UN’s Alarming Report

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As the government prepares to make a case for climate justice at the UN climate conference (COP27), an alarming new United Nations report predicts that Pakistan’s average annual temperature will increase to 22.4 degrees Celsius within the next decade and a half, and would cross the 26oC threshold by the end of the century.

The fresh report also warns that on average, the number of hot days in a year i.e. when the temperature remains above 35 Celsius will be 124 by the end of 2030.

The latest warnings corroborate findings and concerns that have been raised by local experts over the past several years, who have long been insisting that climate change is no longer an approaching challenge; rather it is “happening right now”.

The impact of excessive temperatures on glacier melt was seen in Gilgit-Baltistan where a critical highway bridge was swept away in flash flooding.

This had a terrible impact on the population as many people lost their houses, fruit orchards and crops.

Extreme temperatures also result in unpredictable monsoon rains and have other multiple and cascading impacts on ecosystems, agriculture, water and energy supplies and key sectors of the economy.

We really need to act quickly, not only to mitigate climate change but also to adapt to its consequences. Well-coordinated and effective strategies need to be put in place by developing heat-tolerant crop varieties and animal breeds.

The agriculture sector requires major transformations to build resilience, especially water-use efficiency enhancement.

Our federal and provincial governments need to develop a comprehensive development reforms agenda – the core of which should be better water management and conservation and use of both nature and technology-based solutions to cope with this challenge.

 

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