Ali Khoso is the Director General of Urban Policy and Strategic Planning wih the government of Karachi in Pakistan. He studied on the 5 day intensive Climate Change: Economics and Governance course.
Emerging economies need to act now on climate change
In Pakistan we are witnessing irrefutable evidence of climate change. From flash floods to searing and deadly heatwaves, from the melting of glaciers that are our primary source of water to the palpable disruption of the four seasons system. Climate change is a reality that in developing economies, we are only now beginning to accept.
I chose the Climate Change: Economics and Governance course at LSE because in my role as Director General of Urban Policy and Strategic Planning with the government of Karachi, I was looking for authoritative perspective on policy-making on climate change. Specifically I needed support in creating the kinds of strategies that could help drive awareness – which remains a huge issue in developing countries – and build momentum around meaningful and sustainable change.
The course delivered a huge amount of critical data and in-depth exploration of the major economic initiatives underway to manage and mitigate climate change – much of this focused on the UK and Europe which are effectively 20 years ahead of the developing world in tackling the issue. For me, a key takeaway was the need to think more progressively about the different issues at hand, and to consider all of the diverse elements that need to be taken into account. In class, we were challenged to look at future scenarios and think about how we will manage the depletion of existing resources and a transition to more sustainable energy sources.
From an economics and governance perspective, LSE faculty also delivered first-class insight not only into the challenges we face, but also the opportunities that are opening up, together with the kinds of emerging business models that can be leveraged to drive change in a way that benefits business as well as the needs of the population.
The course has given me inspiration and fuelled my sense of urgency as well as my intellectual curiosity. There are a huge number of questions that need to be answered as countries like Pakistan start to develop exponentially. Emerging countries stand to be the greatest victims of climate change if we do nothing. But we also face an unprecedented number of opportunities to lead the way in turning challenges into opportunities.