Assessing and Prioritizing the Climate Change Policy Objectives for Sustainable Development in Pakistan
The world is facing the observable and direct impacts of climate change in the shape of extreme weather events, irregular precipitation, glacial melt, sea-level rise, an asymmetric average temperature trends, higher oceanic temperatures, damage to natural ecosystems, and biodiversity. In 2015, collective wisdom stirred the global community to agree upon two unprecedented milestones in recent human history—the Paris agreement and sustainable development goals (SDGs). The twin global agreements
... global agreements set a platform for collective efforts to secure socio-economic and climatic sustainability. Pakistan also joined the board to put forth policy interventions for the mitigation and adaption of climate change risks to maintain symmetry between the environmental quality and economic development. The government of Pakistan (GOP) formulated the National Climate Change Policy (NCCP (2012)) and passed the Pakistan Climate Change Act (PCCA (2017)) to provide an impetus for the implementation of the NCCP. Yet, an appropriate assessment and prioritization of the objectives of the NCCP are indispensable for productive and effective policies to achieve the targets. This study serves this purpose by prioritizing the climate change policy objectives (CCPOs) based on symmetric principles, i.e., energy, transport, urban and town planning, industry, and agriculture as criteria, with 17 sub-criteria in total. The fuzzy analytical hierarchy process (AHP) results show that the energy sector is the most pivotal while implementing the NCCP. Energy production is the most critical area that needs mitigation policy intervention for shifting the energy mix of the economy from high-carbon to low-carbon energy. The fuzzy AHP analysis further revealed the railway, population and urbanization, air pollution, crop growing practices and techniques as the most important related to transport, urban planning, industry, and agriculture sub-criteria, respectively. The fuzzy VIseKriterijumska Optimizacija I Kompromisno Resenje (VIKOR) analysis showed the ranking of the CCPOs from high to low through the integration of policies, institutional capacity building, water security, natural resource management, natural disaster management, environmental financial structure development, and social sector development. The findings of the present research would be helpful for experts and policymakers to re-examine the NCCP and put forth action plans to achieve sustainable climate and SDGs.