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

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