People don’t trust the government to help them respond to climate change, or the slew of natural disasters that has been plaguing the farmers in the last decade. A farmer, tired of waiting, has taken them to court, to fight against the failure of protecting against the unpredictable weather that has threatened crops in South Punjab, district of Rahimyar Khan District.

In August, Leghari 25, filed a petition with the Lahore High Court claiming the government was violating his fundamental rights by neglecting to tackle the impacts of climate change.

Quoting the objectives of the country’s 2012 National Climate Change Policy, he accused leaders of failing “to ensure water, food and energy security in the face of the challenges posed by climate change.” In response, Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah ordered the formation of a Climate Change Commission to push forward the policies the government promised.

The fate of many small-scale farmers, that struggle with weather shifts have ended in poverty. Water scarcity and temperature changes in Punjab are stressing crops and making it impossible for some farmers to continue to make a living. The government estimates that Pakistan has collectively suffered losses to the tune of $20 billion due to the adverse and increasing effects of climate change. The government also accepted – in so many words – that “Pakistan is among the countries which are most vulnerable to climate change, and has a very low technical and financial capacity to adapt to its adverse impacts”. Then why aren’t any practical steps being taken to limit the country’s own emissions that contribute to the problem?

Pakistan is totally unprepared to bring about rapid and conclusive policies on climate-informed development, let alone acknowledge the importance of inculcating a view that can cope with inevitable climate shocks. With the changing pattern of the climate, it is only a matter of time before the quality of life for human beings will decrease exponentially and our agricultural base, that support our whole economy, collapses.