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.