Paris Climate Change Conference and Pakistan: What’s next?

By Ahmed Bux Jamali

One of the most disturbing and uninvited disasters that has certainly plagued the overall environment of the world is none other than Global Climate Change. A problem that is more extreme in its nature, more frequently occurring and more devastating, is observed in every nook and corner of the globe. To curb this menace United Nations took several key steps through various initiatives, protocols and treaties in the past, mainly focusing to reduce the intensity of this global threat. Out of all those efforts by UN, a milestone took place in the form of an agreement on 12th December 2015 in Paris at 21st session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on the Climate Change (COP 21). The event is considered globally as a landmark Diplomatic achievement, recognized by all over the world.

Shaping the agreement into a global reality, a historic meeting was arranged on Earth Day, April 22, 2016 where more than 155 countries fully committed to sign the Paris Agreement on Climate Change at the headquarters of the United Nations in New York. Furthermore, the agreement was approved by the 196 Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention of the Climate Change (UNFCCC). In the agreement, all countries pledged to work to limit the temperature rise overall below 2 degrees Celsius, but are aiming to achieve a temperature rise below 1.5 degrees Celsius.

The global environmental problems observed by states include: Pollution of air, and soil, Global Warming and emission of greenhouse gases, Climate Changes and release of harmful gases from industries, Ozone Layer Depletion and pollution caused by Chlorine and Bromide, Overpopulation and shortage of resources, Natural Resource Depletion,  Loss of Biodiversity and a disturbed eco-system, Deforestation, Excessive production of CO2 and Ocean Acidification, Waste Disposal and its health hazards, Acid Rain and combustion of fossil fuels, Volcanoes eruption, Water Pollution by filling rivers and oceans with toxic pollutants, Land degradation, Dirty water and abundant Public Health Issues are the major problems faced by almost all the states of the world. which need our deep insight for solution. Indeed, a proper mechanism need to be established in every member state by establishing a society, particularly green society, for making people well aware of curbing this upcoming disasters wisely.

Unfortunately, the understanding of Climate Change in Pakistan, is only limited to a tree plantation drives and nothing else. On the contrary, there are a number of global strategies implemented by big and small countries to mitigate the challenges of increasingly global warming. As the environment of Pakistan is constantly changing, so are the difficulties. According to the WWF Pakistan, “Paris Climate Conference is significant for Pakistan as the country is one of the most vulnerable to climate change.” Since the past few years, Pakistan has gone through massive influx of natural disasters, unexpected flood and rain, heatwaves, declining groundwater levels, droughts, expanding desertification, aridity and sea-level rise warming and cooling periods, different types of weather patterns throughout the year and much more. Such catastrophes haven’t only disturbed the human’s balance of life but also behavior of plants, animals and whole eco-system.

Pakistan is ranked as eighth number on the list of countries most affected by the extreme weather in the last 20 years from 1995 to 2014 by The Global Climate Risk Index. Pakistan should understand this as a warning and needs to be prepared for more frequent and more severe events in the future. This clearly reflects how this menace is going to damage the environment of Pakistan if strategies are not implemented on time. Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif urged the International Community that, “Cooperation should be provided to overcome the challenges of climate change, Pakistan being badly hit by climate change need serious attention of the globe as Himalayan Glaciers are melting very quickly as compared to other parts of the world.” That’s truly indications of upcoming disasters for Pakistan. The world is requested to seek attention towards South Asia generally and Pakistan particularly as Frequently after 2007, Pakistan has witnessed at least 0.4 million people displaced from their home by natural disasters.

As our planet is not safe, understand heedfully, that our lives will suffer in the form of severe destructions and devastations in the near future. Its high time to alarm ourselves that, we are suffering from Planetary Emergency which is created by none, but ourselves. As our planet is moving towards adding the sum of an estimated two billion more people by 2050, the amount really worth mentioning, is going to pose a grave threat to global environment. Those two billion people would need cars, food, homes, and all the necessities of life.  Soon, we will be observing that our planet is going to be poised at the brink of a severe environmental crisis, the problems that will make our lives more vulnerable.

By summing up, there are still so many things we can do together, starting from our home and then streets, society and country at large. By raising awareness in your local community and within circles about these issues, we can help contribute to a more environmentally conscious and friendly place for everyone to live. One thing, we must know that: We belong to our planet and our planet belongs to us. Developed states must avoid shaping their politics based on climate change paradigms, if they do so, they must get ready for harmful results which can never be controlled by scientists and best strategists of the world, because no one is capable enough to change mighty waves the nature.

It’s time for Action Now. Seminars and conferences have nothing to bring any significant changes in the global climate change, until and unless all hands are joined together as one hand. The global citizens need to put all their honest efforts to address this global disaster with full might. Current environmental problems require urgent attention from every nook and corner of the globe. Our strategy for global climate change should not be benefitting the Haves only by dumping the dreams of Have not, rather those strategies should be universal equally beneficial to all humans of the planet. The CHANGE begin from within; we must believe in this philosophy. We need to address this alarming issue prudently and seriously to save our future generations.

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Ahmed Jamali

Ahmed Bux Jamali holds a Master's degree in International Relations from International Islamic University in Islamabad, Pakistan. He currently works as Research Fellow at Institute of Peace and Diplomatic Studies in Islamabad. Ahmed can be reached at [email protected]

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