Navigating Climate Change


Rakhshanda Mehtab

Millions of people are perishing in the global conflagration caused by climate change. Eighty per cent of greenhouse gas emissions originate from the G-20 countries, with Pakistan and other developing nations bearing the brunt of this responsibility. Pakistan is severely impacted by the consequences of climate change.
Pakistan accounts for only 0.88 per cent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, but the country’s overall emissions reached 443.60 MtCO2e in 2020. The world is becoming continuously affected by climate change, and Pakistan is no exception as it ranks among the top 10 nations most impacted. Due to its substantial reliance on the monsoon and regular susceptibility to natural hazards, it is sensitive to climate change because of precipitation and the Indus Basin, which is supplied by glaciers. The nation is more susceptible to expected temperature increases, more erratic rainfall patterns, and an increased risk of floods and droughts due to its socioeconomic conditions.
According to Scientific Research, climate change contributed significantly to the catastrophic floods of 2022, which directly affected over 30 million people in Pakistan and caused property damage, fatalities, and infrastructure loss. The economy and security of Pakistan are seriously threatened by climate change.
The Pakistani government has created several adaptation and mitigation-focused initiatives. The majority of that role has been led by a cabinet-level ministry concerned with Climate Change in Pakistan since 2017.
Due to Pakistan’s high susceptibility to the negative effects of climate change, particularly extreme events, the country adopted its first National Climate Change Policy (NCCP) in 2012. The policy’s main focus was on climate-resilient development and adaptation. The Paris Agreement (2015), the Kyoto Protocol (1997), and the United Nations Foundation Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) provide the international legal foundation for multilateral efforts to combat climate change. All three agreements have been ratified by Pakistan.
The National Electricity Plan, which was unveiled by the Pakistani government in February 2021, set three primary objectives for the energy sector: sustainability, energy security, and cheap energy access. The program placed a strong emphasis on diversifying the nation’s fuel mix and maximizing the use of energy resources, even if it did not specify any numbers.
In October 2021, Pakistan submitted its revised NDC. Salient features of the NDC Included that Pakistan plans to set a very ambitious conditional objective of reducing its estimated emissions by 50 percent by 2030, of which 15 percent would come from domestic resources and the other 35 percent would depend on the availability of grant funding from outside the nation. It was also mentioned in NDC that Pakistan intends to achieve the goal by prohibiting the import of coal, switching to 30 percent electric vehicles and 60 percent renewable energy by 2030, and increasing the use of natural solutions. For increased contributions, the revised NDC has also included new industries and gases.
Pakistan pledged to take voluntary steps to support a worldwide effort to cut methane emissions by at least 30% from 2020 levels by 2030 when it joined the worldwide Methane Pledge during COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland, in November 2021.
The National Climate Change Policy was then revised in 2022, outlining a framework for energy conservation and a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions from several heavy-emitting industries, such as the energy and industrial sectors (cement, steel, textile, and petrochemicals).
During the November 2022 climate change negotiations at COP-27 in Sharm-el-Sheikh, Egypt, Pakistan, in its role as the Chair of the Group of 77& China in 2022, represented the poor nations.
The “Green Alliance” framework was established by the US and Pakistan in March 2023 to advance bilateral cooperation on clean energy, climate action, and sustainable development. This entails helping to put in 10 GW of solar energy and raising the proportion of renewable energy to 60 percent by 2030. Pakistan filed its National Adaptation Plan (NAP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in August 2023.
A national carbon registry, an internal Emissions Trading System (ETS) framework, and a Measurement, Reporting, and Verification (MRV) system are all being developed by the Ministry of Climate Change (MoCC) in Pakistan. The country’s commitment to carbon pricing and emissions trading is further strengthened by the creation of the Pakistan Climate Change Fund and the National Committee on Establishment of Carbon Markets, especially in the electricity and industrial sectors.
Pakistan attaches great importance to promoting international collaboration to successfully address climate change. The country continues to take part actively in international negotiations under the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement. A balanced emphasis on adaptation and mitigation as well as loss and damage has been highlighted by Pakistan as a means of bridging the gap between the global climate financing pledges and their execution. As one of the most climate-vulnerable countries, Pakistan would continue to contribute positively to global climate change discussions, actions, and dialogue.

The writer is a freelance columnist and can be reached at