50% are not aware of climate change
11% feel that the media is covering issues related to climate change fairly or very well
72% have no confidence in the national government taking action on issues of food, water, energy and extreme weather
Among the seven Climate Asia countries, Pakistanis are the only people to feel that life has worsened. Pakistan is also the country in South Asia where people feel most strongly that changes in climate – including increased extreme weather, unpredictable rainfall and higher temperatures – are having a high level of impact on their lives now.
Health worries are common across communities while other primary concerns differ according to location. Those living in large cities are most concerned with a lack of electricity and fuel, while people in rural areas say that food shortage is their greatest anxiety. Pakistanis have the lowest level of confidence in government across Climate Asia countries and perceive socio-economic difficulties, aggravated by climate change, as government failures.
This has driven Pakistanis to act: they are taking more action than people in many of the region’s countries. Those who are getting the information they need, working with their communities and being supported by NGOs respond the most to climate change. However, many are not able to cope and feel helpless without access to such resources – 65% of people don’t know what “climate change” means.
The role for communication in Pakistan is twofold: to help those who are taking action to respond more, and to inspire and empower people who are struggling to act. Communication can provide platforms for dialogue between the government and citizens who have requested such support. Both media and interpersonal communication are fundamental for this, given that television is the most accessed medium across Pakistan and people in rural areas place the most trust in members of their communities.
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