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Researchers propose 'green corridor'

Carbon dioxide

Pakistan’s economic growth requires climate friendly solutions if the country is to play its part in the Paris Agreement.

1 May 2020

Pakistan is a small emitter of greenhouse gases, however between 1997 and 2016, it was the seventh country most impacted by climate change. At the same time the country has committed to reduce its overall emissions by between 5% and 18% compared with the 2012 levels, subject to financial support from developed countries.

However, Pakistan is a country in energy deficit, which has negatively impacted its development and economic growth in recent years. The launch the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) during 2013 is changing this situation. The CPEC is a collection of infrastructure projects that are being built across Pakistan. This includes energy infrastructure which is alleviating Pakistan’s chronic energy shortage. In excess of 10 000MW of generating capacity has come online, with 68% of this capacity being coal-based. While this will improve energy availability, it will impact the country’s emissions.

A group of researchers from the National University of Science and Technology, Islamabad, Pakistan have selected a mathematical model to predict CO2 emissions in the country up to 2030. Publishing their work in the SCI journal Greenhouse Gases Science and Technology the researchers assert that there is limited literature available in this area. This study uses a mathematical model to forecast CO2 emissions from energy consumption in Pakistan with a focus on the CPEC.

The researchers have found that their forecasts indicate that up to 2030 emissions will rise to 468 699kt, an increase of 159%, this is from levels seen in 2015. The researchers point out that this increase is just for the energy sector, as other sectors were not considered in their scenario. This, say the researchers, would prevent the country from reaching its Nationally Determined Contribution, which is at the heart of the Paris Agreement.

The researchers conclude that there are a number of steps the Pakistan needs to take to meet its desired NDC. One of their proposals is to ensure that the CPEC is turned into a ‘green corridor’, by investing in renewable energy projects and initiating necessary mitigation measures to limit CO2 emissions. The researcher assert that incentives should therefore be provided for green and renewable technologies

Greenhouse Gases Science and Technology DOI:10.1002/ghg.1968

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