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Climate change refers to the long-term changes in the climate that occur over decades, centuries or longer. It is caused by rapid increasing of greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere due primarily to burning fossil fuels (e.g., coal, oil, and natural gas).
Pakistan has been constantly ranked among the most affected nations by climate change. Our people in various regions of the nation are as of now getting drastically affected by climate change, which include flash floods due to glacier melt, increased heatwaves, water scarcity, rising sea levels, food shortages and displacement of people. The most exceedingly awful part is that these effects are simply going to cause further deterioration of our land. In such a situation, it is mandatory for us to take measures to control climate change.
What the government should do:
Our government should undertake urgent reforestation and afforestation programs on mountain inclines. Northern regions have experienced serious deforestation because of lack of access to electricity and natural gas. The Billion-tree Tsunami drive is a decent beginning yet should be increased in the long haul. The communities and the general public also need to be engaged in mass plantation drives across the country.
They should also devise and execute a waste administration methodology for mountainous areas. Since mountain areas have no place to discard their waste, they end up either tossing it in the rivers, Burning the trash in the open air (which leads to black carbon deposition on glaciers and increases melting) or burying it underground (which resurfaces in the event of a natural disaster and adds to existing risks). Appropriate garbage removal frameworks and mindfulness (particularly for tourists) can aid in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution, and catastrophe risk.
Next, boycotting diesel vehicles in the mountains. An expanding number of travellers visiting the beautiful mountains in the north choose to utilize diesel (the most inefficient fuel) in their four-wheelers. The particulate matter generated by incomplete fuel combustion at such high elevations directly contributes to the fast melting of glaciers, hastening climate change and harming people’s health.
We also have to make the switch to renewable energy. In Thar, we have great potential for solar energy, and in the north, we have hydropower, that can provide clean, cost-effective, and continuous electricity.
Lastly, the government has to recognize that Pakistan faces a variety of climate challenges based on its location and culture. For example, the climate impacts in Chitral will be vastly different from those experienced in Sindh. As a result, solutions must be devised while keeping the context and variety in mind.
Instead of being reactive, one has to take a proactive attitude. We generally respond to a crisis after it has occurred rather than plan ahead of time. The proactive approach of foresight and readiness will save a great deal of time, money, and lives. Make climate change a top priority for development and politics. Climate change will have an impact on every aspect of human and economic growth, and it must be considered at all levels.
These undertakings are critically required, but see that the onus for change isn’t absolutely on the government only. We, as aware citizens of Pakistan, need to demand action on these issues and work personally with governmental and non-governmental institutions to ensure that these activities get done. The opportunity has arrived to stay away from reserved quality and take a working part in climate advancement.
What should we (as a nation of Pakistan do) to combat climate?
We each have the ability to take climate action in our own capacity. Here are some ideas to get it started:
Initiate talks about climate change. We don’t change what we will not at any point talk about. To start the conversation, create local climate discussion groups, reach out, help and support vulnerable individuals, and take collective actions. We need activism, not pessimism. It takes intensity to focus in on a positive and movement arranged strategy. Go work for or volunteer with local organisation working on climate change issues.
If you’re attending a wedding or a party, think twice about heaping excessive food on your plates. currently, 40% of the food in Pakistan goes to waste while 43% of our general population faces food insecurity. What a large number individuals don’t comprehend is that food waste is furthermore a significant ally of climate change. Methane (a powerful greenhouse gas) is created from rotting food in landfills. You can moreover help by giving plenitude food to a charity or initiatives like the Robinhood Army and ‘Rizq that help with redistributing it to poor people.
It’s a cliché, but it’s important to remember: conserve energy. One must be particularly cautious about power savings, and switch off lights and appliances when not in use. When your phone/laptop is completely charged, all you have to do is disconnect your charger. Plugged gadgets continue to utilize phantom power, which increases your cost and contributes to greenhouse gas emissions.
The list of suggestions provided here is by no means complete; it only serves as a reminder that climate action may be taken on a variety of sizes. Taking action can also help with anxiety about the environment (a new type of psychological condition where you feel extremely worried about the worsening state of our planet and climate). In modest doses, anxiety over the environmental catastrophe may be beneficial if it pushes you to prevent a disastrous future. Remember that a sequence of modest efforts taken by many people may result in a significant influence and change. To deal with an issue as complicated and urgent as climate change, we need everyone to do their part now.
Ishfaque Ahmed Rustamani
Alumni – 5th Youth Parliament Pakistan