Minimum production but maximum consumption of pollution, the brutal reality!

A case study of world’s leading victim of climate change: Pakistan

Pakistan has been ranked 7th most vulnerable country in the world affected by climate change. The 200 million people living in the country are getting deprived of their fundamental right of clean, green and safe environment with every passing day. The rising temperatures causing deadliest heat waves with greater frequency and intensity each year, and hazardous air putting lives and health of people at risk are the alarming consequences of climate change. Along with that, the depleting of water resources by melting of glaciers and low precipitation are causing calamity of droughts, on the other hand the heavy rainfalls are bringing floods and affecting the livelihood. Further, the decreased yield of crops resulting into major threat to food security and the spread of viral and vector-borne diseases are the toxic features of climate change in the country.

The country is in a climate change trap due to its location and economic position. The geographical location of Pakistan makes it more prone to climate change disasters in the coming years. Moreover, the country is stated to contribute less than 1% of Carbon dioxide emissions and yet it is ranked to be the 7th most affected country in the world. Thus, the massive production and consumption of the high income countries is endangering the very survival of the local population of the Global South.

Being a developing country, the nation has less resources to fight this horrific climate battle. On a national level the government has launched the five years program programs like Plant for Pakistan and Clean and Green Pakistan to mitigate the effects of climate change. In addition to that, the local interest groups are working more actively to raise awareness among public about the adverse and recurrent effects of climate change. However, the international support from wealthier countries is insignificant in this regard.

In the international negotiating arenas of climate change, China and India have been the major players who are in direct economic competition with US, Europe and Japan – all of them being the worst emitters of pollution. Conversely, middle income countries like Pakistan have no substantial standing in the international blocs.

Pondering on the aforementioned information, what do you think? Should not be the one who does the cruelty pay the price? Is not it fair that rich countries provide climate finance and green technologies to the countries which are becoming victim of their greed for capitalism?

Jawaria Khan
Doctoral student at University of Helsinki
Member of the Development Cooperation Advisory Board

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