Daily Times, Pakistan
By Atif Khan
ISLAMABAD: Socioeconomic impacts of global climate change affected the most citizens of underdeveloped countries in terms of floods and droughts while contributing very nominal pollution to the global environment over the years, says Human Development Index (HID) report 2007/ 2008.
The report, launched by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the citizens of developing countries, which are the main contributors of pollution, stayed least affected by the socioeconomic impacts of global climate change.
The report put the United States on top as for carbon dioxide emissions. During 2004, the US had 20 per cent of total world share of carbon dioxide emissions, the main cause of climate change and global warming, followed by China with 17.3 per cent, Russian federation 5.3 per cent, India 4.6 per cent and Japan 4.3 per cent.
According to the report, from 1990 to 2004, carbon dioxide emissions grew by 25 per cent in the US, 109 per cent in China, 97 per cent in India, 54 per cent in Canada, 93 per cent in Korea, 180 per cent in Thailand, 221 per cent in Malaysia and 173 per cent United Arab Emirates (UAE). It attributed this alarming growth in carbon dioxide emissions to the massive industrialisation, consumption of solid, liquid and gaseous fossil fuels, from gas flaring and cement production.
In the report, Desmond Tutu of Cape Town criticised the social injustice. He said that citizens of rich world were protected from harm while the poor, the vulnerable and the hungry were exposed to the harsh reality of climate change in their every day lives. He emphasised that rich countries support poor countries to fight climate change before the problems of poor arrive at the doorstep of wealthy.
Talking to Daily Times, Arif Alauddin, Assistant Resident Representative of Energy and Environmental Unit of UNDP, said that around a decade ago, developed countries were donating 0.72 per cent of their GDP to developing countries to address environmental issues. He, however, said that the money was very less in view of the severity of the issue.
He said that developed countries had agreed to double the donations, but that promised amount was yet not been released even after many years. He said that cross boundary effects of pollution or gases produced in one country affected the neighbouring countries by traveling to neighboring countries via air. He said that relieve was suggested for poor countries suffering from the pollution generated by rich neighbouring countries.
Environment Ministry officials claim that Pakistan’s contribution to world carbon dioxide emissions was very nominal compared with neighbouring countries. They regretted that the country’s environment was polluted by the gas emissions of neighbouring countries.
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