A few ways to combat climate change in Pakistan

It is time to shun passivity and take an active part in climate advocacy.
Updated Nov 26, 2019 09:50am
Students at the climate march in Karachi. — Photo by Kamran Nafees
Students at the climate march in Karachi. — Photo by Kamran Nafees

Dealing with climate change news can be exhausting, especially when each subsequent news story seems to be worse than the last.

We may choose to block out the apocalyptic news but let’s not forget that scientists have given us a tight deadline of around 11 years to quite literally save the planet, and ourselves.

Pakistan has been continuously ranked among the most affected countries by climate change. Our people in different parts of the country are already getting adversely affected by climate impacts, which include flash floods due to glacial melt, increased heatwaves, water scarcity, rising sea levels, food shortages and displacement. The worst part is that these impacts are only going to get worse.

In such a scenario, we may want to help but may not know where to start. Here, I suggest some tips for the government as well as for individuals, based on my travels across Pakistan in search of climate stories.

What the government should do

These efforts are urgently required, but it is also important to recognise that the onus for change is not completely on the government. We, as aware citizens, need to demand action on these issues and work closely with governmental and non-governmental institutions to ensure that these measures get implemented. It is time to shun passivity and take an active part in climate advocacy.

What can you do?

We, each in our own capacity and community, have the power to take climate action. Here are some starting ideas:

The list of recommendations shared here is in no way complete; it only serves as a reminder that climate action can be initiated at different scales. Taking action can also help with eco-anxiety (a new type of psychological condition where you feel extremely worried about the worsening state of our planet and climate).

Feeling anxious about the environmental crisis may not be a bad thing in small doses, if it motivates you to avoid the catastrophic future. Remember that a series of small steps implemented by many leads to a large impact and change. At this point, we need everyone doing their part to deal with a problem as complex and imminent as climate change.


Are you working on climate change? Share stories with us at prism@dawn.com