In a seminar held on climate crisis and security aspects in Pakistan organized by the Karachi Urban Lab at the Institute of Business Administration’s main campus, experts have observed that Pakistan is among the most vulnerable countries to climate change.
Also, Karachi is among the cities most vulnerable to climate change. Ironically Pakistan has a negligible contribution to global greenhouse emissions. However, the impact of climate change especially in low-lying areas south of Karachi and in the Indus River delta is quite evident.
Dr. Nausheen H. Anwar KUL’s director talked about multiple populations that are already exposed to different types of risks due to climate change. Water deprivation and its inaccessibility in rural and coastal regions have led to migration towards towns and cities.
Dr. Nausheen said, “Because of this there is increased pressure on cities like Karachi and even small towns like Mansehra.”
Pakistan was ranked 8th most affected country due to climate change during the last 20 years as per the Climate Risk Index.
An academic and executive member of NGO Shehri-CBE Farhan Anwar said that the per capita emissions of greenhouse gasses in Pakistan were among the lowest in the world. Yet, Pakistan is ranked among the top 10 most affected countries by climate change.
He said, “The long-term Climate Risk Index places Pakistan at eighth among the top 10 countries most affected from 1998 to 2017. You still get the impact for which you need to be prepared and build resistance,”
Adding, “In a rapidly warming world, extreme storms that typically occur once per century could hit the world’s coastal cities at least once per year by 2050. By that time more than one billion people are projected to live in the low-lying areas that will be in the path of these storms. Karachi is 136th out of 140 cities in the context of vulnerability and liveability as 50 percent of the city’s population is living in informal and squatter settlements.”