Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Climate Change, Malik Amin Aslam, on Thursday announced that Pakistan would bring down the national carbon emissions by 50 percent by the year 2030 from the current levels.
The goal of cutting the country’s soaring carbon emissions has been set under the revised Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), a carbon emissions reduction plan approved by Prime Minister Imran Khan on October 13, 2021. The plan is to be submitted to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change ahead of the UN global climate conference, starting from November 1 in Glasgow, Malik Amin said.
Though this is an ambitious but achievable goal that would be attained through mobilization of local and available international funding resources with the assistance of various UN-supported funding channels, including the Green Climate Fund, he said while addressing a press conference at the Pak-China Center.
He told the media, “PM Imran Khan has fully supported and approved the ambitious goal of significantly mitigating planet-warming carbon emissions to address various climate change-caused disasters, including floods, heatwaves, cyclones, and glacier melting, being faced by the country.”
Pakistan has been placed 5th on Global Climate Risk Index, though Pakistan’s contribution to global GHG emission is less than 1 percent. This sole factor entails Pakistan implementing adaptation and mitigation measures in various sectors, including forestry, to address the risks associated with climate change.
Spelling out details of the roadmap for cutting on the country’s carbon emissions levels, the PM’s aide said that while a 15 percent reduction in carbon emissions would be made through the country’s resources, 35 percent heat-trapping emissions’ reduction would be subject to availability of international financial support from various available funding channels, such as the Global Climate Fund.
He said further that the country’s annual carbon emissions in the year 2018 stood at 489.87 MT CO2e, less than one percent of the global carbon emissions.
However, the Billion Tree Afforestation Programme of the KP government and the Ten Billion Tree Tsunami Program of the federal government alone would sequester around 500 MT CO2e carbon emissions by the year 2040, if implemented fully, he emphasized.
Air pollution, green bonds/nature performance bonds, blue carbon, carbon markets, health, hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HFCs), Net-Zero emissions through renewable energy transition are the areas identified for investment to cut the country’s carbon footprints as a part of global climate action for the planet’s sustainability and human survival, he added.
The PM’s aide detailed that 60 percent of all energy produced in the country would be generated from renewable energy resources by 2030, and 30 percent of all new vehicles sold in Pakistan in various categories would be electrically powered, a goal that would be achieved by the year 2030.
As far as coal is concerned, no new imported coal power plants would be let in the country anymore, and two new coal-fired power plants would be shelved in favor of hydroelectric power, Malik Amin added.
He highlighted that Pakistan’s financial needs for adapting to the impacts of climate shocks stood between USD 6 to USD 14 billion per annum, direly needed to protect lives and livelihoods, and ecosystems from devastating impacts of the climate crisis.
Detailing national green programs launched to cut the country’s carbon emissions, Malik Amin Aslam recalled that various green initiatives have been already in place, launched as a part of PM Imran Khan’s vision for clean green Pakistan.
These include the Ten Billion Tree Tsunami Programme, Miyawaki Urban Forest Project, Clean Green Pakistan Movement, Protected Areas Initiative, National Park Initiatives, and Ecosystem Restoration Initiative.
Malik Amin informed the media that the current green initiatives of the country showcase the incumbent government’s surging progress in climate change areas that range from policy and programs on Nature-based solutions to technology-based interventions.
Pakistan, recognizing the role of nature in climate adaptation and mitigation, has developed robust natural capital restoration efforts, including the Ten Billion Tree Tsunami Programme, Protected Areas Initiative (PAI), etc. These programs have also served as a way to enhance livelihood opportunities for the most vulnerable, including women and youth. In addition, Pakistan has introduced several policy actions focused on mitigating greenhouse gas emissions from high emission sectors like energy and industry, the PM’s aide added.
He said the further focus of the present government is climate actions during the decade ahead as decided by the current climate-induced vulnerabilities aiming to achieve reduced poverty and ensure a stable economy.