Climate Change – What Needs To Be Done

Pakistan, like many other countries, is experiencing various climatic effects due to global climate change. These effects include rising temperatures, changing rainfall patterns, increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, and melting glaciers.
These changes have significant implications for Pakistan’s agriculture, water resources, energy production, and overall socio-economic development.
Here are some climatic effects on Pakistan and potential remedial measures and policies for mitigation:
1. Water Scarcity
2. Agricultural Challenges
3. Extreme Weather Event.
Remedial measures and policies include:
• Saving available agriculture land and restrict unplanned housing society expansion.
• Efficient water management practices, such as improving irrigation systems, promoting water-saving techniques, and implementing drip irrigation and construction, climate-resilient agricultural practices, such as crop diversification.
• Promoting renewable energy sources, such as solar, wind, and hydropower, through favourable policies, incentives, and feed-in tariffs and energy-efficient appliances.
• Implementing strict emission standards for industries and encouraging the adoption of cleaner technologies.
• Expanding forests and protecting existing ones can help sequester carbon dioxide and mitigate climate change. Policies and measures include:
• Launching a forestation and reforestation programmes to increase forest cover and enhance carbon sinks and reducing illegal logging.
• Engaging in international climate agreements and collaborations to access financial and technical support for climate adaptation and mitigation efforts.
These are just a few examples of remedial measures and policies that can help mitigate the climatic effects on Pakistan.
Our analysis of the climate issue is unusually clear. We know exactly what we need to do—construct a carbon neutral global energy system by the middle of the century.
We know how to do it—all the technologies and engineering knowledge we need to get there by that time are already available. We know we can afford it—the International Energy Agency estimated last year that the net cost of doing so might add only a couple of trillion dollars to what we will be investing in energy anyway over the next 25 years. That is a few tens of billions of dollars a year—I used to think that was a lot of money until the bankers taught me otherwise.
What we do not know is how to put the technology and capital together in a timely manner. Doing that will require political will. Political will is built by making clear the connection between what is happening to the climate and all the other interests and preoccupations that concern us in our daily lives. Health and security are two of the most important of those preoccupations. One of the bigger barriers to building the necessary political will is the tendency of the climate conversation to fall too quickly into the elephant trap of mind numbing detail and impenetrable acronyms. Far too often the climate narrative is framed in a way that excludes rather than includes most people.
Unless we correct this fault we will not build the necessary political will to take up those technologies and to use that capital, however good our analysis is and however hard we try. So I want to steer clear of the detail and begin by looking at the very big picture of the political challenge that climate change presents. We need to identify just how different this problem is from any other that humanity has ever faced. It is different in at least three ways.
We’re all in this together
Firstly, it is a problem that is more truly global than any other. The livelihood of literally every person in every nation will be affected by a changing climate. Far too many people lead lives constrained by poverty, violence, ignorance, and ill health. But they share the planet with others who lead lives that are affluent, peaceful, educated, and healthy. Everyone, for better or worse, will live with the consequences of climate change.
This characteristic creates an entanglement of interests unprecedented in history, and unprecedented in any of the efforts diplomacy has ever had to meet. And, although there might be hard power consequences of a failure of climate policy, there are no hard power solutions to the problem.
The problem cannot be solved by one nation imposing its will on another. Therefore, solving the problem requires an intensity and persistence of cooperation between nations not yet seen.
Cooperation between governments is never one dimensional. This means climate policy success is ultimately predicated on the continuance of a global system where cooperation takes precedence over competition.
Policy failure is not an option
The second difference is that policy failure is not an option. The development of public policy is typically empirical. Human beings learn by doing. Policy measures are adopted, monitored for effectiveness, reviewed to take account of changing circumstances, and revised as necessary. Economic, social, or political goals that are not achieved today can be pursued again tomorrow. This is not true for climate change.
The long lifetime of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere—many centuries—means that we are committed irrevocably and, in policy terms, indefinitely, to whatever climate is generated by the carbon burden in the atmosphere at the point of stabilisation—that is, the point at which the amount of carbon we add to the atmosphere is balanced by the amount natural processes remove.
If we fail to stabilise greenhouse gas concentrations at a level compatible with the temperature rising by less than 2°C we cannot try again later to achieve this goal. This conflicts with the automatic reflex of all politicians when faced with a truly difficult problem: prevarication. And we cannot afford prevarication with this issue.