Global Climate March | Editorial

On a sweltering Friday afternoon, thousands of citizens in different cities of the country braved the heat to march for a critical cause — climate change. The marches are part of a larger global movement on climate. And while all of those who participated in these marches may not know if they have been affected by climate change, they certainly do know that it is a real thing and with very real consequences. Curiously, the marches came about after 15-year-old Swede Greta Thunberg sat in front of parliament in Geneva, urging lawmakers to take stronger climate action. Her protest quickly snowballed and just over a year later, it turned into a global movement.
On Friday, millions of people across the world were out on the roads calling on their respective governments to take decisive action to mitigate the impact of global warming and ensure a greener future for coming generations. In Pakistan, most of those who came out have been impacted by freak climate events brought about as a consequence of climate change. From extreme temperatures which claimed hundreds of lives to flash floods which brought vast destruction, and to rising sea levels which are forcing those living in coastal areas to relocate.
Those on the march across Pakistan have demanded the power brokers of the country to declare a climate emergency, adopt a low-carbon economy, and create awareness at the grass roots. It is heartening to note that unlike some other heads of government around the world, Pakistan has a PM who is quite cognisant of the threat posed by climate change and has done much to counter it. The marches present an unprecedented opportunity for the government to engage with people who are affected by climate change and involve them in symbiotic efforts to turn around global warming.
At the Paris Climate Change Conference in 2015 participating nations had agreed to cut temperature by 2 degrees Celsius over the years. However, African countries said it is hard for them to agree to this because this might wipe them out. They said, “We want 1.5 degrees Celsius cut, 1.5 to survive.”
Published in The Express Tribune, September 21st, 2019.

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