Pakistan 8th most vulnerable country to climate change

In terms of $3.8 billion in economic losses, Pakistan is ranked third over the last 20-year period. 

A German think tank that studies environmental affairs in its latest report has listed Pakistan as the eighth most vulnerable nation to climate change.

Pakistan experienced 173 extreme weather events and suffered an estimated loss of $3.8 billion due to climate change between 2000 and 2019.

The report was disclosed by Germanwatch in its latest briefing paper, the Global Climate Risk Index 2021, on Monday.

The report warns that “impacts from extreme-weather events hit the poorest countries hardest as these are prone to the damaging effects of a hazard, have a lower coping magnitude, and may need more time to reconstruct and recover.” 

The report revealed Pakistan as one of the “recurrently affected” countries by extreme weather patterns.

With less than 1% of global carbon emissions, Pakistan has been consistently on the climate risk index.

Karachi’s I. I. Chundrigar Road, also known as Pakistan’s Wall Street, is drowned in the water on August 28, 2020, after heavy monsoon rains triggered floods in the city. (AFP)

Now, the South Asian country is part of a unique category of countries — along with the Philippines and Haiti — which have been on the yearly and long-term climate risk index.

“This just reinforces the climate threat that Pakistan faces — not just as a one-off catastrophe but as a continuously amplifying threat,” said the Advisor to the Prime Minister on Climate Change, Malik Amin Aslam, on Tuesday.

In terms of $3.8 billion in economic losses, Pakistan is ranked third over the last 20-year period. 

“What this means is that Pakistan’s economy is constantly at risk of climate catastrophes,” Aslam said.

“This is not only an environmental problem but an issue impacting our economy, human health, agriculture, and ecosystem.”

Flooding in Karachi on the 26th of August, 2020. (Str/Xinhua/Alamy Live News)

According to Aslam, Pakistan’s adaptation needs range between $7 billion and $14 billion per annum.

He claims that this estimate has been proven “realistic” over the last decade with the increasingly adverse impacts of climate change.

Aslam also said the global climate finance infrastructure should make sufficient funds available to Pakistan to help it “shift toward a low carbon trajectory growth” and meet changing requirements. 

Under the 2015 Paris climate deal, affluent nations are expected to provide $100 billion annually to help poorer states mitigate temperature rises and adjust to changing climate.

Nevertheless, the recent study said the actual amount of funding available to developing countries for climate action was vastly lower.

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