Pakistan is 5th Most Vulnerable Country to Climate Change: Report

Be it the heatwaves gripping the country in the summers or super floods inundating it during the monsoons, effects of climate change are evident in Pakistan.

A recently published report by Germanwatch titled “Global Climate Risk Index 2020” expects Pakistan to be the 5th most vulnerable country to the effects of changing global climate.

The report, that compiled the data of 152 extreme weather events from 1999 to 2018, reveals that 9,989 people lost their lives due to weather events resulting from climate change. Pakistan sustained economic losses worth $3.8 billion during these years.

Sadly, the report highlights that successive governments paid little to no attention to changing climate and its devastating effects. The measures enforced in recent years are simply inadequate to tackle the challenges and risks facing Pakistan due to climate change.

Taking into account the recent extreme weather events that occurred in the country, Pakistan’s vulnerability is going to increase in the years to come, the report reveals.

David Eckstein, a co-author who worked on the report, explained why Pakistan has been ranked high on the vulnerability index. He said that Pakistan’s geographical location is the primary reason why it comes 5th in the Climate Risk Index. Pakistan is situated in a region that is vulnerable to extreme weather patterns; the country experiences heavy rainfalls and floods in monsoons and severe heat waves during summers.

While commenting on Pakistan’s ranking in the report, Malik Amin Aslam, Advisor to the Prime Minister on Climate Change, said that the findings of the report underscore the risks climate change poses not only to the national economy but also to the human health, agriculture, and the entire ecosystem of Pakistan.

David Eckstein suggests that the incumbent government must implement plans, projects, and programs that protect the most vulnerable segments of the population. At the same time, Eckstein urged the global community to come forward and help Pakistan with financial and technical assistance in implementing these measures.

Pakistan, according to Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) report, would require $40 billion to reduce its carbon emissions by 20% till 2030.

The report categorized Thailand and Dominica as upper-middle-income countries while Puerto Rico as an advanced economy. The remaining seven countries are developing countries that belong to the low-income category.