Dec 31, 2019, 1:33 PM
Journalist ID: 2053
News Code: 83615092
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Climate change claiming 128,000 lives in Pakistan each year

Islamabad, Dec 31, IRNA -- In Pakistan which is the fifth most vulnerable country to climate change, 128,000 people are dying each year due to environmental changes directly or indirectly giving a shock to the lawmakers.

Members of the Senate Functional Committee on Human Rights were told during a meeting that the average age or lifespan could be decreased by two to five years because of environmental pollution.

The senators were informed that 43pc of pollution in the country is caused by low grade oil being imported and used by the transport industry and energy sector, and Pakistan cannot use environmentally friendly fuel until 2021.

The committee, chaired by Senator Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar, took up climate change after the emergence of smog in Lahore.

Climate Change Additional Secretary Joudat Ayaz told the committee that 128,000 deaths occur annually that are directly or indirectly due to climate change.

In addition, he said, children are becoming weaker in fighting organ diseases.

He said that 43 percent of pollution in Pakistan “is due to low grade oil being imported and used by the transport industry followed by the energy sector.”

“In Pakistan, Euro-2 standard is applied while the world has gone to Euro-6 technology,” he added.

Almost 9pc of the GDP is affected by climate change, related to low yields and health expenditure, the senators were told.

He said there needs to be strong coordination between the federation and the provinces and standards should be uniform nationwide.

The country’s five oil refineries are still primitive and in their infancy, and our oil has high magnesium and sulphur contents that are harmful to health.

He added that going to Euro-4 and Euro-5 would be counterproductive if vehicles are not upgraded with regular inspections. Tail end emissions and fuel quality need to be considered simultaneously, he said.

Experts say the rising temperatures, deforestation, land degradation and water scarcity are the major reasons for climate change in the country which are also having an adverse impact on agriculture and food security in Pakistan.

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