Pakistan

LONDON/LAHORE (Staff Reports) – Only 15% of Pakistanis perceive climate change as a major threat, while 40% are unaware or deny the global phenomenon, making the country least aware nation in the Asian Pacific region, says a study conducted by United Kingdom medical journal.

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A volunteer prepares a coffin of a deceased who died due to an intense heat wave, before handing over to relatives, at Edhi Foundation morgue in Karachi, Pakistan, June 22, 2015. An intense heat wave killed more than 120 people over the weekend in Pakistan's southern city of Karachi, officials said on Monday, as the electricity grid crashed during the first days of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro  - RTX1HK8V

A study carried out by the Lancet/UCL commission on health and climate change said that public opinion and behaviours are major factors that determine the will of a nation to counter the threat of climate change.

“Public support for stronger action on climate change is a necessary, albeit far from sufficient, factor, and is essential if behavioural change is to contribute to solving the problem,” said the report.

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The study shows perceptions of different countries with regards to the threat of climate change. Pakistan ranked the least aware country in the Asia Pacific region. Only 15% Pakistanis perceive climate change as a major threat, 25% say its a minor threat, 20% think it is no threat at all, while 40% have no don’t know or refuse climate change.

Other countries in the region have high percentage of people who perceive climate change as a major threat. China 40%, Malaysia 42%, Indonesia 58%, Australia 52%, Philippines 65%,  Japan 72% and South Korea 85%.

The study also said that people’s denial of this global phenomenon “are shaped by broader knowledge and belief systems, including religious convictions and political beliefs.”

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Over 600 people have died in a three-day heatwave that strike Sindh. In the past few years Pakistan has faced extreme change in the climate resulting in early monsoon, floods and sharp increase in temperature.