Existential Climate Crisis
Pakistan and Human Rights Researcher
Global Human Rights Defence
51 degrees Celsius was hit yesterday in Pakistan. It can be said that the Asia region, mostly India and Pakistan, is suffering a true climate crisis (Carrington, 2022). Millions of people are suffering the result of these heatwaves, which are resulting in major crop losses, water scarcity and power outages (Carrington, 2022). Turbat, a city of about 200,000 residents, is not receiving any electricity, with the tragic result that basic utilities such as refrigerators cannot function. (Ellis-Petersen & Baloch, 2022). In Balochistan’s Mastung district, known for its apple and peach orchards, the harvests have been decimated, having huge economic negative results (Ellis-Petersen & Baloch, 2022). Farmers in the area are worried about this “drastic” impact on their wheat crops, while the area has also recently been subjected to 18-hour power cuts (Ellis-Petersen & Baloch, 2022). Locals have been driven into their homes, unable to work except during the cooler night hours.
The UK’s Met Office, which monitored the situation in north-west India and Pakistan in 2010, said that the current heat in the region is on track to surpass, and therefore set, the highest level registered in April and May 2010. The same Office also found out that such extreme heatwaves will happen almost every year by the end of the century, even if carbon emissions decline (Carrington, 2022).
Sherry Rehman, Pakistan’s minister for climate, told the Guardian that the country was facing an “existential crisis” as climate emergencies were being felt from the north to south of the country (Ellis-Petersen & Baloch, 2022).
Ellis-Petersen, H., & Baloch, S. M. (2022, May 3). ‘We are living in hell’: Pakistan and India suffer extreme spring heatwaves. The Guardian. Retrieved May 19, 2022, from https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/may/02/pakistan-india-heatwaves-water-electricity-shortages
Carrington, D. (2022, May 18). Climate crisis makes extreme Indian heatwaves 100 times more likely – study. The Guardian. Retrieved May 19, 2022, from https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/may/18/climate-crisis-makes-extreme-indian-heatwaves-100-times-more-likely-study