Climate Change and Sustainable Development

Climate Change, barren Land
barren land


Climate change is the most alarming and threatening issue in the present is the biggest challenge we are facing right now. Many publishers observed that due to the climate change several factors are changed in the surrounding environment e.g.:

  • Rain fall pattern
  • Temperature
  • Humidity
  • Seasonal changes

These changes in the environmental conditions cause different types of impacts on environment e.g.

  • Extreme Events
  • Droughts
  • Rise in Temperature
  • Sea level Rise
  • Food insecurity
  • Loss of biodiversity
  • Water insecurity
  • Ocean acidification
  • Coastal flooding
  • Health Risks

Sustainable development is the concept that ensures balanced relations between its three pillars, economy, society and environment. It is the type of progress that fulfills the needs and requirements of the present generation without overlooking the needs of the future generations

Link between Sustainable Development and Climate Change effects:

If we look into history, the policies and science has always influenced the concepts about development. The continues degradation of environmental quality, the boosted population and increased rate of consumption of natural resources, usages of energy, and other living standards has motivated a lot of centuries to formulate their own legal frameworks as follows:

  • Development Water and air quality standards
  • Hazardous Waste Management
  • Regulatory changes
  • Natural resource efficiency

To beat climate change at the global level there were different laws, plans, policies were formulated e.g

  • Agenda 21
  • Rio summit

The impact of climate changes is adverse and if they are responded with ill design it could even derail the current policies on sustainable development goals and may effects goals already have been achieved. They climate change effects a lot of sectors e.g. agriculture, forestry, energy, coastal areas, and may cause challenges for the governance. For example, climate change effects on environmental resources and systems can paralyses the sustainable development of the natural system. The impacts of climate change can be seen in sustainable development in all regions of the world but the countries/regions with low adaptiveness suffer the most. Different publication reveals that climate change will make the unsustainable and unjust growth of society and make it more vulnerable to environmental degradation.

The prominent effects of climate change relevant to sustainable development are as follows:

  • Ecosystem services losses
  • Challenges in land management
  • Challenges in water management
  • Human health effects
  • Prices increase in the food markets
  • Increased Risks of flooding
  • Food insecurity
  • Risks to infrastructure due to extreme events
  • Biodiversity losses

Globally the above mentioned risks vary depending on the scale of climate change and local social and economic variances. Some ecosystems are temperature sensitive, even if there is a little change in the global mean temperature, they got effected heavily. Many of the climate change responses and sustainable development systems often overlap and the sustainable development systems are better designed and planed so, they are preferred.


Climate Change Mitigation, Adaptation and Sustainable development

As the climate change is among the most prominent issues of mankind in 21st century the world has agreed to tackle it for the sustainable development. It is very important to understand the past experiences and current innovation efforts so that we can take effective and efficient action to tackle this issue. It can be addressed through mitigation strategies as well as by improving the ways by which societal and economic systems work to adopt to the climate change effects.

For this purpose, IPCC has developed 17 Sustainable development goals that are universal and have a common vision of progressing the world towards a safer and sustainable environment for the whole mankind.

UN Sustainable Development Goals
UN Sustainable Development Goals

The mitigation and adaptation measures of climate change can produce oppurtunieties for the sustainable development if they are planned and executed properly. The strategy for climate change mitigation and sustainable development are highly interactive. The climate change adaption and mitigation measures both have the likely strong chance of contribution to the sustainable development as well as the sustainable development measures and choices have possibility of contribution to climate change mitigation and adaptation.  These action/measures may trade off with each other during the implementations

Climate Change and Sustainable Development in Pakistan

Pakistan is Specially susceptible to climate change because it has a hot climate; it is located in a geographical area where the increase in temperature is expected to be higher than the world average Their rivers are fed mainly by Hindu Kush-Karakoram glaciers of the Himalayas, which retreat quickly due to global warming; its economy is largely agricultural and, therefore, very sensitive to climate; and because the country has an increasing risk of varying the rain, causing large floods and long droughts. All these factors are influenced by water safety, flood safety and the security of the country’s energy supply. To compound these problems, the coastal areas and the Indus Delta region are expected to face increased risk due to sea level rise, coastal erosion, seawater intrusion and flooding. Increase of the cyclone effect in the sea. The delta region is influenced not only by local climatic conditions, but also by meteorological actions due to the climatic conditions of the Indus and the seas in the south.

 Adaptation has already begun to address vulnerabilities related to climate change in humans health, coastal areas, infrastructure and food security. Resilience to most Asian areas on a scale change is very bad. Extending irrigation is difficult and costly in many countries. In Asia developing countries, climate change is only one of the problematic problems, such as hunger, water and pollution, and energy. Available resources adaptation to the climate is limited. Adaptation activities are closely related to development, which should be taken into account in the assessment of adaptation options. The challenge for Pakistan is to find opportunities for sustainable development with its strategies which make climate-sensitive areas flexible for climate change.



  • Natural resources efficiency
  • R&D for renewable resource development
  • Development of effective
  • Reducing the usage of fossil fuels
  • Reducing environmental degradation

Further read on what else a person can do to help save environment