Declare Climate Emergency in Pakistan

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Last year, Pakistan was declared to be #7 on the climate risk index yet 65% of Pakistanis are not even aware of what climate change means.

Being an agricultural country, Pakistan has a lot at stake. Agriculture makes up the largest sector of our economy and our foreign exchange earnings. It employs almost half of the employed workforce of the country, whereas majority of the population is directly or indirectly dependent on this sector. A small shift in weather conditions leads to disastrous effects on our agricultural outputs. Being the 7th most affected country, climate change brings a flurry of natural disasters and we have no infrastructure or systems in place to deal with it effectively.

We have less than a decade to formulate adaptation and mitigation strategies to safeguard our future. It is no longer enough to incorporate climate knowledge into school curriculum and wait for the next generation to come up with solutions to climate change. We need Pakistani experts on climate change to come together and influence policies that are meant to be effective for Pakistan exclusively. No Western country is on the top 10 affectees. Their research is useful to us to a certain extent. Beyond that, we need to take matters into our own hands and develop climate adaptation plans to prevent the majority of our country from going into climate poverty.

We demand:

  1. Formulation of climate adaptation policies, developed exclusively for Pakistan's climate problems
  2. Development of extensive food security programs that ensure inclusivity of the poor
  3. Re-evaluation of our water resources. Sources provided below state that 95% of freshwater is being used in the agricultural sector and the unlined canal system of Pakistan faces up to 60% losses in some places, thus highlighting the need for better agricultural and irrigation techniques
  4. Awareness sessions and camps focused on spreading climate change awareness, as well as solutions in the form of individual and community attitude changes
  5. Development of a proper waste disposal system to ensure cleaner lands and rivers. The river Indus 
  6. Proper auditing and fines to industries releasing untreated wastewater into water bodies and polluting waterways
  7. Development of decentralized water and wastewater treatment plants to provide clean water and reduce wastewater in all cities and villages. Ban the disposal of untreated sewerage in open waterways
  8. Ban on disposable plastic items and imposition of incentives for returning used items (such as the glass bottle return scheme that was in practice in Pakistan in the 80s)
  9. Incentivisation of renewable energy and investment in the development of renewable energy programs
  10. Encouragement of youth involvement in government-led climate action programs

We have no time to lose in the development and application of climate action programs in Pakistan. We need to protect our future and the future of the poor who are going to be the most affected by the climate crisis.