ISLAMABAD: A World Bank report has pointed out that eight in 10 people in Pakistan are concerned about impacts of climate change, with female and educated people being more concerned.

The report titled, Climate Silence in Pakistan, has observed that climate change has profoundly affected Pakistan, manifesting in altered weather patterns and devastating floods.

According to projections, Pakistan’s GDP is expected to decrease by 18-20 per cent by 2050 due to climate-related occurrences, environmental deterioration and air contamination.

The overall conclusion of the report says female and educated people are more concerned about climate change and its impacts in the country. People are more likely to view climate change as a pressing issue when it is presented alongside economic issues, it says noting

that those with the least education are more likely to distrust all sources of climate-related information.

The recent floods appear to have heightened public awareness about climate change-related issues, it says.

A majority of people in different groups express concern, though gender and education are significant factors in determining the level of concern for climate change. Women are generally more concerned about climate change, particularly its potential impact on children. This gender disparity in climate change concern may stem from women’s role as primary caregivers for children.

Education is also critical in shaping people’s attitudes towards the issue. The more educated an individual is, the more likely he/she is concerned about climate change’s causes and consequences, viewing it as a significant threat to the planet.

The most educated people are the most concerned about the impact of climate change, the report says. This correlation between education and climate change concern highlights the importance of education and knowledge about climate change as one of the factors to foster a more sustainable future for all.

People’s perception of climate change can be affected by their experiences of income shocks. Those people who have experienced income losses due to events such as Covid-19 pandemic or floods are more likely to be concerned about the impacts of climate change.

Although people express concern about climate change and its impacts when asked specifically about it, it does not necessarily rank high on their list of priorities to address. While almost 80pc or more reported being worried about the effects of climate change on children, less than a quarter included climate change among the top three problems.

Published in Dawn, December 8th, 2023

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