On Sunday, two days into overtime after a fortnight of talks that at one point seemed almost on the verge of collapse, some 190 countries agreed on the building blocks of a new-style global deal, due in 2015, to combat the phenomenon.
China and India, which had expressed concern over earlier drafts of the deal because they placed too heavy a burden on emerging economies as compared to the rich, got what they had been demanding: the preservation of the Kyoto Protocol convention that rich countries must lead in the cuts in greenhouse emissions.
Matters were helped along by the joint US-China agreement last month to curb emissions. If the resolve holds, governments are to submit their national emission-management plans by the informal deadline of end-March next year, which could form the basis of a global agreement at the Paris summit.
In terms of climate change, it is an unfortunate reality that while the more industrialized countries have done/are doing the most damage, it is the planet as a whole that must pay.
Countries such as Pakistan, which might not have significant emission levels because of the low levels of industrialization, nevertheless stand badly affected, particularly when the availability and efficacy of coping or mitigating mechanisms is factored in.
In their own interests, though, such states need to step up to the plate. There are already indications that Pakistan’s climate and weather patterns are changing, such as the floods in recent years. But there seems to be no recognition among policy-making circles that an action plan is required for the future — even though Pakistan counts agriculture as its economic base.
The country is ignoring harsh realities at its own peril. The fact is that the future will bring, to whatever extent, challenges in water and consequently food availability, which will have an adverse knock-on effect on the population. It is time to start preparing.
Started in year 2010, ‘Climate Himalaya’ initiative has been working on Mountains and Climate linked issues in the Himalayan region of South Asia. In the last five years this knowledge sharing portal has become one of the important references for the governments, research institutions, civil society groups and international agencies, those have work and interest in the Himalayas. The Climate Himalaya team innovates on knowledge sharing, capacity building and climatic adaptation aspects in its focus countries like Bhutan, India, Nepal and Pakistan. Climate Himalaya’s thematic areas of work are mountain ecosystem, water, forest and livelihood. Read>>