Setting the scene
Climate Change is one of the defining issues of our time. It is a common challenge and an existential threat to humanity.
The latest report of the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), released on 20 March 2023, has reemphasized the importance of urgent and ambitious climate action. It has concluded that more than a century of carbon-intensive development has already resulted in global warming of 1.1°C above pre-industrial levels. On current trajectory, the planet will unfortunately overshoot the 1.5 °C threshold in the next decade. Keeping global warming to below 1.5°C above pre-industrial level requires deep, rapid and sustained Green House Gas (GHG) emission reductions. The IPCC has warned that the window of opportunity to secure a livable and sustainable future for all is closing rapidly.
Where does Pakistan stand?
The IPCC has also concluded that vulnerable communities, who have historically contributed the least to climate change, are disproportionately affected by the adverse impacts of climate change. The impact has manifested through both slow onset, as well as extreme weather events, like the devastating floods that Pakistan faced last summer.
Pakistan’s own contributions to global GHG emissions are less than 1%. Yet, Pakistan remains one of the top climate vulnerable countries in the world. The Global Climate Risk Index, prepared by German Watch, has, over the years, been consistently projecting Pakistan as among the top ten most vulnerable countries in the world to climate change.