Pakistan's Agenda at COP26 Climate Conference in Glasgow

Pakistan's contribution to global carbon emissions is less than 1% but it is still ranked among countries most vulnerable to climate change. The energy-hungry nation needs help to finance climate-friendly  development of clean energy sources and climate-resilient infrastructure. Pakistan has provided its NDCs 2021 (national determined contribution 2021) to the United Nations ahead of the 26th conference of parties (COP26) starting today in Glasgow, Scotland. Some of Pakistan's NDC targets are voluntary while others are contingent upon the receipt of financial assistance from the rich nations most responsible for the climate crisis. Some of Pakistan's solution are nature-based such as its Billion Tree Afforestation Project (BTAP) while others require significant increase in low-carbon energy from wind, solar, hydro and nuclear.   

Pakistan NDCs (Nationally Determined Contributions) For Climate Goals. Source: UN

Malik Amin Aslam, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan's special assistant on climate change, said recently in an interview with CNN that his country is seeking to change its energy mix to favor green.  He said Pakistan's 60% renewable energy target would to be based on solar, wind and hydro power projects, and 40% would come from hydrocarbon and nuclear which is also low-carbon. “Nuclear power has to be part of the country’s energy mix for future as a zero energy emission source for clean and green future,” he concluded. Here are the key points Aslam made to Becky Anderson of CNN:

1. Pakistan wants to be a part of the solution even though it accounts for less than 1% of global carbon emissions. 

 2. Extreme weather events are costing Pakistan significant losses of lives and property. Pakistan is among the countries most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. 

3. Pakistan is moving towards renewable energy by converting 60% of its energy mix to renewable by 2030. Electric vehicle (EV) transition is also beginning in his country. 

4. Aslam said:  “We are one of the world leaders on nature based solutions. However, the World Bank (WB) in its Report yesterday came up with really good numbers in a comparison done of countries who are shifting their mainstream development towards environment friendly policies and Pakistan came atop among them,” the SAPM explained. 

Here's a video of Malik Amin Aslam's interview with CNN"s Becky Anderson:


Riaz Haq said…
Lyari's Girls Cafe

We're proud to announce the award winning short film #GREENit Environment on the Frontline by Lyari Girls was screened at #COP26 by
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Riaz Haq said…
COP 26: UK pledges over £55m to partner with Pakistan to fight climate change, manage water more sustainably and unlock climate investment
The UK has announced more than £55m of support to help Pakistan tackle climate change as part of the COP26 global climate change summit this week.

The UK has announced more than £55m of support to help Pakistan tackle climate change as part of the COP26 global climate change summit this week.

As global leaders come together for COP26, this is a critical time for Pakistan. It has been ranked the 8th most vulnerable country to climate change, and by 2100, rising temperatures mean 36% of glaciers along the Hindu Kush & Himalayan range will be gone.

The UK has already achieved notable successes. 90% of the world’s economy is now covered by net zero targets, up from less than 30% when the UK took on the Presidency of COP26. This will help the most vulnerable countries like Pakistan.

The new funding for climate change in Pakistan is split into three parts:

*A 5-year climate resilience programme - worth £38 million - will help Pakistan’s poorest communities to protect themselves from the changing climate;

*A 5-year water governance programme - worth £15 million – will make water use in Pakistan more sustainable and water access fairer;

*An additional £2.5 million to support new ways of attracting much needed climate investment to Pakistan, including on the development of a Nature Performance Bond. On World Environment Day in June alongside Prime Minister Imran Khan the UK committed to this. The British High Commissioner was due to announce the urgently needed new programmes at a high-level reception for climate change stakeholders at the British High Commission in Islamabad this evening (November 4th).

Dr Christian Turner CMG said: “For Pakistan, climate change could be catastrophic. That is why we are working together on trees and finance, and mobilising leading Pakistani businesses. This £55m new funding will ensure Pakistan becomes more resilient to climate impacts, with more sustainable water use and greater access to climate finance, so improving lives and livelihoods.

On COP26, the UK has been working with Pakistan on:

A #26For26 campaign to have 26 Pakistani companies commit to halving emissions by 2030 and getting to net zero by 2050. 29 companies have so far signed up;
Pakistan successfully joining more than 100 countries to pledge to end and reverse deforestation by 2030.
Even before COP26, the UK had been working closely with Pakistan on climate change, and will provide £7m this year to help the country achieve its climate change objectives. Earlier this year the UK launched a new programme in Lahore to promote cleaner brick production practices which will help improve air quality, reduce smog and fight climate change.

Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan unveils ESR climate initiative at COP26 summit
World Bank official lauds measures operational in the areas of climate change and employment in the country


Pakistan on Wednesday unveiled its innovative Ecosystem Restoration Initiative (ESRI), initiated with a $180 million support from the World Bank, at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow.

The details were revealed at the Pakistan pavilion at the event, organised to bring parties together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Pakistan's initiative was launched at the COP25 held in Madrid in 2019, and it is now operational with interventions like honey production and marketing, green jobs, mangrove restoration, expansion of protected areas, and transition to electric vehicles.

ESRI has been placed under National Disaster Risk Management Fund (NDRMF) to align the country with the global climate change agenda through supporting initiatives and projects, and financial and technical requirements.

According to Fawad Hayat, who is leading the initiative through NDRMF, Pakistan will now contribute its share in ecosystem restoration in the next three years by planting 188.88 million trees, providing 79,746 green jobs, managing 60 protected areas, and giving employment to 6,000 nehgaibans (watchers) from the local communities.

Hayat observed that the unique project emerged during the pandemic when people started losing their jobs.

"Inspired by President Johnson’s initiative during the Great Depression, we started the ‘Green Stimulus’ in Pakistan and the World Bank showed great flexibility in re-purposing funds for the nature's protection. The idea was to protect nature and give jobs and we will be fully rolling out the project in the next month,” Malik Amin remarked.

In his remarks during a visit to the pavilion, VP Sustainable Development, World Bank Juergen Voegele, said: “Kudos to the government of Pakistan, which is evolving as a leader by focusing on both climate and Covid."

"This is the way to do it, this is the future, this is green thinking with a comprehensive approach to restoring ecosystems,” he added.

Under the project, 15,000 beekeepers will be trained and the honey industry will be established producing abundant export quality honey. The aim is to create over 6,000 eco-tourism jobs for local communities and restore 55,000 acres of mangroves forest along with promoting a shift towards electric public transport in all major cities of Pakistan.

The pilot project for the Billion Tree Honey Project has already proven to be successful with beekeepers producing 40 per cent more honey and better marketing of the honey will now start.

Aside from expanding the mangrove area, an eco-tourism is hoped to kick off in Pakistan, involving local communities. Further, electric vehicles will be introduced at the hospitals and schools to reduce local emissions, being 60 per cent cheaper to operate.

Pakistan is today one of the few countries that are investing in natural capital and post-Covid initiatives, creating jobs and protecting nature.
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan signs US led Global Methane Pledge at COP26
Pakistan German Climate and Energy Initiative signed with German bank KFW

United Nations Climate Change Summit also called the ‘Conference of the Parties’ or COP26 continued on its second day with speeches from various heads of state in the city of Glasgow in Scotland.

Prime Minister Imran Khan, who was due to attend the 2-day World Leaders Summit, backed out at the last minute due to 'domestic issues' according to the Special Assistant to the PM on Climate Change, Malik Amin Aslam who is now heading the ten person strong Pakistani delegation to the COP.

He is being accompanied by the Minister of State for Climate Change Zartaj Gul. Both have been meeting delegations from other countries in bilateral meetings and attending side events since the Summit formally opened on Monday. In Glasgow, countries are under pressure to cuts their emission further beyond 1.5 degrees Celsius to avoid dangerous warming and to finally operationalize the Paris Agreement.

The global methane pledge was formally launched at COP26 yesterday. Malik Aslam met US President Joe Biden when Pakistan officially joined more than 80 nations who signed up for the US led global methane pledge agreeing to cut methane emissions by 30% by the end of this decade in an effort to tackle climate change.

Cutting methane, a potent but relatively short lived gas which comes from sources like fuel extraction and livestock farming, is seen as an effective short term contribution to climate action. “President Biden thanked PM Imran Khan for committing to the pledge,” said Aslam.

Pakistan, as one of the world's top 30 methane emitters, has now committed to tackling methane from livestock and flare gas capture. President Biden thanked all those who have signed the 'game changing commitment' and said at the ceremony that this would not only help climate change but also improve health, cut crop losses and reduce pollution. Methane is said to contribute 80 times more to global warming than carbon dioxide.

Aslam also chaired two events at the Pakistan Pavilion including a briefing on the current government's flagship 10 Billion Tree Tsunami Program and a launch of the Pakistan German Climate and Energy Initiative signed with German bank KFW under the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) Partnership.

Pakistan recently updated its NDC document in the run up to COP26 in which it announced that it will shift to clean energy by converting 30% of its transportation to electric vehicles and that 60% of all energy produced in the country will be generated by renewable energy sources by 2030.

Germany has committed 60 million euros to Pakistan to be used for renewable energy and this initiative has added a 'green dimension' to the 70 year old partnership between the two countries. “This is a win for us and a win for the world,” said Aslam.

The German development bank KFW had earlier pledged funding to an independent 3 party assessment of the 10 Billion Tree Tsunami project which will be led by World Wildlife Fund-Pakistan, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

“It is very important to have 100% credibility and 100% transparency. The success of the project depends on this,” said Aslam at the launch of the initiative. The Pakistani pavilion is hosting a number of side events in the coming two weeks of the UN Climate Conference.
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan Sets Out to Plant 10 Billion Trees to Counter Climate Change

Pakistan is one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change in the world. In order to defend against the destructive effects of a warming planet, the government plans to plant 10 billion trees by 2023. Shahzeb Jillani reports from District Mansehra in northern Pakistan.
Riaz Haq said…
#Modi’s ambitious #climate pledge incompatible with #India’s starving population. Global Hunger Index 2021 ranked India at 101 out of 116 countries, behind Sudan and Mali. #Hunger in India is classified as "serious".#COP26 - Global Times.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's surprising and ambitious climate target of net-zero carbon emissions by 2070, announced at the 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, UK, has attracted wide attention and sparked a heated discussion.

While some people believe the new target will mark a promising first step in setting India on a path to emissions reduction, which is commendable, others appear skeptical as to whether India can deliver on its promises.

Such a question is not without foundation. According to the recently released Global Hunger Index 2021, India was ranked 101 out of 116 countries and regions, behind such economies as Sudan and Mali, and was one among the nations in which hunger was classified as "serious." Although the Indian economy is estimated to be one of the fastest-growing in the world in 2022, many of its people still live in extreme poverty.

Even though some in the West expressed disappointment that India's climate target is 20 years behind that of most other countries, the willingness of India, with its large poor population, to make a step forward toward limiting global warming is still commendable.

However, it is an open question as to whether India's economy can support its ambitious emissions-reduction target. The 2015 Paris climate agreement's goal to limit global warming to 1.5 C above pre-industrial levels is supposed to address climate change and its negative impacts. Yet, if emissions-reduction efforts fail to consider improving livelihoods, domestic pressure of hunger will likely derail environmental protection efforts.

In the case of India, its credibility on delivering on its climate promise will largely depend on whether it is able to tackle poverty and hunger issues. The same is true for other developing countries.

When Western leaders tout their efforts toward limiting global warming by pressuring the developing world to sign up for bigger targets, they are, in effect, passing the buck of climate action. Developed countries have used fossil fuels for decades or longer to enjoy the benefits of high living standards, contributing to historic emissions much higher than developing countries that are reluctant to stop using their share of fossil fuels to give up the interests of their poor population.

When Western leaders talked a big game about their emissions-reduction targets and criticized those deemed as uncooperative at the COP26, no one mentioned how they would ensure the development of poverty-stricken countries. If the West does not have a clear and workable plan for poverty alleviation in developing countries, the entire climate targets would be flawed for disregarding the fact that developing countries may not have the basis to deliver on their promises.

For developing countries, the hope of accessing financial help from the West during the climate cooperation seems increasingly like a long shot, given the West's broken 2009 promise of offering $100 billion annually till 2020 to support the poor countries' climate transition.

Under these circumstances, if any one from the advanced economies still think that the developing world needs to commit more to the climate action, they should go to India to experience the real hunger before lecturing others.
Riaz Haq said…
Decorative bamboo screens enclose the Zero Carbon Cultural Centre, a giant pavilion in Makli built by local people together with architect Yasmeen Lari's Heritage Foundation of Pakistan organisation.

The Zero Carbon Cultural Centre serves as a community centre and social space for people living in poor and marginalised communities in the town, which is located in southern Pakistan.

It was designed by the Heritage Foundation of Pakistan specifically to host hands-on workshops for locals to strengthen their skills and help them live better-quality lives.

The Zero Carbon Cultural Centre is being showcased today as part of Lari's guest editorship for Dezeen 15 – an online festival celebrating Dezeen's fifteenth birthday.

As part of the event, Lari, who is the co-founder of the Heritage Foundation of Pakistan, will present her manifesto for "a humanistic, inclusive architecture that is driven by environmental considerations" in a live interview with Dezeen's editor-in-chief Marcus Fairs.

According to the architect, the centre is the biggest bamboo structure in Pakistan and one of the largest in the world.

It was completed in 2017 on a 1.6-hectare site, chosen for its proximity to the poor communities in the shadow of the Makli Necropolis – a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is home to clusters of ancient funerary monuments.

The pavilion takes the form of a large hangar, topped by a large thatched roof and surrounded by decorative bamboo screens. It measures 27 metres in length and is 18 metres wide, and at its highest point it reaches 11 metres.

Its design was developed by ​​the Heritage Foundation of Pakistan to embody Lari's philosophy of "barefoot social architecture" (BASA).

The goal of BASA is to uplift impoverished communities without impacting the planet. This involves creating structures with local materials that are low-carbon and low-cost, as opposed to expensive materials such as concrete and steel.

In this case, the pavilion makes use of bamboo, a type of fast-growing grass, which was sourced from within southern Pakistan.

Bamboo was chosen as it is both renewable and highly durable. It also allowed the organisation to work with local artisans who are adept at using the material, and local people who wanted to learn how to build with it.

The pavilion is composed of large prefabricated bamboo panels, measuring eight metres in height and 1.5 metres in width.

Prefabrication ensured a quick construction process and optimum quality control, as each panel was made under supervision in a workshop. It was complete in just 10 weeks.

"The resulting structure carried the sweat and pride of the local surrounding community and has become a source of great pride due to its size and unique characteristics," Lari told Dezeen.

The final open structure of the pavilion, combined with its thatched roof, ensures that the space remains cool and usable throughout hot summers without air conditioning.

Its open layout also caters for a variety of uses. In line with the objectives of BASA, it is used to teach local people how to make a variety of products with local materials, including terracotta tiles, smokeless stoves from mud and lime and compostable toilets.

Alongside workshops, it is also used for performances, lectures and conferences.

Riaz Haq said…
#India’s toxic air, not #carbon, is its most urgent problem. Dr. Kumar regularly sees children with blackened lungs. He says: “The urgent issue we need to face is not CO2..It is about our own health and the health of the next generation.” #COP26 #Modi

Addressing world leaders at the cop26 jamboree in Glasgow this week, Narendra Modi, India’s prime minister, listed five commitments to tackle climate change, including a promise to achieve carbon neutrality by 2070 and several shorter-term goals. Mr Modi also took the opportunity to point out that while poor countries bear a mere fraction of the blame for creating the world’s climate mess, some, such as India, have done better at keeping environmental commitments than many rich countries.

He is right. With 18% of the world’s people, India is reckoned to have caused just 3% of accumulated CO2 emissions. Yet even as Indian leaders repeatedly—and sometimes justifiably—take the moral high ground on climate change’s long-term challenges, their people continue to suffer and die from its immediate, home-grown causes.

Dr Arvind Kumar should know. When he started working as a chest surgeon in Delhi 30 years ago, nine-tenths of lung cancer patients were smokers and nearly all were men over 50. Now half of them do not smoke, 40% are women and their mean age is a decade younger. He regularly sees children with blackened lungs. “The urgent issue we need to face is not CO2,” says Dr Kumar. “It is about our own health and the health of the next generation.”

The trouble is not just in Delhi. In winter the Himalayas trap the combined exhaust of the 600m people who populate the sprawling Indo-Gangetic Plain. From diesel pumps for irrigation to cremation pyres and from coal-fired power plants to gas-guzzling suvs, the smoke combines in a toxic stew that can hang for weeks in the season’s typically windless conditions. Big provincial cities such as Lucknow and Patna are just as sooty as Delhi. So are many rural areas.

Across this whole region, reckon researchers from the University of Chicago in a recent study, air pollution is likely to reduce life expectancy by an average of more than nine years. Research published late last year in the Lancet, a medical journal, estimates that in 2019 alone some 1.67m Indians died from the effects of pollution, accounting for one in six of the country’s deaths. The authors put the cost to India of lost productivity at some $36.8bn, in addition to $11.9bn spent on treating illnesses caused by pollution, equal to a total of 1.8% of gdp. They emphasise that these are conservative estimates.


The weight of public opinion is one thing. The rustle of cash may prove more persuasive. Gautam Adani and Mukesh Ambani, India’s richest tycoons, both built colossal fortunes from hydrocarbons. Far nimbler than India’s government, they are pivoting to green energy. Mr Adani, king of Indian coal until last year, has gone on such a binge that his green-energy arm is now India’s biggest renewable-power supplier. International investors are getting into the act, too. So far in 2021 $9.67bn has been poured into Indian green bonds. That is nearly as much as in the previous five years combined
Riaz Haq said…
With Climate Pledges, Some Wall Street Titans Warn of Rising Prices
Leaders of some of the world’s biggest financial firms say that the rush to transition to clean energy could have unintended consequences for the global economy.

GLASGOW — Big business finally seems to be taking the climate crisis seriously. After years spent lurking on the sidelines, the chief executives of the world’s largest banks, companies and investment firms this week took a spot at the center of the debate at COP26.

Banks, asset managers and insurers in recent days pledged to use trillions of dollars to achieve net-zero emissions targets as pension funds and other big investors move to divest trillions more from the fossil fuel industry.

Yet some leaders of the world’s biggest financial firms — including some who were part of pledges made at the climate summit in Glasgow — are warning that the rush to rapidly transition away from a carbon-intensive energy system could unleash unintended consequences that would jeopardize the world’s economic recovery in the near term.

While some of their concerns are so far largely speculative, they suggest that less investment in fossil fuel production could send energy prices soaring, and that divestment could make it harder to monitor dirty energy production.

Speaking at a conference in Saudi Arabia last week, Stephen A. Schwarzman, chief executive of the private equity firm Blackstone, said the growing number of institutional investors pledging to divest their holdings from fossil fuel companies was making it harder for oil and gas producers to finance production.

“If you try and raise money to drill holes, it’s almost impossible to get that money,” Mr. Schwarzman said, adding that an energy shortage could lead to “real unrest” around the world. It is a sentiment that has been echoed by other executives in recent weeks, as U.S. oil prices hit $85 a barrel, a seven-year high.

Jamie Dimon, the chief executive of JPMorgan Chase, said in an interview that the world should be transitioning to a decarbonized economy “right now.” But he cautioned that while less money was being invested in fossil fuels, therefore tightening the supply, it was important for banks to keep funding conventional energy production.
Riaz Haq said…
Earthen stove by Yasmeen Lari lets women in rural Pakistan cook in an eco-friendly way

Pakistani architect Yasmeen Lari has developed a mud and lime-plaster stove that counters the unfavourable environmental and health consequences of cooking with open fires.

Lari first developed the stove back in 2014 through Heritage Foundation of Pakistan, which she co-founded with her husband. At the time, the foundation had been working with non-literate women residing in suburban and rural regions of Pakistan to raise awareness of the implications of open-flame cooking.

As well as polluting the air with carbon, regularly preparing meals over open fires increases the risk of domestic fires, skin burns and serious respiratory or heart diseases. The need for firewood also promotes deforestation and can have family members searching for logs for hours at a time.

Lari's eco-alternative, named Pakistan Chulah Cookstove, is instead fuelled by agricultural waste like cow dung, or sawdust bricks, which the architect says cuts the use of firewood by 50 to 70 per cent.

The Pakistan Chulah Cookstove is being showcased as part of Lari's contribution to the Dezeen 15 festival, alongside a manifesto she has written that calls for a new form of social architecture that benefits disadvantaged people. Lari will speak about her manifesto and her work in a live interview with Dezeen editor-in-chief Marcus Fairs.

Made from locally-sourced mud and CO2-absorbing lime plaster, the stove comprises a fire chamber, an air regulation pipe, a hand-washing area, a ledge where cooking utensils or dinnerware can be kept, and a chimney which keeps any smoke incurred from the fire to a minimum.

The whole structure sits atop a chunky raised platform, providing a clean area for families to enjoy their meals. This platform also means that, in the event of a flood, the stoves are less likely to be washed away.

The task of rolling out the stoves to rural communities was given to "barefoot entrepreneurs". They are a result of Lari's Barefoot Social Architecture programme which, in part, seeks to give impoverished Pakistanis profitable livelihoods by providing them with paid work on eco-friendly projects.

Heritage Foundation of Pakistan would pay the entrepreneurs the equivalent of two dollars for each woman they trained in building a stove, and cover the six-dollar cost of materials, culminating in just an eight-dollar spend per stove.

In 2018 the stove won the UN World Habitat prize and by the end of 2019, over 60,000 stoves had been built. The foundation and Lari soon realised that the stove made a wealth of other positive impacts.

"The stove improves cooking efficiency by around 25 per cent," the architect explained. "It also becomes a focal point in the village where women from neighboring houses could meet and interact, strengthening social ties."

Many of the women also used leftover plaster or brightly coloured paints to create intricate patterns on the front of their stoves, turning each one into a "spectacular work of art".

Families additionally use the stoves as a way to keep warm during the winter months – Lari is hoping to make a new model that's capable of directing heat into the rooms of rural homes.

Riaz Haq said…
‘Pakistan doesn’t believe in net-zero’: An interview with Imran Khan’s top climate official
Malik Amin Aslam lays out the country’s climate action path.
Aron White

Q: Given the message it could send to the investment community, and the potential for raising investment for green growth, why has Pakistan decided not to declare a net-zero year for this Conference of the Parties?

A: In Pakistan, we do not believe in the net-zero concept at the moment. We believe in the concept of a decisive decade in the next 10 years. If the world does not change in the next 10 years, then we will be too late for any net zeros in 2050, 2060 or 2070. I believe that net zero if it translates into concrete action in the next decade is good, but most of these announcements are just announcements.

Pakistan has done something different, a very clear directional shift [is] happening in the next 10 years – going 60% zero-carbon [in energy production] by 2030, clean transport, going 30% electric by 2030 and trusting and investing in nature. We have the Ten Billion Tree Tsunami, which is already ongoing, 15 new national parks being declared in the last year alone amd Recharge Pakistan, using floodwaters for restoring our wetlands and managing and adapting to climate change. We want to reinvigorate the momentum for these initiatives in the coming decade. The last decade has been a decade of disappointment on climate change, and the next decade has to be the decade of action. If that does not happen, net zero does not matter.

Q: Pakistan’s updated Nationally Determined Contribution is ambitious, with a total target of a 50% emissions reduction by 2030 (part of that being conditional on international financing), compared to projected emissions between 2015 and 2030. What time frame are you looking at to peak emissions?

A: We have done our arithmetic on the emissions and believe that with the sequestration projects that we are doing, Pakistan could well be on its way to levelling all its emissions. Our Nationally Determined Contribution shows that we have gone 9% below our business-as-usual trajectory in 2020, and we can go 50% below by 2030. It is a very clear directional target, but we have made it conditional on getting $100 billion of finance which can allow us to make a clean and just energy transition.

We are not talking about climate change in a silo, we are shifting the direction of our mainstream development towards being climate friendly. That is what really needs to happen all across the world. Pakistan is still responsible for less than 1% of global emissions – even if we closed down everything in Pakistan, it would not matter for the world. What does matter is that a country like Pakistan is paving the way towards climate-friendly development, based on nature and based on clean energy.
Riaz Haq said…
‘Pakistan doesn’t believe in net-zero’: An interview with Imran Khan’s top climate official
Malik Amin Aslam lays out the country’s climate action path.
Aron White

Q: A note in the updated Nationally Determined Contribution suggests Pakistan will still increase the role of domestic coal in the energy mix to 15% by 2030. What is the plan in terms of phasing out local coal?

A: The local coal aspect is still there, but we have committed to no new imported coal projects. We have followed this up with clear action by shelving two projects of 2,400 megawatts, which were already signed off. We have shifted to 3,700 megawatts of hydropower. On local coal, we are looking for coal gasification and coal liquefaction technologies that are much less polluting and more efficient, but this requires access to the best available technology and climate finance.

We have noted that coal gasification can be more polluting than traditional coal.
We are looking for the best available technology which would be less polluting. We have worked on some options which have been used in South Africa, but we are still searching for the best available technology. That is what these forums should be able to provide.

Many of the actions outlined in the Nationally Determined Contribution are long-term projects, such as the Ten Billion Tree Tsunami Programme. For that mitigation impact to be delivered, it depends on political continuity. As we have seen from the US example, a change of administration can have immense impacts on climate pledges. What happens to Pakistan’s commitments if there is a change of government?
We are trying to link up our financing streams with clear performance indicators on nature. We have floated our first green bond which is $500 million for renewable energy.

We have done the national capital evaluation for our blue bonds, with mangroves, and we are also looking at nature performance bonds that link up debt relaxation or reduction with nature performance. If that happens, no matter who comes into power, those agreements will be locked in with nature performance and climate action. I think that’s the solution to this problem of keeping on track.

How are you measuring the current and future carbon sequestration impact of the Ten Billion Tree Tsunami Programme?

If we can do the Ten Billion Tree Tsunami Programme by 2040 and keep them [the trees] standing, we would be sequestering the same amount of carbon as we are emitting today, about 500 million tonnes. That is based on Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimations which have been done by the Climate Change Impact Strategy Centre, and a study that we have sent in to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. We have already [reached] 1.5 billion [trees]. We hope to reach 3.2 billion by 2023, and then in the next five years, by 2028, we want to reach 10 billion trees.
Riaz Haq said…
Can #Glasgow Deliver on a Global #Climate? #Pakistan SAPM Amin Aslam scoffed at distant net zero goals announced, including #India’s: “With an average age of 60, I don’t think anyone in the negotiating room would live to experience that net zero in 2070”

Negotiators from about 200 countries are entering Week 2 of climate talks trying to resolve big issues around money, transparency and timelines.

The international climate summit here has been billed by its chief organizer as the “last, best hope” to save the planet. But as the United Nations conference enters its second week and negotiators from 197 countries knuckle down to finalize a new agreement to tackle global warming, attendees were sharply divided over how much progress is being made.

There’s the optimistic view: Heads of state and titans of industry showed up in force last week with splashy new climate promises, a sign that momentum was building in the right direction.

“I believe what is happening here is far from business as usual,” said John Kerry, President Biden’s special envoy on climate change, who has been attending U.N. climate summits since 1992. “I have never counted as many initiatives and as much real money — real money — being put on the table.”

For example, 105 countries agreed to cut emissions of methane, a potent planet-warming gas, by 30 percent this decade. Another 130 countries vowed to halt deforestation by 2030 and commit billions of dollars toward the effort. India for the first time joined the growing chorus of nations pledging to reach “net zero” emissions, setting a 2070 deadline to stop adding greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.

Then there’s the pessimistic view: All these gauzy promises mean little without concrete plans to follow through. And that’s still lacking. Or, as the Swedish activist Greta Thunberg put it, the conference has mostly consisted of “blah, blah, blah.”

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Malik Amin Aslam, an adviser to the prime minister of Pakistan, scoffed at some of the distant net zero goals being announced, including India’s: “With an average age of 60, I don’t think anyone in the negotiating room would live to experience that net zero in 2070,” he said.

On Monday, former President Barack Obama arrived at the summit to rally leaders. “Yes, the process will be messy,” he said. “I guarantee you every victory will be incomplete. Sometimes, we will be forced to settle for imperfect compromises. But at least they advance the ball down the field. If we work hard enough, for long enough, those partial victories add up.”

Critics noted that some of last week’s announcements turned out to be full of caveats. After signing the forest pledge, officials in Indonesia, home to the world’s third-largest rainforest, clarified that ending deforestation in their country by 2030 at the expense of economic development was “obviously inappropriate and unfair.” Another vow by more than 40 countries to phase out coal power featured vague timelines and left out major coal users like China, India and the United States.

“The actual negotiations here are in danger of being drowned out by a blitz of news releases that get great headlines, but are often less than meets the eye,” said Mohamed Adow, director of Power Shift Africa, a research institute based in Kenya. “There’s a lot of good talk and less real action.”

Mr. Adow said the summit should be judged on whether all 197 parties can craft a detailed, formal agreement that holds governments accountable for the promises they make. That would mean reaching consensus on wonky but crucial questions like how often nations should strengthen their near-term plans to cut emissions, the amount and type of financial aid that rich countries should give poorer ones to cope with the mounting dangers of climate change, and how to regulate the booming global market in carbon offsets.
Riaz Haq said…
#Toxic foam coats sacred river in #India as #Hindu devotees bathe in its waters. The white froth, a mixture of sewage and industrial waste, formed over the last week in sections of the Yamuna River --a tributary of the holy Ganges River. #pollution #COP26

A layer of toxic foam coated parts of a sacred river near India's capital on Wednesday as Hindus gathered on its banks to celebrate a religious festival and some devotees bathed in the waters.

The white froth, a mixture of sewage and industrial waste, formed over the last week in sections of the Yamuna River -- a tributary of the holy Ganges River -- which flows about 855 miles (1,376 kilometers) south from the Himalayas through several states.
The pungent foam contains high levels of ammonia and phosphates, which can result in respiratory and skin problems, according to experts. Its arrival coincided with Chhath Puja, a festival dedicated to the sun god Lord Surya. Earlier this week, some Hindus were seen wading through the toxic foam to bathe and pray in the river.
Devotee Gunjan Devi said Tuesday she had no choice but to bathe in the polluted waters.
"The water is extremely dirty but we don't have many options," she said, Reuters reported. "It is a ritual to take a bath in a water body so we have come here to bathe."
According to the Press Trust of India, 15 boats have been deployed by the government to remove the foam, but experts fear it has already caused significant damage.
"The river in Delhi's stretch is an ecologically dead river," said Bhim Singh Rawat, from the South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People (SANDRP). "It doesn't have fish or fresh water birds. That has been the case for years now."

For decades, sections of the Yamuna have been plagued by the dumping of toxic chemicals and untreated sewage. In several sections, the river appears dark and sludgy, while plastic waste lines its banks.

The river is most polluted in areas surrounding Delhi, owing to the city's dense population and high levels of waste. Only 2% of the river's length flows through the capital, but Delhi contributes about 76% of the river's total pollution load, according to a government monitoring committee.
Rawat, from SANDRP, said the polluted river is impacting people living in several cities downstream, including Faridabad, Noida and Agra. "Thousands of villagers take irrigation water from the river, they take buckets to the river for bathing and drinking," he said.
In 2017, similar looking foam appeared on Varthur Lake in the southern city of Bangalore. Strong gusts of wind carried the frothy chemical cocktail onto roads.
The same year, a lake in Bangalore erupted into flames, which experts believe was due to traces of petroleum in the water.
Riaz Haq said…
Ever thought burps and farts of cattle are posing a danger to our planet Earth? These digestive processes expel methane, a colourless and odourless gas which is approximately 84 times more potent than carbon dioxide when it comes to warming the planet. There are approximately 1.6 billion cattle on Earth. And one of the biggest sources of Methane gas is cattle such as cows that produce it during digestion, according to a source. But no worries as an innovative solution to tackle this problem has come along. Zelp, a UK based firm has created a face mask which filters burps of the cows. As per the source, the mask is able to reduce the methane emission up to 60 per cent.


The mask is also found to be comfortable for the cows, as they can also be adjusted according to the head size. It is applied to them after they are weaned, usually at 6-8 months of age. At the tip of the mask, a sensor detects the percentage of methane that is expelled when the cow exhales. When methane levels get too high, the mask channels the gas towards an oxidation mechanism inside, which contains a catalyst that converts methane into CO2 and water, and expels it from the device. "The technology detects, captures and oxidises methane when it is exhaled by the animals," said Francisco Norris, one of the two brothers who founded the firm. "Around 95 per cent of the cattle's methane emissions come from their nostrils and mouths," Norris added. Zelp has conducted behavioural trials and observations with institutions in the UK and Argentina, including the Royal Veterinary College, which have indicated that the wearable has no impact on the animal's behaviour and feeding.
Riaz Haq said…
India has abstained from signing a pledge that aims to cut down the emission of greenhouse gas— methane by 2030. The United States and European Union have jointly pledged to cut down methane emission by 30 per cent compared with 2020 levels, in an attempt to fight rapid climate change. The 'Global Methane Pledge' was launched at the ongoing COP26 summit in Glasgow and was signed by as many as 100 countries. In another major development, 133 countries have signed a Glasgow Leaders' Declaration on Forests and Land Use — a declaration initiated by the United Kingdom to "halt deforestation" and land degradation by 2030. India has kept an arm's length from this ambitious environmental goal as well.


China, Russia, and India are the top three emitters of greenhouse gas. Though the top three methane emitters have decided not to be a signatory, six on the list of the world's top 10 methane producers—the U.S., Brazil, Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Mexico—have taken the pledge.


Agents Emitting Methane Livestock emission—from manure and gastroenteric releases amounts to 32 per cent of human-caused methane emission. With the ever-increasing global population, the demand for animal protein has also increased worldwide. Another contributor to agriculture methane is paddy rice cultivation, where the flooded fields prevent the oxygen from penetrating the soil. This accounts for another 8 per cent of human-made emissions. How To Cut Down Methane Emission It has been said cutting methane emissions is the quickest way to tackle climate change since the gas has accounted for roughly 30 per cent of global warming since pre-industrial times and has been rapidly multiplying. UNEP Food Systems and Agriculture Advisor James Lomax says the world needs to begin by "rethinking our approaches to agricultural cultivation and livestock production." It includes leveraging new technology, shifting towards plant-rich diets, and embracing alternative sources of protein. Lomax says that it will be key if humanity is to slash greenhouse gas emissions and limit global warming to 1.5°C, a target of the Paris climate change agreement.
Riaz Haq said…
Global methane deal signed by 105 countries (including 8th largest emitter Pakistan) but missing major emitters
Biggest contributors to pollution, such as China, Russia and India, not part of agreement to cut emissions by 30% this decade

More than 100 countries have signed up to a global initiative to crackdown on methane pollution over the coming decade, but a handful of major emitters remain outside the deal sealed at the UN climate summit.

Several big contributors to global emissions, including China, Russia and India, are not signatories to the “global methane pledge”, spearheaded by the EU and US.

However, the number of countries supporting the initiative has grown from just six members when it was initially announced in September, to 105 at its official launch at the Glasgow world leader talks.

The pledge commits countries to reducing their emissions of methane — a potent greenhouse gas emitted from the energy, agriculture and waste sectors — by 30 per cent by the end of the decade from 2020 levels.

US president Joe Biden described it as a “game-changer”, as he launched the initiative on Tuesday, alongside new rules on US emissions. “One of the most important things we can do in this decisive decade to keep 1.5 degrees [global warming] in reach is to reduce our methane emissions as quickly as possible,” he said.

Methane has 80 times the warming potential of carbon dioxide over a 20-year period, making it key to efforts to tackle global warming. The initiative has estimated that a 30 per cent fall in methane emissions by 2030 would reduce global warming by at least 0.2C by 2050.

Temperatures have already risen by an estimated 1.1C since pre-industrial times.

“Putting methane at the top of the agenda for these talks is a critical move that will improve the lives of millions at home and around the world by holding off climate chaos,” said Fred Krupp, president of the Environmental Defense Fund. “It will be one of the major success stories of the Glasgow talks.”

The agreement coincided with the release of new plans by the White House to crack down on US oil and gas industry pollution from methane.

Those rules, proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency, go beyond any previous regulation of methane in the US, forcing operators of both new and existing infrastructure to monitor and fix leaks of the gas.

The announcement delivered an environmental victory to President Biden, after his plans to enact extensive climate spending suffered a new setback due to resistance from Joe Manchin, the pivotal centrist West Virginia Democrat.

Biden had hoped to pass legislation pumping more than $555bn into tackling climate change ahead of the Glasgow summit. Manchin said on Monday he had lingering “concerns” about the $1.75tn package and he could not guarantee he would vote for the bill.

Slow progress domestically has undermined the US abroad as it seeks to cajole other world leaders into making greater climate-related commitments at the COP26 summit.

But the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers hit out at the proposals, saying they risked putting hundreds of smaller producers out of business. “Rushing this proposal to meet a global conference agenda does not make for good environmental or economic policy,” said Jason Modglin, its president.

Riaz Haq said…
From Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO)

Milk production
Approximately 150 million households around the globe are engaged in milk production. In most developing countries, milk is produced by smallholders, and milk production contributes to household livelihoods, food security and nutrition. Milk provides relatively quick returns for small-scale producers and is an important source of cash income.

In the last three decades, world milk production has increased by more than 59 percent, from 530 million tonnes in 1988 to 843 million tonnes in 2018.
India is the world’s largest milk producer, with 22 percent of global production, followed by the United States of America, China, Pakistan and Brazil.
Since the 1970s, most of the expansion in milk production has been in South Asia, which is the main driver of milk production growth in the developing world.
Milk production in Africa is growing more slowly than in other developing regions, because of poverty and – in some countries – adverse climatic conditions.
The countries with the highest milk surpluses are New Zealand, the United States of America, Germany, France, Australia and Ireland.
The countries with the highest milk deficits are China, Italy, the Russian Federation, Mexico, Algeria and Indonesia.
Riaz Haq said…
#India, World's 3rd Biggest Emitter, Wants $1 Trillion To Raise Targets to Cut Emissions. Even as 121 nations have submitted their official #climate pledges to the #UN in documents know as nationally determined contributions (NDCs), India has not. #COP26

The world’s third-biggest emitter also opposes a push at the COP26 climate talks to phase out coal and end subsidies for oil and gas.

India has named its price in high-stakes climate talks: if the rich countries want it to cut planet-warming emissions, they need to come up with $1 trillion of public cash by the end of the decade.

The demand comes after India’s surprise announcement at the opening of COP26 negotiations in Glasgow, Scotland, that it would set an ambitious new goal to reach net-zero emissions by 2070. In his speech, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that rich countries should provide as much as $1 trillion in climate finance.

On Wednesday, Indian officials clarified their demands. They want $1 trillion in funds just for India by 2030 — ten times more than the unmet $100 billion a year for all poor countries sought under previous deals. Over a decade, that would mean advanced economies have to give India the same amount of funds they’ve promised for all poor countries.

India is asking for such a large sum because it’s also taking into account loss and damage, Environment Secretary Rameshwar Prasad Gupta said in an interview, referring to what poor countries see as a debt owed by nations who are responsible for the bulk of greenhouse gases accumulated in the atmosphere. Rich countries’ current $100 billion a year target is only meant to fund decarbonization measures and infrastructure that helps protect against more extreme weather events.

Even as 121 countries have submitted their official climate pledges to the UN in documents know as nationally determined contributions, India has held back. “Let’s be clear,” an unnamed delegate told the Hindustan Times, “India will not update its NDC till there is clarity on climate finance.” The Indians want a clear promise on making the funds available “as soon as possible,” an official told Bloomberg Green.

India also pushed back on proposed language in the final Glasgow agreement that countries will “accelerate the phasing-out of coal and subsidies for fossil fuels.” Gupta said the nation will only move away from the dirtiest fossil fuel if it gets the financial support it’s asking for.

U.S. climate envoy John Kerry said after a meeting with the Indian delegation in Glasgow that he “won’t promise” $1 trillion for India, and still needs to look at the details. In the meeting, Kerry committed the U.S. to joining the International Solar Alliance which is headquartered in the Indian city of Gurugram.

Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan's 720 MW Karot #hydropower dam starts filling reservoir, getting ready to generate #electricity. First private-sector IPP hydropower project nearing completion under #CPEC (#China-Pakistan Economic Corridor). #energy #renewable #ClimateAction

The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is a 3,000-kilometer-long route of infrastructure projects connecting northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and the Gwadar Port in the western province of Balochistan in Pakistan.

On Saturday, the first hydropower project along this corridor, the Karot Hydropower Station, closed the gates of its diversion tunnels after six years of construction, and officially started to impound water. That's the accumulation of water in its reservoir for future use.

It's a milestone event, marking the completion of around 95 percent of the project.

Engineers recounted challenges in the construction of the hydropower plant.

"We spent two years working out solutions to cope with the sandstone and mudstone underground, which interrupted our grouting work. We made it after repeated trial and error. The cement used for the construction was produced locally, so we tried very hard to control temperature rise and reduce cracks in the concrete," Zuo Yaxi, head of the Engineering Department of China Three Gorges South Asia Investment Ltd. (CSAIL), told CGTN in an interview.

The Karot Hydropower Station is located on the Jhelum River in Pakistan's eastern province of Punjab. With an installed capacity of 7,200 megawatts, it can provide over 3 billion kilowatt hours of clean energy each year, supplying electricity to about 5 million people in the country.

The project did not only provide employment, but will also bring down electricity costs for consumers.

N.A. Zubeiri, CSAIL senior consultant explained to CGTN that "during construction, about 3,000 to 5,000 people will be employed, and they're already employed here. Another important thing is that the tariff for the project is around 7.5 U.S. cents per unit. So consumers in Pakistan will get cheaper electricity from this basic project."

The project is an investment by China Three Gorges Corporation, a Chinese enterprise that's among the world's largest producers of hydroelectric power. Its subsidiary, the CSAIL, holds the majority share of the Karot Power Company that operates the plant.

The plant will be transferred to the provincial government after 30 years.

"This project is coming from private sectors. After completing 30 years, this project will be transferred to the provincial government, which means the government of Punjab will get a project of $1.7 billion for free," Zubeiri added.

The Karot Hydropower Station is the first investment project of the Silk Road Fund, and is part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. Once completed, it's expected to help reduce carbon dioxide emissions in Pakistan by 3.5 million tonnes per year.
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) is executing the biggest-ever portfolio of development projects in Pakistan including Diamer Basha Dam, Dasu Hydropower Project and Mohmand Dam worth $26 billion after a span of almost five decades by adopting an innovative financing strategy on the back of a robust capital structure and strong balance sheet footing.

WAPDA Chairman Lt Gen Muzammil Hussain (retd) highlighted this in the meeting with a delegation of JP Morgan comprising senior representatives namely Asif Raza, Managing Director Global Corporate Bank CEEMEA, Imran Zaidi, Managing Director Global Corporate Bank covering Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and Amin M Khawaja, Chief Executive Officer Pakistan. WAPDA Member (Finance) Naveed Asghar was also present on the occasion.

Giving a run-down of 10 under construction WAPDA projects, the chairman said that these projects would enhance water storage capacity by more than 11 MAF and add another 9,000 MW of hydel electricity to the system. WAPDA has unparalleled institutional capacity to identify and implement multipurpose hydropower projects. It has adopted a multi-pronged strategy including Green Eurobonds and Syndicate loans etc for implementation of its projects. This was a radical shift from entire reliance on the Government of Pakistan. WAPDA’s business model has an important role to play in the development of a sustainable and lower-carbon economy in Pakistan, he said. The chairman said that WAPDA would continue to approach the international financial and capital market in a staggered mode, to minimise financing cost, in line with its financing requirements and would look forward to bring further investments in the hydropower sector which would go a long way to reduce carbon footprint in the power generation sector of Pakistan. He appreciated the role played by JP Morgan as the lead arranger for WAPDA’s debut Green Eurobond issuance alongside Deutsche, Standard Chartered and HBL Bank.
Riaz Haq said…
Tax breaks kick Pakistan's electric car shift into higher gear

ISLAMABAD, Nov 22 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Pakistani businessman Nawabzada Kalam Ullah Khan had been planning to swap his family's petrol-powered cars for electric models for years.

But it wasn't until a set of massive tax cuts came into effect in July that the 29-year-old from Pakistan's capital Islamabad finally put in an order for two electric cars.

"Someone has to take the initiative to switch to these cost-efficient, environment-friendly vehicles in the face of increasing pollution in big cities - and we've done it," Khan said.

His new cars, he said now cost about five times less to run day to day than his old vehicles, a major incentive to make the switch.

Major Pakistan and Indian cities are struggling with dangerous levels of air pollution, with Pakistan's Lahore this week declared the most polluted city in the world.

Heavy use of fossil-fuel-powered vehicles for transport combined with smoke from seasonal crop burning make the problem particularly severe at this time of year.

But Pakistan's electric vehicle push is picking up speed, nearly two years after the country launched its ambitious green policy, which envisions a shift to 30% electric cars and trucks nationwide by 2030, and 90% by 2040.

Key to the shift are hefty tax exemptions for both electric vehicles imports and imports of parts and equipment to build the cars in Pakistan.

That has helped make the vehicles more affordable, industry figures said, as Prime Minister Imran Khan's government pushes ahead with its plan to cut carbon emissions and urban pollution.

The general sales tax on locally manufactured electric cars - those with batteries holding less than 50-kilowatt hours (kWh) of power - has dropped from 17% to nearly zero, said Asim Ayaz, general manager of the government's Engineering Development Board (EDB).

At the same time, the customs duty on imported electric car parts - such as batteries, controllers and inverters - is down to 1%.

The duty on importing fully built electric cars also has fallen from 25% to 10% for one year, Ayaz told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Officials say the tax relief is a big step toward implementing Pakistan's National Electric Vehicle Policy, originally passed by the cabinet in November 2019.

It aims to put half a million electric motorcycles and rickshaws and 100,000 electric cars, vans and small trucks into the transportation system by 2025.

"Definitely the tax exemptions make the price point (on electric vehicles) competitive," said Malik Amin Aslam, the special assistant to the prime minister on climate change.

"It makes it extremely attractive for the customer to go electric."

Aslam said if about a third of new cars sold run on electricity by 2030, as envisioned, Pakistan could see a big drop in climate-changing emissions and pollution.

Electric vehicles currently produce 65% fewer planet-warming gases than those running on fossil fuels, he said.

Pakistan ranks second, behind Bangladesh, according to a list of nations with the worst air quality compiled last year by IQAir, a Swiss group that measures levels of lung-damaging airborne particles known as PM2.5.

In Punjab, Pakistan's most populous province with Lahore as its capital, transport accounts for more than 40% of total air-polluting emissions, followed by industry and agriculture, according to a 2019 study by the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization.

Shaukat Qureshi, general secretary of the Pakistan Electric Vehicles and Parts Manufacturers and Traders Association, said the new tax cuts mean savings of up to 500,000 rupees ($2,900) on imported small electric vehicles.

Riaz Haq said…
Tax breaks kick Pakistan's electric car shift into higher gear

Shaukat Qureshi, general secretary of the Pakistan Electric Vehicles and Parts Manufacturers and Traders Association, said the new tax cuts mean savings of up to 500,000 rupees ($2,900) on imported small electric vehicles.

He said many members of the association have used the incentives to order them for the first time.

There are no reliable figures on how many electric cars local importers have ordered brought into the country since the government announced the exemptions.

But in his other role as chief operating officer of car company Zia Electromotive, which imports and manufactures electric vehicles, Qureshi said he has ordered 100 small electric cars from China and plans to import 100 more every month after that.

Pakistanis - like many other people around the world - have historically been reluctant to switch to electric vehicles for reasons ranging from higher costs to lack of charging infrastructure and "fear of the unknown", said Ayaz at the EDB.

The tax cuts help remove the cost obstacle, he said - and could help create about 20,000 new jobs in the auto industry as Pakistani car companies start manufacturing electric cars, he predicted.

The charging infrastructure issue remains, though some companies have already established charging stations in big cities and along motorways.

Climate change and development expert Ali Tauqeer Sheikh said the government should encourage the private sector to install more charging stations near offices, homes and parking lots.

To overcome worries that electric vehicles may have no resale value, car manufacturers and dealers could offer buy-back guarantees, he added.

But, Sheikh said, simply selling more electric cars is not enough to tackle Pakistan's emissions and air pollution, since the total number of vehicles being sold - mainly traditional cars - is still growing every year.

He said the government needs to push to completely phase out fuel-run and hybrid vehicles by increasing taxes on them and provide affordable bank loans for people looking to buy electric.

"Poor people who use motorbikes and rickshaws deserve to have more electric vehicles on the roads to cut air pollution," he said.
Riaz Haq said…
Chinese Electric Vehicle manufacturing companies invited to invest in Pakistani market

BEIJING, Nov 4 (APP): Pakistan Ambassador to China, Moinul Haque on Thursday called on Liu Ziqing, Member of Municipal standing committee and Secretary of Working Committee of Wuhan and discussed cooperation between Pakistan and Wuhan in the industrial and technological sectors.

During the meeting held at Demonstration Zone of Wuhan new energy and smart network, Liu Ziqing briefed the ambassador about the immense growth potential of Wuhan city particularly in the areas of biotechnology, semiconductors and new energy and smart network. Moreover, the demonstration zone was being developed into an auto valley.

He offered collaboration between automobile companies of the two countries in this special zone.

Recalling that during the opening ceremony of the Military Games held in Wuhan in October 2019, Pakistani contingent was given a standing ovation by the cheering crowd in the presence of President Xi Jinping.

Liu Ziqing said that the people of Wuhan have a special bond of friendship with Pakistan and would like to enhance joint collaboration in diverse areas.

Ambassador Haque remarked that due to their consistent efforts, cooperation between Pakistan and Wuhan was growing rapidly in many new areas.

He noted that new energy vehicles was an important area of cooperation between the two countries as demand for electric vehicles was increasing in Pakistan and invited Chinese Electric Vehicle manufacturing companies to invest in Pakistani market.

The ambassador paid tribute to the brave people of Wuhan for their fight against the Covid-19 pandemic and also thanked Wuhan government for looking after Pakistani students during the pandemic.

Earlier, Ambassador Moinul Haque was given a detailed briefing about the development of new energy vehicles in Wuhan at the demonstration zone. He was also given a tour of locally manufactured AI based driverless electric bus.

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