In recent years, Pakistan has faced catastrophic floods, droughts, and cyclones that have killed and displaced thousands, destroyed livelihoods, and damaged infrastructure. Climate change raises prospect that these and other natural hazards will increase in frequency and severity in the coming decades, a stark reminder that Pakistan is one of those countries most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. In the last 50 years, the annual temperature has increased by roughly 0.5 degree Celsius. The number of heatwave days per year has increased nearly five-fold in the last 30 years. Annual precipitation has historically shown high variability but has slightly increased in the last 50 years. Sea level along the Karachi’s coast has risen approximately 10 centimeters in the last century.
‘Climate justice is not an option but a moral imperative that we must all embrace’
By the end of this century, the annual temperature in Pakistan is expected to rise by 3 degree Celsius to 5 degree Celsius for a central global emissions scenario, while higher global emissions may yield a rise of 4 degree Celsius to 6 degree Celsius. Average annual rainfall is not expected to have a significant long-term trend, but is expected to exhibit large inter-annual variability. On the other side, sea level is expected to rise by a further 60 centimeters by the end of the century and will most likely affect the low-lying coastal areas in south of Karachi towards Keti Bander and the Indus River delta.
Ecumenical Commission for Human Development (ECHD) has been working on the ground in Pakistan for over 10 years, transforming lives of children, young people, young girls and women and marginalized communities. In response to the climate crisis, the Ecumenical Commission has consistently been at the forefront of ensuring climate-adaptive approaches are mainstreamed into programming. The Ecumenical Commission also recognizes that women must be at the center of the fight against climate change as powerful agents of change in their communities. The Ecumenical Commission is also an active member of the Punjab Climate Action Network (PCAN) that contribute to collective efforts in combatting climate change in collaborating on community-based climate projects, advocating for sustainable policies, and raising awareness about climate change, creating a more sustainable and resilient future for the province.
‘Women must be at the center of fight against climate change as powerful agents of change in their communities’
In the face of a rapidly changing climate and the ever-increasing threats posed by environmental degradation, a clarion call for action resonates globally. Climate change is no longer a distant specter but a pressing reality. To address this monumental challenge and strive for climate justice, a set of guiding principles are needed. Here are the 10 Green Commandments, a roadmap to a sustainable future that prioritizes well-being of the planet and its inhabitants. These commandments provide us with a way forward to achieve climate justice, ensuring that no one is left behind in transition to a more sustainable world.
- 1 – REDUCE CARBON EMISSIONS
- The first and most crucial commandment is to reduce carbon emissions. Transitioning to renewable energy sources, improving energy efficiency, and embracing cleaner transportation options are key steps in mitigating climate change. By cutting greenhouse gas emissions, we reduce the pace and severity of global warming, allowing ecosystems to adapt and recover.
- 2 – PROMOTE SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE
- The second commandment emphasizes the need for a sustainable agriculture practice. By prioritizing regenerative farming, crop rotation, and organic farming, we can protect our soil, promote biodiversity, and reduce the carbon footprint of food production. The sustainable agriculture is vital for ensuring food security while preserving the planet.
- 3 – PRESERVE BIODIVERSITY
- Biodiversity is the cornerstone of a healthy planet. The third commandment calls for the protection of endangered species and ecosystems. By preserving biodiversity, we maintain a balance of nature and ensure the resilience of ecosystems in the face of climate change.
- 4 – CONSERVE WATER RESOURCES
- Water is essential for life, and the fourth commandment highlights the importance of water conservation. We must use this resource wisely, invest in water-saving technologies, and protect watersheds to ensure a sustainable supply for generations to come.
- 5 – PROMOTE SUSTAINABLE TRANSPORTATION
- Sustainable transportation is the key to reducing emissions and promoting climate justice. The fifth commandment encourages the development of public transportation, biking infrastructure, and adoption of electric vehicles. By making these options accessible and affordable, we reduce the environmental impact of transportation.
- 6 – REDUCE, REUSE, AND RECYCLE
- The sixth commandment is a familiar mantra but remains critical in the fight against climate change. Reducing waste, reusing items, and recycling materials contribute to a circular economy, minimizing use of virgin resources and lowering greenhouse gas emissions.
- 7 – SUPPORT GREEN TECHNOLOGIES
- Innovation is essential in the transition to a more sustainable world. The seventh commandment promotes investment in green technologies, such as solar panels, wind turbines, and energy storage solutions. These technologies help us move away from fossil fuels and create green jobs in the process.
- 8 – PROMOTE ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION
- Education is a powerful tool in fight for climate justice. The eighth commandment encourages comprehensive environmental education, ensuring that future generations are well-informed and equipped to address the challenges of climate change.
- 9 – ADVOCATE FOR CLIMATE JUSTICE
- The ninth commandment underscores importance of advocating for climate justice. It’s not enough to reduce emissions; we must address the disproportionate impact of climate change on marginalized communities. By advocating for equitable policies and actions, we ensure that no one is left behind.
- 10 – LIVE SUSTAINABLY
- The final commandment is a call to action for individuals. Living sustainably means making conscious choices in our daily lives, from reducing meat consumption and conserving energy to supporting local and eco-friendly products. Our collective actions can have a profound impact on the planet.
The ‘10 Green Commandments’ provide a comprehensive roadmap for addressing urgent challenges of climate change and achieving climate justice. We can pave the way to a more equitable and sustainable future by reducing emissions, protecting biodiversity, conserving resources, and promoting sustainability at every level of society. It is through these commandments that we can honor our commitment to the planet and ensure a just transition for all. Climate justice is not an option; it’s a moral imperative that we must all embrace.