Planting More Trees Still Best Solution to Climate Change

Jan 18th, 2015 | By | Category: Adaptation, Advocacy, Pakistan

planting-a-treeDr. Qamar-Uz-Zaman Chaudhry, former director general of the Pakistan Meteorological Department, calls climate change a threat greater than terrorism for its ability to have a widespread effect on a country, even influencing economic policies and other plans for the future.

Talking to members of the Parliamentary Task Force on Sustainable Development Goals, Chaudhry used Pakistan as an example to demonstrate the effects of climate change. Though ranking 135th as a carbon-emitting country, which accounts for just 0.8 percent of all carbon emissions in the world, Pakistan is still one of eight countries considered most vulnerable to climate change.

As a result, climate consequences have increased in Pakistan, including an increase in temperature, which has caused crops to ripen at a much earlier time and reduced yield for wheat and other crops.

Chaudhry recognizes that mitigating measures are being implemented all over the world, but these are not suitable for Pakistan because the measures aim to reduce carbon emissions. As the country is already a minor contributor to global carbon emission, cutting back on its carbon emissions will have very little benefit to the country.

Instead, Chaudhry believes that planting more trees will be the most suitable climate change solution for Pakistan, as well as the easiest for the country to pull off.

Aside from simply planting more trees, Pakistan must also take care of the ones it already has. Illegal logging activity, after all, will simply negate whatever effort the country puts into addressing climate change. As such, forestry officials are calling on local communities to cooperate and take ownership of the forests to protect nature around them.

Irfan Tariq, director of Climate Change Division, also thinks creating awareness among the masses is important. If locals mobilize themselves in an effort to address climate change, then Pakistan as a whole can achieve much.

Meanwhile in the United States, whether or not climate change is real is still under debate. If an amendment by Sen. Bernie Sanders, which will be included in the discussion on the Keystone XL pipeline bill, is passed, then it will have senators stating for congressional record what their opinions are on five climate change statements.

According to Climate Progress, an environmental group, 68 percent of Republican House and Senate leadership deny the existence of climate change.

The Keystone pipeline will carry oil from tar sands in western Canada to refineries in the Gulf Coast, but it will be passing through the scrutiny of environmental groups that oppose it.

President Barack Obama has also said he would veto the bill if it is passed.

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