A Global Issue
Climate Change is an issue that the world must confront with increasing seriousness. Pakistan has become a signatory to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change but it looks like the country still needs to develop a national climate change strategy.
Pakistan has ratified the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. Its ratification is in line with its firm commitment to the purposes and objectives of the Climate Convention. It also highlights the resolve of Pakistan to remain fully committed to the implementation of the Paris Agreement.
Climate change and global warming are serious issues that the world faces and the threat keeps increasing with every passing day. It can be said that while the world has countless issues, they all pale in front of it. It affects the entire planet and has been damaging it greatly. If things are left as they are, there would be no return from the catastrophe.
Several organizations, both governmental and non-governmental, have been trying to create awareness regarding the issue. On December 12, 2015, a big milestone was achieved, which will determine the direction for the times to come. Called Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, or more commonly known as the ‘Paris Conference,’ the first ever agreement on a global level was signed. There are around 195 nations involved, including Pakistan, which participated. All of them agreed on the initiative. The primary objective of the agreement is to reduce global warming to well below 2 degree Celsius i.e. 1.5 degrees Celsius. Moreover, it was decided that developing nations would be assisted in tackling global warming. Also, there is a provision of granting $100 billion annually to the cause by developed countries from 2020. There was a pledge made by the developing countries to bring down the GHG (Greenhouse
gases) emissions level in their countries. The plan will be revised every 5 years. On November 4, 2016, the agreement was officially set in motion.
Pakistan’s delegation, consisting of officials from the Ministry of Climate Change as well as Ministry of Foreign Affairs, besides people belonging to civil society, forwarded their case and were able to hold their ground. This was quite positive, as Pakistan’s stance was put in front of the world. Pakistan’s firm take on global warming is definitely appreciable, and the need of the time, but there are still a lot of issues that it needs to deal with.
In the last decade or so Pakistan has suffered from a number of natural disasters. A few of them were directly caused by the change in the environment. A good example is the smog that envelopes Lahore and other cities in Punjab, come winters. The polluted water, air and damaging changes to the ecosystem are all a part of the situation. This pollution and other issues need to be taken care of quite seriously but is Pakistan willing to go down that path?
The political uncertainty in the country overrides everything else, whether it is the economy, education, health, agriculture, transport, agriculture and so many other areas. Can Pakistan set aside its political tensions? Moreover, can the political parties, along with other entities in the government, come together to deal with such issues? There needs to be more awareness regarding climate change and global warming. The latter is easily ignored and its various threats trivialized. Can people in Pakistan become educated about the environment and instructed to follow guidelines to eradicate pollution? A country which lacks seriously in science often loses track of factual science. Also, is the government willing to take necessary steps against those industries that do not follow the environment protocols?
It is highly pertinent for Pakistan to realize that its needs a clear environment policy. There are frequent reports of forests being cut down, common occurrences of flooding, the need for disposing of and treating waste and the overall incidence of rising pollution. Apart from the observation of Earth Hour observation every year and plantation drives, there is nothing more. It also appears that Pakistan’s will to progress in technological terms can give way to more issues if the environment is not the required importance.
It needs to be pointed out that while Pakistan’s intentions may be clear on the matter, it needs to make more deliberate efforts to preserve the environment as the clock is ticking and the sound is getting louder by the day.
In the last decade or so Pakistan has suffered from a number of natural disasters.