Climate change versus water resources
Pakistan is among the highly vulnerable countries to the devastating impact of climate change due to global warming caused by emission of green hose gases. The major carbon monoxide emisser countries are the United States, China and India. Other developed countries of Europe and Asia have installed carbon scrubbles in industries and thermal power stations to substantially reduce the density of greenhouse gases in the air. Germany is decreasing dependence on fossil fuel for electricity generation.
The major carbon emisser developed countries and developing country Pakistan as well are not complying with the clauses of Paris Agreement of climate change. The agreements made by the previous government with China for setting up13 coal fired crude technology thermal power plants is a classic example. Two such environment polluting and health hazardous thermal power plants one each at Bin Qasim City and Sahiwal are operational which are causing chest related diseases to people in these areas.
Talking to an official news agency, Member Punjab Indus River System Authority (IRSA) RaoIrshad said that global warming has abnormally enhanced the rate of water vaporization which is causing extreme weather conditions like drought, change in rainfall pattern, water shortages for standing crops and excessive melting of glaciers in northern areas, and flooding. The country had faced 40 percent water shortages for Kharif crops during the past three decades.
Climate change impact is one of the reasons that first made Pakistan from water surplus to water –stressed country and then water-scarce nation. The neglect of water conservation by constructing big, medium ands small water storages has extremely reduced the electricity generation capacity to 20 percent in energy mix, giving a leverage to human blood sucking leeches like IPPs owners to black mail the government for demanding exorbitantly high electricity tariff by indexing it to dollar-rupee parity.
Climate change is a global phenomenon but certain developing countries have succeeded in significantly mitigating its impact on environment by seeking national and local solutions. Bhutan is a carbon-negative small country despite the fact that it lies between the two big carbon emisser, China and India. The government of Bhutan and its people are very conscious of not letting the ecological balance to deteriorate. The people of that country not only preserve and protect forests but do large scale tree plantations on certain occasions. On the birth of a prince in the royal family the Bhutanese did one million tree plantations in single day. The Prime Minister Imran Khan and the Chief of Army Staff, General QamarJavedBajwa had urged the people to plant at least one plant on the birth of baby in a family.
Although awareness about the importance of tree plantation is increasing among the youth but at the same time deforestation is being carried out by timber mafia in Khyber Puktunkhwa in collusion with the officials of forest department, while the chief executive of province has not yet gone beyond the hush up exercises of setting up inquiry committees. During the holidays of EidulFither, the young Pakistani tourists visited the tourist spots in Sawat, Dir and Chittral districts. They noticed the forest cutting activities and launched a social media campaign against it. In retaliation the unbridled timber mafia set on fire tree plantations which were done under the billion tree plantation Tsunami programme of the Prime Minister. According to media reports 210,000 plus plants had been reduced to ashes by deliberately igniting fire in mountainous areas. Again the Chief Minister constituted an inquiry Committee to give safe passage to the government officials and timber merchants who may have been involved in the incidents of setting forests on fire. Protection of forests, increasing the areas under forest from the current 5 percent to 25 percent and decreasing dependence on fossil fuel based thermal power plants will lower the impact of climate change. If there is a will there is a way.