The 2021 annual Sarfraz Pakistan Lecture at Wolfson College Oxford was delivered by Professor Adil Najam, Dean of the Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University and Former Vice-Chancellor of Lahore University of Management Studies (LUMS).
The lecture took place in the Leonard Wolfson Auditorium (LWA).
Please see lecture title and abstract below.
Age of Adaptation: Climate Change as Viewed from Pakistan
Because the world has been unwilling and unable to respond to the threat of global climate change in time with appropriate measures of mitigation, we are now condemned to live in the “Age of Adaptation.” Adaptation, after all, is essentially the failure of mitigation. This does not mean that the need to mitigate has gone away – the less we mitigate today, the more we will have to adapt to the impacts of climate change tomorrow. This does, however, mean that dealing with the impacts and consequences of climate change is no longer a ‘future’ challenge. It is a pressing and immediate challenge – most so in high vulnerability countries like Pakistan which are economically impoverished and climatically imperiled. Ignoring the impacts of climate change is no longer a luxury that any country can afford; least of all, Pakistan.
The talk will explore (a) how we came upon the Age of Adaptation; (b) what it means to live in the Age of Adaptation; (c) what specific challenges does the Age of Adaptation pose for Pakistan, particularly in relation to water, food, and security; and (d) finally argue that while there is much to be concerned about in the Age of Adaptation, there are also opportunities imbedded in it, particularly, because good adaptation can equal good development.