The list of predicaments for Pakistan is infinite.. Corruption, poor infrastructure, dwindling economy and rising inflation are just tip of the iceberg. One major problem for Pakistan is climate change. Unlike other aspects of life, climate change does not concern itself with an individual’s political power. It affects everyone, regardless of the position they hold in society.
I n March this year, the Ministry of Climate Change of Pakistan announced an updated version of National Climate Change Policy, adopted in October the year before, with a view to making Pakistan resilient to climate change and leading to a low-carbon society as the ‘10 Billion Tree Tsunami’ plan was launched.
However, this is not enough. There is a lot that the government still needs to consider to ensure a potent policy to control the outcomes of climate change. Rising temperatures are going to negatively impact global economy due to fall in crop yields, spreading of disease, and rising seas which will consume coastal cities. The effects of climate change are most likely to shave 11 to 14 pc off global economic output by 2050.
This is an alarming situation, especially for Pakistan and its neighbouring South Asian countries. According to Global Macroeconomic Forecasts, South Asian nations might end up having less than one-third of the global wealth. President Biden hosted a virtual climate summit last Thursday and Friday where he urged the countries to do more to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Mr. Biden hopes to cut the US’s emissions by half by 2030.
The economic impact of these projections is harmful for Pakistan, whose economy is also plummeting. As a byproduct of Climate change, FDI in Pakistan can increase by a huge degree. Being an agricultural state, Pakistan cannot afford to lose land and crop to rising sea levels, torrential rainfalls and other weather shocks. Poor infrastructure which we recently witnessed in the demolitions of various dams in Balochistan, and submerging of villages in various parts of the country.
On the microeconomic front, Pakistani people will become more vulnerable to losing their life stalk, livelihoods and their homes to flooding, and rainfalls. It will also create greater income equalities between the elites and the working class. According to a study, climate change will adversely affect labour productivity, slow down investment and damage human health. If temperature deviates from its historical norm by 0.01C annually, long term income growth will be lower by 0.0543 percentage points per year. Furthermore, most of the literature has found that the long run growth effects of climate change are universal, and affect everyone, rich, poor, urbanites and villagers alike.
Pakistan does not have the capacity to bear the burden and repercussions of climate change. Its struggling economy, and political turmoil has resulted in lack of seriousness at the hands of concerned institutions. The torrential rainfalls in Balochistan, Punjab and other parts of the country should be enough to make any nation worried about what the future holds for them.
by Amna Sheikh