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A Looming Threat to Pakistan and the World

climate change effects on earth
By: Bilal Saleem

What is Climate Change?

Climate change refers to the long-term warming of the planet due to an increase in average global temperature. This warming is primarily caused by human activities that release greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide and methane, into the atmosphere. Climate change is no longer a distant threat, but a harsh reality that is already affecting millions of people around the world, including Pakistan. The country is particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, with rising temperatures, changing precipitation patterns, and increased frequency of extreme weather events.

Consequences and Climate Change Impact

Rising Temperatures: Pakistan is warming at a rate of 0.4°C per decade, which is faster than the global average. This warming is melting the country’s glaciers, which are a crucial source of water for irrigation, drinking, and hydroelectric power. The rapid melting of glaciers has already caused flash floods, landslides, and soil erosion, affecting thousands of people and damaging infrastructure. According to The World in Data report, following table shows a trend of temperature increase in 2023 only in different countries like Pakistan, United States, Russia and China to understand the gravity of the matter that why Climate study matters now. Temperature increase influences global precipitation patterns, resulting in changes such as more intense rainfall events, longer dry periods, and shifts in seasonal rainfall distribution. These alterations exacerbate drought conditions in arid and semi-arid regions, leading to water scarcity, crop failures, and food insecurity. Conversely, heavy precipitation events increase the risk of flooding, damaging infrastructure, disrupting ecosystems, and displacing communities.

Changing Precipitation Patterns: Climate change is also altering precipitation patterns in Pakistan. The country is experiencing more frequent and intense heatwaves, droughts, and floods. The 2010 floods, which affected over 20 million people, were a stark reminder of the devastating impact of climate change. The changing precipitation patterns are also affecting agriculture, with crop yields declining and food security threatened. Pakistan is facing extreme weather events, including cyclones, storms, and heatwaves. The 2015 heatwave, which killed over 1,200 people in Karachi, was a tragic reminder of the deadly impact of climate change (The Dawn News Report). The country is also experiencing more frequent and intense sandstorms, dust storms, and thunderstorms, which are causing damage to infrastructure, crops, and human life.

Climate change is having a significant impact on human health in Pakistan. The changing weather patterns are increasing the spread of waterborne diseases, heat stress, and other health problems. The country is already struggling with a weak healthcare system, and climate change is only exacerbating the situation.Climate change is also affecting Pakistan’s economy, with losses estimated in billions of rupees. The country’s agriculture sector, which employs over 40% of the workforce, is particularly vulnerable to climate change. The changing weather patterns are affecting crop yields, food security, and the livelihoods of millions of people.

Otherside Consequences of Climate Change

  • Rising sea levels and coastal flooding
  • Extreme weather events (heatwaves, droughts, storms)
  • Water scarcity and food insecurity
  • Loss of biodiversity and ecosystem disruption

In 1992, its Earth Summit produced the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) as a first step in addressing the climate change problem. By 1995, countries launched negotiations to strengthen the global response to climate change.The Kyoto Protocol legally binds developed country Parties to emission reduction targets. The Protocol’s first commitment period started in 2008 and ended in 2012. The second commitment period began on 1 January 2013 and ended in 2020. There are now 198 Parties to the Convention and 192 Parties to the Kyoto Protocol. The main goal of the Kyoto Protocol was to control emissions of the main human-emitted greenhouse gases (GHGs) in ways that reflect underlying national differences in GHG emissions, wealth, and capacity to make the reductions.

At the 21st Conference of the Parties in Paris in 2015, Parties to the UNFCCC reached a landmark agreement to combat climate change and to accelerate and intensify the actions and investments needed for a sustainable low carbon future. Now today, there are more long term investments on Renewable energy and technological innovations.We see Climate-resilient infrastructure and urban planning in different countries. e.g. Shift of petrol/ gas vehicles to electricity engines and battries. These became possible because of Global climate activism and awareness campaigns among public.

United States, as one of the world’s largest economies and historically one of the largest emitters of greenhouse gases, consistently emitting the highest amount of CO2 among the countries listed. Despite efforts to transition towards cleaner energy sources and reduce emissions, the United States maintains a substantial carbon footprint, with emissions exceeding 14 metric tons per capita annually throughout the period. Russia and China, both major global powers with significant industrial sectors, also emitting relatively high CO2 emissions, though not as much as the United States. Russia’s emissions remain relatively stable over the years, however, they are standing at the other side with an increase trend. China, on the other hand, shows a slight increase in emissions over the period, reflecting its rapid economic growth and industrialization despite efforts to transition towards cleaner energy sources and reduce pollution. Pakistan’s emissions have been gradually increasing over the years, they remain substantially lower than those of the United States, Russia, and China but giving a high number. The data on CO2 emissions from Pakistan, the United States, Russia, and China highlights the need for concerted global efforts to address climate change, reduce emissions, and mitigate the unequal impacts of environmental degradation on countries around the world.

What Can be Done..!

Transition to renewable energy: Pakistan can transition to renewable energy sources like solar and wind power to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels. Improve water management: The country can improve its water management practices to reduce waste and increase efficiency. Promote sustainable agriculture: Pakistan can promote sustainable agriculture practices, like organic farming and agroforestry, to reduce the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Protect natural habitats: The country can protect its natural habitats, like forests and wetlands, which are crucial for absorbing carbon dioxide and mitigating the impacts of climate change.

Local Initiatives in Pakistan

  • Renewable energy projects (solar, wind)
  • Green infrastructure and urban forestry initiatives
  • Climate-resilient agriculture and water management practices
  • Community-led conservation and education efforts

Call to Action

We all have a role to play in addressing climate change. Let’s work together to:

  • Reduce our carbon footprint
  • Support climate-friendly policies and initiatives
  • Educate and raise awareness about climate change
  • Advocate for climate justice and equity


SB Qureshi
SB Qureshi
Shah Bilal Qureshi, MPhil in Journalism, is CEO at LEDE Times News ( Digital News Web). He is media graduate from The Centre for Excellence in Journalism (CEJ) at IBA and Punjab University Lahore. He has also been associated with one of the historic & renowned media group Nawa-i-Waqt as Sub-editor. He is also a social media activist who talks for humanity, raise social issues and supports his voice for voiceless class of the society.


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