Pakistan: National Economic, Environment and Development Study (NEEDS) for Climate Change Project
Flooding in Pakistan. Image: © tribune.com.pk
National Development Plans and Priorities in the context of Climate Change
Pakistan’s climate is arid/semi-arid with rivers predominantly fed by the Himalayan glaciers, which are reported to be receding rapidly as a result of global warming. Its economy is largely agrarian and hence, highly climate sensitive; the country faces the risk of increased variability in monsoon rains, floods and droughts. As a result, water resources, food and energy security, industry, development of infrastructure and socioeconomic growth will all be vulnerable to climate change. The Government of Pakistan’s Vision for 2030, published in 2007, highlighted these issues and advocated a developed, industrialized and prosperous Pakistan through sustainable development in a resource-constrained economy. The country’s Medium-term Development Framework (2005 – 2010) provides guidance on meeting the objectives of Vision 2030.
The Global Change Impact Studies Centre, established by the Government in 2003, is dedicated to climate change research in tandem with capacity-building activities, both independently and in partnership with other relevant organizations. Current research is focused on climate change projections, impact assessments in key socioeconomic sectors, and adaptation and mitigation measures.
Undertaking the NEEDS in Pakistan has highlighted the need to substantially enhance the capacity of various organizations in the country to deal with its extreme vulnerability to climate change. Considerable potential exists for mitigation efforts through measures such as improving efficiency, conserving energy, reducing losses in transmission and distribution, converting from high carbon to low-carbon fuels, shifting to renewable sources of energy, increasing use of nuclear power, and using advanced technologies for GHG reduction.
Furthermore, in order to effectively address climate change by implementing various adaptation and mitigation measures, Pakistan needs significant international support, in terms of both technology transfer and financial assistance. The need to deliver the NCCPPA has also become more pressing in recent months.