The World Bank has cautioned that Pakistan’s GDP is expected to decline by 18 to 20 percent by 2050 due to the increasing impact of severe weather events, environmental degradation, and widespread air pollution. The report, titled ‘Climate Silence in Pakistan,’ highlights the evident repercussions of climate change, such as erratic weather patterns and devastating floods. Concerns about climate change are widespread, with 8 out of 10 people in Pakistan expressing worry, particularly among women and the educated population.
Despite these concerns, a disparity in trust towards climate-related information exists, especially among individuals with limited education, who tend to be more skeptical of climate data from various sources. Although there is a growing demand for climate change education for children, household discussions on the issue remain minimal, indicating a significant gap between concern and action.
The report underscores the urgent need for strategies that induce behavioral changes by reframing the narrative around climate action, focusing on financial savings rather than just environmental impacts. It also emphasizes the importance of comprehensive analyses of individual perceptions and behaviors regarding climate change in Pakistan.
The report suggests a correlation between people’s perceptions of climate change and their experiences with income shocks, with those affected by events like the Covid-19 pandemic or flood-related income loss showing heightened concern. There is also a link between education levels and perceptions of climate change, with a more pronounced difference in preferences between groups when economic issues are emphasized first, indicating the perception of climate change as an economic predicament.
Despite expressions of concern, climate change is not a primary priority for many individuals. In conclusion, the report calls for nuanced interventions that address the multifaceted dimensions shaping attitudes and actions toward climate change in Pakistan. It emphasizes the need for a concerted effort to bridge the gap between concern and meaningful action to combat the existential threat.