Mitigating Climate Challenges


Climate change is one of the most complex issues facing us today. It involves many dimensions – science, economics, society, politics and moral and ethical questions – and is a global problem, felt on local scales, that will be around for decades and centuries to come. Carbon dioxide, the heat-trapping greenhouse gas that has driven recent global warming, lingers in the atmosphere for hundreds of years, and the planet (especially the oceans) takes a while to respond to warming. So even if we stopped emitting all greenhouse gases today, global warming and climate change will continue to affect future generations. In this way, humanity is “committed” to some level of climate change.

How much climate change? That will be determined by how our emissions continue and exactly 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 in the atmosphere surpassed 400 parts per million for the first time in human history. The last time levels were that high was about three to five million years ago, during the Pliocene Epoch.

Like it or not, Pakistan is still failing to comprehend the the urgency of the need to acknowledge the dire ramifications of the rapidly changing atmosphere, as well as the need to combat it. The Global Climate Risk Index of 2020 ranked Pakistan as the fifth most country vulnerable to the effects of climate change. This is primarily due to ongoing practices of irresponsible waste disposal, depletion of forest cover, unsustainable use of water—especially when it comes to irrigation—extensive use of motor vehicles, industrial air pollution and crop residue burning, each of which contributes to worsening smog, an ever-growing carbon footprint, floods, lethal heat waves and now, an increased threat of destructive tropical cyclones.

Perhaps we have been too quick to champion ourselves as an environmentally responsible country when the reality is that protection at micro and macro levels still remains unaddressed and unresolved. Our authorities must create an extensive strategy to neutralise, if not eliminate, the diverse effects of climate change on Pakistan. If we have taken such a strong stance against deforestation, there is no doubt that the same commitment can be applied elsewhere. There is a long way to go before we can offer the environment the protection it truly needs.


Comments are closed.

Subscribe to Newsletter