A prominent human rights organisation has issued an urgent plea for global action to protect Pakistan from extreme heatwaves, saying the South Asian country is at the “frontline of the climate crisis”.
In a report marking the World Environment Day on Monday, Amnesty International said that the people of Pakistan are particularly vulnerable to heatwaves because they lack the means to protect themselves against high temperatures.
The report, titled A Burning Emergency: Extreme Heat and the Right to Health in Pakistan, examined the impact of searing heatwaves on people living in some of the world’s hottest cities.
“Climate injustice is starkly visible in Pakistan, with its 230-million population facing severe consequences despite the country’s disproportionately small contribution to global climate change,” it said, reports Aljazeera.
According to the Global Climate Risk Index, published by the Berlin-based nonprofit Germanwatch, Pakistan is among the 10 countries most harmed by disasters related to climate change in the past two decades despite contributing less than 1 per cent of the world’s planet-warming gases.
In 2022, more than 1,800 people died and 33 million were affected by catastrophic floods, which submerged almost one-third of Pakistan. The deluge was blamed on record rainfall and melting of glaciers – both caused by climate change.