Experts call for accelerated climate action under CPEC amid heatwave

KARACHI: Amid a severe heatwave, the need for climate cooperation under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Phase-II has become urgent.

Muhammad Ilyas, a restaurant owner in Lahore, expressed distress over constant power cuts affecting his business. “We can’t keep our refrigerators running, and the heat is driving customers away,” he said, highlighting the dire business conditions due to frequent electricity outages.

Shahid Abbas, a senior official at the Pakistan Meteorological Department, noted that temperatures in Mohenjo Daro recently peaked at 52.2 degrees, nearing historical records.

The heatwave has exacerbated issues like glacier melt and flash floods in northern Pakistan. Shoaib Kiani, Assistant Professor at the University of Karachi, stressed the need for comprehensive climate action plans. “The environmental challenges we face require urgent attention and robust planning,” he said during an interview with Gwadar Pro.

Kiani emphasised the potential of the CPEC Green Corridor to shift investments towards renewable energy and highlighted the need for skilled professionals in environmental protection and climate change mitigation.

Rubina Khursheed Alam, the prime minister’s climate coordinator, pointed out that Pakistan is among the top five countries most vulnerable to climate change, with power shortages significantly impacting daily life.

It may be noted that the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China marked the start of CPEC’s second phase, focusing on sustainable development and environmental restoration.

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