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Pakistan 5th most vulnerable country to climate change: Report

Pakistan has been ranked as the fifth-most vulnerable country to climate change, according to the Global Climate Risk Index.

The Global Climate Risk Index, published by Germanwatch, elaborated that Pakistan lost 9,989 lives, suffered economic losses worth $3.8 billion and witnessed 152 extreme weather events from 1999 to 2018, which indicates an increase in climate-related vulnerabilities.

The report also indicated that the government, in addition to the international community, are not taking sufficient measures to cope with the threats posed by climate change.

A screenshot of the list of the 10 most vulnerable countries to climate change in the long run. Source: Germanwatch (2020).

According to the report, Pakistan is among the countries that are “recurrently affected by catastrophes [and] continuously rank among the most affected countries both in the long-term index and in the index for the respective year”.

Other countries on the list include Puerto Rico (1), Myanmar (2), Haiti (3), Philippines (4), Vietnam (6), Bangladesh (7), Thailand (8), Nepal (9) and Dominica (10).

According to David Eckstein, one of the co-authors of this report, “the entire region where Pakistan is located is prone to extreme weather events, in particular, heavy rainfalls e.g. during monsoon season, and floodings as a result.”

Advisor to the Prime Minister on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam Khan, while commenting on Pakistan’s ranking in the 2020 report, said: “Our ranking over the long-term index went up from eight to fifth because the period used amplifies our most climate catastrophic events in 2010/2011 when the super floods hit.”

“In terms of economic costs at $3.8 billion, we are number three over a 20-year period. What this means is that our economy is constantly at risk from climate catastrophes and this is not just an environmental challenge but an issue impacting our economy, human health, agriculture and ecosystem,” he explained.

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