In the northern areas of Pakistan, the pace of glacier melting is unprecedented. Soaring temperatures coupled with emission trends, signify a loss of nearly two-thirds in ice fields by 2100. The domino effect of these melting glaciers will be cataclysmic: landslides, dam bursts, heavy flooding and soil erosion. This is the projected state of Pakistan’s climate landscape in 2050.
In 2019-20, Pakistan saw the most devastating locust infestations in nearly 30 years, caused by locust migrations from the Arabian Peninsula, where their excessive breeding occurred owing to unprecedented heavy rains and cyclones. With losses totalling nearly USD 2.5 billion and complete destruction of winter crops, Pakistan had to declare a national emergency to tackle its locust crisis.
While the economic and environmental costs are grave, there are social costs also. There has been a significant rise in climate migration in the country, totalling at nearly 30 million people in the last decade. Displacements, loss of homes and livestock, loss of lives and livelihoods, are anticipated to result in increased fragility in rule of law, health and food security sectors, thus causing an imbalance in the social fabric.