Pakistan evaluates its emissions strategy

10 February 2020

A review of policies to reduce carbon dioxide output include the use of carbon capture and storage.

10 February 2020

With Asia hosting the highest quantity of CO2 emissions worldwide, individual nations are looking at their contribution to this output. Various sectors of Pakistan’s economy have a significant impact on Asia’s overall emissions. In Pakistan CO2 emissions stand at 54% of total GHG release. At present, Pakistan contributes 0.8% of total global GHG emissions. A paper in SCI’s journal Greenhouse Gases: Science and Technology outlines the challenges faced by the country.

As Pakistan looks toward stable economic growth, reducing carbon dioxide emissions is crucial. A comprehensive overview of the sectoral greenhouse gas emissions in Pakistan indicates that the country must diversify energy generation through water, solar, nuclear, wind and biomass. Pakistan does have a strong history of alternative energy generation having become almost energy sufficient using hydro energy some two decades ago. However due to rapid urbanisation and industrialisation the demand and supply gap widened. Short-term policies to meet energy needs led to the construction of thermal power plants, increasing the electricity supply.

While there is potential for power generation from sources such as hydropower, solar and wind, lack of planning and infrastructure makes this difficult. It has been said that Pakistan could generate some 167.7 GW of power from renewable sources, more than the country’s energy requirements.

In the meantime, emissions from sources including industrial expansion, transport, agriculture and livestock and urban development are set to rise. Pakistan wants to curb these emissions and is considering several options including carbon capture and storage (CCS). With new coal power plants planned the Asian Development Fund is financing Pakistan’s assessment of prospects for CCS.

Researchers conclude that with government intervention; the country can utilise CCS technology incorporated into industrial activities and power generation. There are an abundance of oil fields and reservoirs in the country that are nearly depleted meaning that enhanced oil recovery is a viable option.

The researchers also pointed to Pakistan’s neighbour India, where the Tuticorin Alkali Chemicals and Fertiliser has converted CO2 into baking soda without any government financial support. ‘It is the need of the hour that Pakistan raises the proportion of renewable energy and pours in financial resources for CCS technology for sustainable energy needs and mitigates GHG emissions in the long run,’ the researchers said.

Greenhouse Gases: Science and Technology DOI:10.1002/ghg.1890

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