Climate change – a social issue


Iffat Bukhari

‘Change’ is the only constant phenomena in life. One of the most important ‘changes’ occurring in this universe and engulfing every field of life is ‘the climate change’. A realization of the problem at the state level in Pakistan impelled the government, the policy makers and the concerned practitioners to address the challenge of climate change and to opt for an institutional arrangement tackle its ensuing ramifications.
Hence, a National Climate Change Policy (NCCP) was developed in September 2012; however, a policy can create impact only if it is implemented in right perspective. Climate change is, unfortunately, being taken as a scientific matter rather than a social development concern that calls for its proper analysis and evaluation. Despite fact that Pakistan is one of the lowest contributing countries to Green House Gas emission i.e. less than 1 %, Pakistan is among the most vulnerable countries, which are severely impacted by the negative effects of climate change.
Keeping in mind that global warming and energy crisis is directly related to each other, efforts to overcome energy crisis (electricity shortfall and water decrease) can be fruitful by implementing climate change policy as a cross cutting theme in every sector. With the increase of global warming, the summer season starts in April and extends upto November, which escalates the use of electricity in air conditioning and other means of containing room temperature. This further aggravates the electricity shortfall problems.
Similarly global warming is affecting glaciers in Karakoram and Himalayas range, which is a contributing factor towards imbalance flow of water affecting shortage of water when it is required and floods when it gets unmanageable. Being a predominantly agriculture country, availability of ample water is necessary for agriculture sector. Hence depletion of water resources may have an adverse effect on our economy.
In view of the strong impact of climate change on economic and social development, the govt, NGOs and civil society all should realize the responsibility by pursuing action-oriented strategies regarding climate change, its mitigation and adaptation. Media, youth groups and research institutes can play a vital role in this regard. Moreover, the theme Climate change should be incorporated in the syllabus of schools and colleges. Right action at right time can help us cope with upcoming social development challenges in a better way.
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