fossil fuels, excessive smoke discharges from factories and the depletion of forests have led to an increase in the concentration of the greenhouse gases, mainly carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide, in the earth’s outer atmosphere which are responsible for trapping excessive heat inside the environment and thus increasing the overall temperature of the earth, leading to the phenomenon of global warming. Global warming has emerged as one of the major threats to our planet in this century. It has been proved that due to the increase of the greenhouse gases in our outer atmosphere, the earth’s temperature has warmed by 0.74°C over the last 100 years, leading to floods, famines, and droughts and cyclones among other natural disasters.

Policy Action for Successful Adaptation and Mitigation:

  • Accurate and Disaggregated data is absolutely essential
  • Improve the lack of a balanced approach towards addressing all Villages
  • It would be worthwhile to involve academic institutions to conduct surveys for assessing the adaptation needs of the various sectors
  • Many impacts can be avoided, reduced or delayed by mitigation

Impacts of climate change on change of seasons in Pakistan

The term “climate change” is often used to refer specifically to anthropogenic climate change (also known as global warming). Anthropogenic climate change is caused by human activity, as opposed to changes in climate that may have resulted as part of Earth’s natural processes.

Season:

  • One of the four periods of the year (spring, summer, autumn, and winter), beginning astronomically at an equinox or solstice, but geographically at different dates in different climates.
  • A period of the year characterized by particular conditions of weather, temperature, etc.: the rainy season.

Impacts:

  • Pakistan is mainly depends on agriculture
  • Lacks of modern technical resources
  • Adequate monetary system
  • Water Resources
  • Forestry and Land use
  • Extreme Effects
  • Costal zones

Climate change is one in all the largest issues the complete world is jointly facing. The deterioration of the earth’s climate can be seen and felt most clearly in South East Asia, significantly Pakistan.

“Climate change is no longer some far-off problem; it is happening here, it is happening now”

Barack Obama

Climate change has been one of the most talked regarding issue, significantly since the beginning of the twenty 1st century. There are variety of things contributing to the increasingly erratic weather patterns being witnessed everywhere the globe, with carbon emissions being the major one. According to German watch, publisher of the temperature change Performance Index (CCPI), Pakistan is the seventh most vulnerable country to climate change. As a developing country, with abject financial condition and severely restricted resources, climate change has the potential to become the largest and most harmful problem for Pakistan in the future. But the saddest realization is that even if Pakistan is classified as one of the most vulnerable countries with reference to climate change, it is not a major emitter of greenhouse gasses. In fact, Pakistan’s emission levels are negligible, standing at a mere 0.7 % of the total world emissions. Simply put, Pakistan is a victim of climate change.

Impact of Climate Change in Pakistan

  • Social, environmental and economic impacts caused by climate change are of great concern in developing countries like Pakistan.
  • Pakistan is usually facing natural hazards like floods, droughts, and cyclones.
  • Pakistan’s greenhouse gases emissions have doubled in last 2 decades.
  • The seasonal changes are changing sowing time for crops which consequently changes irrigation requirements which modify the properties of soil and increase the risk of pest and disease attack, negatively altering agricultural productivity.
  • The recent studies indicate that Pakistan’s 22.8% land and 49.6% population is at risk due to impacts of climate change.
  • Climate change scenarios have resulted in an increase in the epidemic potential for 12-27 percent for malaria and 31-47 percent of dengue.

Some Ways to Reduce Climate Change

  • More and more trees should be planted.
  • Energy should be used efficiently.
  • Renewable power sources should be adopted
  • The loss of water in any form should be checked
  • Use eco-friendly appliances.
  • The treatment of industrial waste should be made mandatory all over the world.
  • Plastic should not be used. Environment-friendly shopper bags should be used.
  • Use of aerosol sprays should be minimized.
  • The misuse of fertilizers should be avoided.
  • Water should be used wisely.
  • The power generation should be done by environmental friendly means.
  • Conservation practices should be adopted regarding agriculture.

Climate Change Impact on Seasons in Pakistan

Climate change is an inevitable phenomenon which has lasting effects on the survival of mankind. Despite Pakistan’s vulnerability to Climate Change, it has been given less priority by the government due to other national issues of high concern. The climate change in Pakistan has resulted in extreme weather conditions, torrential rainfalls, irregular floods, droughts, sea-level rise, glacier melting etc. Currently, Pakistan has been ranked seventh among countries that are vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change. According to the World Bank report, Pakistan has suffered 3.86 billion losses annually due to climate change. The depletion of natural resources, water shortage and food insecurity are some of the risk factors because of rapid climate change trends in Pakistan. The climate change has grave impacts on the economy and health sector in Pakistan. In a recent monsoon rainfall distribution analysis by the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD), it has been reported that over the past three decades the climate change has resulted in a 100 kilometers spatial shift towards west in the overall monsoon pattern in Pakistan. There is a spatial as well as seasonal shift in the rainfall distribution patterns. The summer monsoon has shifted towards the end of the season and similarly the winter rains have shifted towards late February and March. The temperature rise in Pakistan has the potential to trigger rapid melting of glaciers in the North and leading to “flash floods” in the country.

Climate change is no longer a far-off problem; it is happening here, it is happening now. — Former President of USA Barack Obama.

Pakistan’s greenhouse gases emissions have doubled in last 2 decades. On a global scale, Pakistan ranks 135th in per capita GHG emissions in the world. The agriculture sector is the victim of abrupt climate change in a country. 65-70% of country’s population is directly or indirectly related to agriculture. The arid and semi-arid zones are the most vulnerable to climate change as these regions are already facing water shortage and high temperature. The seasonal changes are changing sowing time for crops which consequently changes irrigation requirements which modify the properties of soil and increase the risk of pest and disease attack, negatively altering agricultural productivity. The recent studies indicate that Pakistan’s 22.8% land and 49.6% population is at risk due to impacts of climate change. The diseases which are transmitted by vectors for example malaria, dengue cholera etc. Those are already causes of low mortality rate in Pakistan are climate sensitive. Climate change scenarios have resulted in an increase in the epidemic potential for 12-27 percent for malaria and 31-47 percent of dengue. People across Pakistan are now experiencing unpredictable rainfall, increased temperatures and changes to the seasons. Other changes vary by region, such as increased rainfall and extreme weather events in Sindh and decreased rainfall in Baluchistan. The Climate Asia Report found that compared with the other countries in this study, Pakistanis feel most strongly that these changes are having a high level of impact on their lives now (there were around 4,000 respondents to the survey in Pakistan). There are many solutions to climate change which involve community, individuals, governments and other agencies of the world. More and more trees should be planted. Energy should be used efficiently. Renewable power sources should be adopted. The garbage should not be burned or burry in landfills. It may be made composts for kitchen gardens. The loss of water in any form should be checked. Electric automobiles should be preferred. Recycling is one of the most effective ways to check carbon emissions. Media should spread awareness regarding the effects of climate change. Use eco-friendly appliances. The treatment of industrial waste should be made mandatory all over the world. Governments should start taking this problem seriously. They should start investing in projects which can try to minimize climate change. Plastic should not be used. Environment-friendly shopper bags should be used. Use of aerosol sprays should be minimized. The misuse of fertilizers should be avoided. Water should be used wisely. The power generation should be done by environmental friendly means. Conservation practices should be adopted regarding agriculture.

ADAPTATIONS AND MITIGATION MECHANISMS IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES

Mitigation addresses the causes of climate change (accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere), whereas adaptation addresses the impacts of climate change. … On the other hand, adaptation will not be able to eliminate all negative impacts and mitigation is crucial to limit changes in the climate system.

Climate mitigation is any action taken to permanently eliminate or reduce the long-term risk and hazards of climate change to human life, property.

The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) defines mitigation as: “An anthropogenic intervention to reduce the sources or enhance the sinks of greenhouse gases.” Climate Mitigation and Adaptation

Climate adaptation refers to the ability of a system to adjust to climate change (including climate variability and extremes) to moderate potential damage, to take advantage of opportunities, or to cope with the consequences.

The IPCC defines adaptation as the, “adjustment in natural or human systems to a new or changing environment. Adaptation to climate change refers to adjustment in natural or human systems in response to actual or expected climatic stimuli or their effects, which moderates harm or exploits beneficial opportunities. Various types of adaptation can be distinguished, including anticipatory and reactive adaptation, private and public adaptation, and autonomous and planned adaptation.”

IN PAKISTAN:

Analysis of past depicts that our climate is changing. The rate of change and the nature of the resulting impacts will vary over time and across the country, affecting all aspects of our life. In conjunction with efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, it will also be necessary to adapt to the impacts of a changing climate. Understanding what climate change will mean for Pakistan is only one step in that process. Future changes in climate of the magnitude projected by most global climate models would cause a major impact on our water resources, and subsequently affect food supply, health, industry, transportation and ecosystem sustainability. Problems are most likely to arise to southern parts of country where the resource is already under stress, because that stress would be exacerbated by changes in supply or demand associated with climate change. Previous record and projections by GCMs and RCMs depicts that extreme events (drought and flooding) would become more frequent and of greater magnitude in different parts of the country. These extreme

events would place stress on existing infrastructure and institutions, with potentially major economic, social and environmental consequences. Therefore, particular emphasis needs to be placed on the impacts/mitigation of such extremes.

IN INDIA:

There is growing evidence that the climate change do has implications for drought vulnerable India with studies projecting future possible reductions in monsoon related rainfall in the country. The existing drought risk mitigation and response mechanisms were looked into and gaps were identified by drawing lessons from previous disasters and response mechanisms. In absence of reliable climate predictions at the scales that make them useful for policy level planning, the emphasis was on identifying no-regret adaptation options those would reduce current vulnerabilities while mainstreaming the adaptation in the long run. The most notable climate change implications for the drought vulnerable India are the enhanced preparedness with due emphasis to the community based preparedness planning, reviewing the existing monsoon and drought prediction methodologies, and establishing drought monitoring and early warning systems in association with a matching preparedness at the input level.

IN BANGLADESH:

The linking adaptation to mitigation makes mitigation action more relevant to policymakers in Bangladesh, increasing engagement in the international climate change agenda in preparation for a post-Kyoto global strategy. This case study strengthens the argument that while combining mitigation and adaptation is not a magic bullet for climate policy, synergies, particularly at the project level, can contribute to the sustainable development goals of climate change and are worth exploring.

CONCLUSION:

In developing countries like Pakistan, India, Bangladesh are others there is entire need of maintaining a sustainable environment in which there is adaptive techniques applied for the maintenance of good humid and natural environment which is fittest for human and environment both.