KARACHI: Pakistan wants to reduce 20 percent of its 2030 projected Green House Gas (GHG) emissions, amounting to 1603 million ton of carbon dioxide equivalent subject to the availability of international grants to meet the total abatement cost for the indicated 20 percent reduction amounting to about US$ 40 billion at current prices.
According to government sources, Pakistan submitted its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (Pak-INDC), under Article 2 of the Paris Agreement, to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC). Under the INDC, Pakistan’s adaptation needs range between U$ 7 to U$ 14 billion/annum during this period.
According to a preliminary projection, the GHG emissions levels for Pakistan are expected to increase many times in the coming decades. An important path to low-carbon development is carbon capture and storage (CCS), which focuses on securing and storing carbon dioxide emissions before these are released into the atmosphere. Although this technology is still in its early stages, countries are committed to implementing variations of it with both bilateral and multilateral cooperation underway.
This cooperation is particularly important because implementing CCS on a large scale can be expensive and offers few obvious economic benefits. One of the major multilateral efforts in this area is the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum (CSLF), which supports joint efforts to develop cost-effective carbon sequestration technology. Furthermore, renewable and nuclear energy can be of critical importance in diminishing reliance on fossil fuels and developing low-carbon communities.
Expectations for nuclear power as an alternative source of energy are especially high among big emitters such as India, China, and the US, as well as in a number of developing countries that lack the necessary infrastructure to meet their growing energy needs. Currently, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) assists countries in determining whether nuclear energy is a feasible option, the agency assists with energy planning and developing relevant infrastructure, such as drafting nuclear legislation and establishing independent and effective safety regulators. There has also been significant international action on renewable energy.
The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), founded in January 2009, is the first international forum for specifically promoting the use of renewable energy. The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) has launched several initiatives, including the Global Bio-energy Partnership (GBEP), to support the deployment of biomass and bio-fuels and the Solar and Wind Energy Resource Assessment (SWERA), which seeks to make renewable energy data widely available. Despite these promising international efforts, only about 25 percent of the world’s energy is produced through renewable and alternative sources (including hydroelectric, biomass, and nuclear).
However, investments in these areas continues to increase and more and more countries are setting policy targets for using renewable energy. Policy reform might include steps like energy market reform or reduction of tariff barriers to low-carbon technology transfer. International institutions have begun to promote domestic policy shifts through measures like technical assistance provided by organizations like the UNEP and UNDP, discussions on tariff reductions for environmentally friendly technologies through the WTO, and processes aimed at phasing out fossil fuel subsidies spurred through the G20.
Climate change is a geographic problem and reducing the risks caused by climate change is an immense challenge. Pakistan is consistently ranked by multiple climate change vulnerability indices as being one of the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change due to drought, floods, heat waves, and glacial lake outburst floods in the past few decades.
The government is cognizant of this issue and is taking strategic adaptation measures at the policy management and operational level to minimize the global warming effects. Further efforts to overcome the challenges of climate change are made through enacting legislation, setting standards and developing and implementing policies for a secure and lively environment. The existing and proposed measures being taken by the government would help to address the climate change issues effectively.