Saturday July 13, 2024

‘Reducing population growth to help against climate change impacts’

December 23, 2022

Islamabad : Experts at a dialogue on Thursday said reducing population growth to a sustainable level can help strengthen resilience against climate change impacts as rapid population growth aggravated vulnerabilities of poor people, especially children and women.

“Pakistan contributes less than 1 percent to global CO2 emissions, yet it has suffered enormous human and economic losses due to climate-related disasters," said Chairperson Board of Governors, Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), Ambassador Shafqat Kakakhel in his keynote address at a dialogue arranged by the Population Council on Climate & Population at COP27 on the occasion of 23rd annual conference of the Population Association of Pakistan (PAP).

He said that population was not included in the agenda of COP27, yet the Pakistan floods provided a compelling background in terms of minimizing the devastation of climate change by reducing the population to sustainable levels.

He said that the world population has reached the mark of 8 billion on November 15 and 2022 was also the sixth hottest year of the planet earth.

The concentration of Carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere has now reached levels 50% higher than at the start of the industrial revolution.

The event was attended by government officials, researchers, planners, policymakers, donors, civil society and development partners.

The forum provided an opportunity to learn and contribute to the debate about the role of the population in climate change going forward.

In her welcome remarks, Dr. Zeba Sathar, Country Director of, the Population Council, said the Pakistan floods in 2022 manifested the intensity of devastation caused by climate change.

Overlooking population growth in COP27 is unwarranted as both are intrinsically intertwined.

We need to make sure that resources provided through climate justice should go to the most affected people for the restoration of their livelihood and to ensure food security .

Talking at the occasion, Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed said Population management has been included in the political discourse through a unanimous resolution on the alarming rate of population growth passed by the Senate of Pakistan on January 20, 2020.

This landmark resolution is a testimony of the seriousness of political support for population issues and was followed by the establishment of a Parliamentary Forum on Population to ensure cross-party political commitment and to advocate for population legislation in the parliament.

In his remarks, former senator and veteran politician Farhat Ullah Babar said National Finance Commission (NFC) Award is a reflection of our national approach toward rapid population growth which distributes 84% of resources according to the population size, incentivizing provinces to increase their population size.

A reasonable percentage of NFC awards should be fixed for the indicators of population welfare.

He stressed the need for women's empowerment and the inclusion of population welfare in the curriculum for achieving a balance between population and resources.

Participants discussed family planning as a cost-effective approach to climate change resilience and adaptation policies.