Climate Change In Pakistan By Farrukh Shahbaz Warraich


Climate change in Pakistan By Farrukh Shahbaz Warraich

Environmental issues are currently engulfing almost the entire world and it is rapidly being affected by these changes. Floods, storms and torrential rains have wreaked havoc. All of these problems are the result of individual shortcomings, and developed industrialized countries have a large share in the growing environmental problems.

Climate change is one of the major causes of environmental issues. It is not only changing the duration of the seasons, but also affecting the planet's water system and agriculture. Another major problem that is fueling climate change is global warming, which is changing the natural form of the atmosphere. Rapid changes in the natural environment are causing glaciers to melt as temperatures rise. All of this will result in life on earth reducing if timely steps are not taken.

Pakistan is among the top ten countries facing environmental problems. According to a 2019 report by the German environmental think tank, climate change in Pakistan has killed nearly 10,000 people in the last two decades and the latest damage to the country's economy is estimated at around 3.8 billion. According to the Global Climate Risk Index 2020 report, Pakistan ranks fifth among the countries most affected by climate change during the 20 years from 1999 to 2018.

Pakistan has experienced a great number of natural disasters in the previous decade, including the worst floods, rains and heatstroke. These disasters have led to predictions that if the country does not develop an effective strategy to tackle climate change, in the near future, it may suffer from major drought as we are running out of water reserves. Meanwhile, the rising temperatures are becoming a major threat to the survival of thousands of frozen membranes in Pakistan, and due to climate change, the country's agriculture and agricultural production is also being affected.

According to a recent survey conducted by an international organization, Pakistan is not prepared to deal with the effects of climate change because it does not have the resources or trained personnel to deal with the worst scenarios of this issue.

Our concerned agencies have also expressed concern that Pakistan will face extreme heat in the coming years, however, we have not made any preparation to deal with it. We have already suffered the consequences of this incompetence in the year 2015 in the form of a deadly heatstroke in Karachi.

In addition, Pakistan has been facing another environmental problem for the last four years, which is Smog (a mixture of smoke and fog) . The smog that falls in the months of October and November creates difficulty for citizens in breathing and causes irritation in the eyes.

The smog is believed to be caused by the smoke produced by huge number of firecrackers fired during the Diwali festival in India. On Diwali, when firecrackers are set off everywhere, the smoke that distorts the ozone wave stays in the upper atmosphere, which keeps the smog in the atmosphere for many days. Meanwhile, crop burning is another factor that plays its part in the formation of smog, an act highly practices in both India and Pakistan.

Now that India is our neighbor and its borders meet most of our areas, the smog coming from the country in Pakistan's Punjab province is resulting in major environmental issues for the citizens.

At present, the effects of climate change are a bigger threat to Pakistan than the war, but unfortunately, the relevant institutions of Pakistan are acting as silent spectators or rant about the lack of funds they receive. Their actions show their lack of interest in the matter.

One of Pakistan’s largest cities which is also termed as the city Gardens, has been declared the most polluted city in the world during the 2021 winters by air quality index, while its residents choke in acrid smog and are pleading the officials to take necessary action.

One of a citizens told me that “Children are experiencing breathing diseases … for God’s sake and pleaded the authorities to find a solution to the problem.”

“We are poor people, can’t even afford a doctor’s charges,” said another citizen.

He told me, “We can only plead with them [the government] to control the pollution. I am not a literate person, but I have read that Lahore has the worst air quality and then comes India’s Delhi. If it continues like this, we will die.”

Another thing I noticed is that the people were afraid of bringing their children out due to hazardous smog and have restrained them inside the house.

When approached, experts say that deforestation should be stopped immediately to prevent environmental problems, but it is not being implemented.

Even now, if our political leaders and relevant institutions do not adopt an effective strategy, it is expected that the problems arising from climate change could prove disastrous for the country. And besides, these changes are a huge threat to human lives, affecting our young children.

Farrukh Shahbaz Warraich

Farrukh Shahbaz is a journalist, columnist and political analyst who rose to fame for his bold interview with Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar.