A UN report says that Pakistan’s clean water resources will be depleted in the coming decades, and this situation will leave the country facing an existential crisis.
In a report published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) within the United Nations (UN), it was reported that the consequences of global warming had mainly reached irreversible dimensions.
The report emphasized that polar and mountain glaciers will continue to melt irreversibly for the next decades.
Pakistan has more glaciers than any other place in the world apart from polar ice caps. These glaciers feed the Indus Basin, divided between India and Pakistan, one of the world’s oldest and most fertile valleys.
Seventy-five per cent of Pakistan’s 220 million population lives on the banks of the Indus River. The country’s five largest urban centres are entirely dependent on this river for industrial and domestic water.
According to the IPCC report, there will be no water in the country until 2050.
The report stated that Pakistan would suffer disproportionately from the consequences of global warming like the Maldives and other countries. Still, despite this, Islamabad is not making an effort to secure its future.
Emphasizing that no other country is as dependent on non-polar glaciers as Pakistan for freshwater, the report noted that the country is currently facing environmental challenges.
An Al Jazeera report points out that high temperatures have cost many people’s lives in recent years, and it was noted that agricultural production was also affected by this.
Experts warn Pakistan for ten years
Local and international environmental experts have warned that things will only worsen in Pakistan and South Asia if urgent and firm action is not taken for a long time.
Emphasizing that Pakistan’s glaciers are melting, experts have been warning for more than a decade that the country’s water supply is only a matter of time.
When Prime Minister Imran Khan took office in 2018, he initiated a tree-planting project to counter the effects of ongoing deforestation and climate change on the country. However, it is stated that new tree plantings cannot replace hundreds of years old forests.
Noting that Pakistan is facing an existential crisis due to climate change, experts point out that the effects of climate change threaten the lives and livelihoods of the entire population, not just a single sector or region.