Pakistan makes a tiny contribution in industrial emissions causing the problem of global warming. Industrially developed countries with more than 90 percent carbon emissions in the atmosphere are main culprits of this global problem. Global warming can be countered to some extent with an international effort forcing developed nations to bring a considerable reduction in the emissions but, such an international action does not seem to happen sooner.
What Pakistan can do is to put measures in place that can help mitigate impact of global warming on its economy and people as given below.
Institutional and Community Capacity Building
The first step that government should take is to build the capacity of government institutions dealing with natural disasters. They should be equipped with modern technology and skills required in risk mapping, assessment, and rescue efforts. Similarly, capacity building of communities is also essential to enable them to cope with disaster induced effects. Provision of support to and making collaboration with community led organizations can be fruitful in creating a sense of ownership in the efforts.
Climate change adaptation
Development programs, both in rural and urban areas, without taking climate change impact into consideration can prove less productive in the long run. Therefore, it is very important to integrate climate change adaptation measures to cope with issues i.e. scarce water resources, extreme weather conditions, floods etc.
Resilient agricultural sector
Agricultural sector is the back bone of Pakistan providing food to an increasing population. Frequently occurring drought conditions and flooding can damage agriculture. Therefore, a more resilient agriculture sector is essential. Government need to invest on agricultural infrastructure I.e. improvement of irrigation in light of the increasing scarcity of water in the country.
Forest fires, droughts, desertification etc. caused by climate change have put ecosystem and biodiversity in jeopardy. Therefore, it is very important to make efforts, with integration of climate change considerations, to promote ecosystem conservation and biodiversity protection
Women specific interventions
According to different studies more women are killed and affected during and in the aftermath of natural disasters due to lack of survival skills e.g. swimming, climbing etc. To reduce the impact on female especially in vulnerable areas e.g. Gilgit-Baltistan , Khacha area in Sindh etc. steps should be taken to enhance capacity of women concerning disaster risk reduction and recovery efforts.
An appropriate amount of GDP should be allocated to undertake research, planning and implementation of disaster related programs. Since global warming is a global issue primarily caused by most developed countries, therefore, Government should make efforts to get funding from the GOP and international donor agencies for adaptation projects and programs which has been quite limited.
Promotion of research
Lack of research on climate change issue is acting as a barrier in efforts to strengthen adaption planning and action in Pakistan. Continuous research should be promoted to identify and better understand how climate induced changes will affect available resources i.e. water resources and drought in the country. Similarly, studies should be encouraged and funded to assess the glacier meltdown and outburst of glacial lakes and their impact on communities for future planning and action.