KP’s Climate Change Policy, Pros and Cons

The Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Mahmood Khan has formally approved the KP Climate Change policy-2022 that aims at minimizing the effects of global warming through a comprehensive action plan that encompasses necessary steps to combat grave climate related challenges confronting the province. The Chief Minister noted that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is witnessing negative effects of climate change phenomenon which had become more evident in recent years like other parts of the country while global warming is one of the pressing priority of his government.

Unfortunately, Pakistan has been ranked as the 8th most vulnerable country to the devastating actions of climate change by the Global Climate Risk Index-2021. The country is highly prone to climate change factors including water stress, desertification, glacier melting, and extreme weather events coupled with the spread of infectious diseases, while Pakistan has a nominal contribution to the Global Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions. According to the experts, the recent unprecedented rainfall and unusual flooding in the country is a result of rapidly growing global warming which caused heavy torrents across the country.

Presently the KP government has announced its provincial Climate Change Policy which clearly identifies the 129 factors in different sectors that affect our climate and environment negatively. The action plan includes possible steps and measures to minimize these factors along with the adaptation of 172 environment-friendly practices. As said, the Climate Change policy has been divided into various categories keeping in view the priorities. Presently, the KP’s climate change strategy encompasses immediate measures, short-term action plans, medium-term measures and long-term steps/ action plans.

In fact, Global warming is an existential threat to human beings as well as other creatures in the universe and it requires a wholehearted approach of all organs of the government including the legislature, judiciary and administration along with relevant departments of the country to fulfil their responsibilities unrestrictedly. Whereas, civil society, NGOs and common citizens have an important in this collective fight against global warming. Although the KP government has approved an ambitious agenda to tackle the problem, while the country and province have no scarcity of policies and procedures, but face a setback due to a lack of implementation and seriousness by the administrators.

The Chief Minister KP has expressed hope that the policy will have a tremendous impact on the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa environment and if adopted entirely, the province can stand up to the negative effects of climate change in a short period. Realistically, the successive governments failed to assess the volume of the potential hazard and wasted time in the past, while recent torrential rain and countrywide flooding have sensitized the government and the public to act responsibly to protect themselves and their coming generations from the destructive consequences of the climate change. Hence, our future lies in the sincere and timely implementation of action plans otherwise no one can guarantee a secure and prosperous future for our nation.