System Change not Climate Change

Waqar Aslam

Glaciers won’t stop melting because of a beautiful speech at UNO.

The catastrophic nature of the repercussions of climate change effect in Pakistan become crystal clear from the fact that Land of the pure had lost around ten thousand lives during approximately 150 extreme weather events, and economic loss of $3.8 B from 1999 to 2018. Flood during 2010-2011 forced 10% of the population to migrate. Our beloved country ranked 5th in most vulnerable countries to climate change disaster by The Global Climate Risk Index. Besides recurrent appearance of disastrous events and being on top of the list both in short as well as long term, the situation is expected to deteriorate further because some tree campaign or a beautiful speech cannot change the fact that Pakistan has deliberately invested to import the dirtiest, outdated energy production technology, i.e. coal, that can further exacerbate our vulnerability to climate change havocs.

Dr Najam (the dean of Pardee School of Global Studies, Boston University) believes lack of coordinated action has led to this devastation. He added “The report clearly indicates that the world hasn’t acted, so the vulnerability of the whole world is increasing, and since Pakistan hasn’t acted, things are worsening for us too. Pak-INDC confirms that Pakistan is going to increase its emissions to fourfold, with a major portion from coal-based power plants. Shocking reality lies in the fact that coal is non- renewable and expensive than renewable energy resources like solar and wind energy.

Here one may question, why we are after this coal? What is the motive to imperil the lives of our own people? How we this can be reversed?

Answer lies in two ends. First part of the answer lies in effective administration and responsiveness. In a way that “the best are those that are governed best” the fact become evident when we see what made Japan to rise after WW2 and Taiwan to become economic hub in a short period of time.

Second part of the answer lies in the political and philosophical basis of the world. Climate change, along with widening rich poor gap, is the suffering of the humans which pay for the luxuries of the few. The gigantic trillion Dollar fuel and coal-based industry working for the welfare of a few ones that trigger states, politicians and social setup to response and work in a specific way. In fact, the whole profit based economic setup is the key factor that needs to be averted, which is failed to address the issues like widening rich poor gap along with climate change.

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