Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Pakistan's Response to Climate Change

Pakistan has made only a small contribution to climate change through carbon emissions.  And yet, it counts among the dozen or so nations considered most vulnerable to its damaging effects. These include rising temperatures, recurring cycles of floods and droughts and resulting disruption in food production. What can Pakistan do to minimize these impacts?



Pakistan is working with both sources and sinks of carbon. Among the sources, the nation is focusing on increasing production of clean, renewable energy that does not produce carbon emissions. At the same time, there is a reforestation effort underway in Khyber Pukhtunkhwa province to plant a billion trees to remove carbon from the atmosphere.

Reforestation:

Reforestation project in Khyber Pukhtunkhwa province is part of the Green Growth Initiative launched in February 2014 in Peshawar by Pakistan Tehrik e Insaf (PTI) leader Imran Khan whose party governs the province.

The initiative aims to boost local economic development in a way that uses natural resources sustainably, with a focus on increasing clean energy uptake and forest cover, according to a report in Christian Science Monitor.

The KP government has turned forest restoration into a business model by outsourcing nurseries to the private sector, including widows, poor women, and young people, according to the paper. It reports  that the government buys saplings to plant while providing green jobs for the community. "At the same time, illegal logging has been almost eliminated in the province following strict disciplinary action against some officials who were involved. Other measures include hiring local people to guard forests and banning wood transportation", the Christian Science Monitor reports.

Renewable Energy:

Pakistan has installed about 300 megawatts of wind-energy capacity through six projects working in the Sindh province, according to a Bloomberg report. That may grow to 800 MW by year-end as eight projects in the same region get commissioned, says Alternative Energy Board chief Syed Aqeel Husain Jafri. The Quaid e Azam solar park in Punjab province will add another 300 megawatts of capacity to the existing 100 megawatts by March or April, he said. Chinese firm Zonergy Co Ltd. will set up 900 megawatts in this 1-gigawatt solar park.



In addition, there are multiple hydroelectric projects and nuclear energy power plants under-construction to add tens of thousand megawatts of clean energy to the national grid over the next several years. The biggest of these projects are Neelum-Jhelum, Diamer-Bhasha, Dasu, K2 and K3.

Liquified Natural Gas:

Some of the oil-fired power plants are planned to be switched to imported liquified natural gas (LNG) to produce 3600 MW of electricity.  LNG burns cleaner and produces lower carbon emissions than oil or coal. LNG imports will also support CNG for running vehicles. In addition, the government needs to plan to make gas cylinders available for cooking in rural areas to help reduce wood burning which contributes to deforestation and carbon emission and particulate pollution.

Summary:

Pakistan faces a significant threat from global warming in terms of rising temperatures, recurring cycles of floods and droughts and potential disruption in crop production. The nation is just beginning to take appropriate actions such as renewable energy and reforestation projects to deal with this threat. Greater thought and more focus is needed to execute the plans to reduce carbon emissions as a priority.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Climate Change Worsens Poverty in India

India's Rising Population and Depleting Resources

Recurring Droughts and Flooding in Pakistan

An Indian Farmer Commits Suicide Every 30 Minutes 

Growing Water Scarcity in Pakistan

Pakistan's Energy Crisis

Culture of Tax Evasion and Aid Dependence

Climate Change in South Asia

US Senate Report on Avoiding Water Wars in Central and South Asia

25 comments:

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan entrepreneur to bring #solar power to millions of off-grid homes. #renewableenergy #climatechange @Acumen https://medium.com/acumen-ideas/risky-business-3116c40826a1#.wgmurmbco …

... in 2011, a request came in from the UNDP Pakistan. Over the years, the family had provided tents to the United Nations, American Red Cross and other aid organizations, but this request was for hundreds of solar lanterns. On these occasions, Usman would usually fly to China for sourcing, but he started to think about how to build a solar business within Pakistan. ..

Usman managed to get his parents on board, and they fronted him $300,000 to get Nizam Energy up and running in 2012. Nine months passed, however, and he hadn’t made a sale. “Every day, my family would ask me ‘Did you sell anything?’” he said. “It was probably the most humiliating experience of my life and definitely a big attack on my ego. I was starting to think I was invincible. The hospitality and recycling business had become so big so fast; I figured I’d have the same luck. I was wrong.”
Still, Usman stuck to his guns, relentless in his belief that solar was a viable solution to Pakistan’s energy problems. Of the country’s 181 million people, more than 30 percent lack access to energy, many of whom live in remote villages far from the reach of the grid. Even those with access are left to pay a hefty price for scanty, unreliable service, creating a financial burden for its citizens. Pakistan has long relied on expensive imported fuels, but energy companies have struggled to keep up with demand, falling deeper and deeper into debt. With the country’s exceptional sunshine, solar has the potential to become an affordable, long-term alternative to the grid and bring millions out of the dark while powering the country’s economy.

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Usman was at a loss, but then an idea came to him. It was a gamble but, with only two months’ worth of operations left in the bank, the company had nothing to lose. Usman decided Nizam Energy would use the little money they had left and open up three stores in Lahore, Islamabad and Faisalabad. “We figured if we were going down, we might as well go out with a blast,” he said. “We put every last cent into building these outlets and then prayed for magic.”
That summer, Lahore suffered some of the worst blackouts in its history. For 10, sometimes 12, hours a day, the electricity would go out throughout the city. Everywhere, that is, except Nizam’s solar-powered outlet. There was no marketing needed. The power of solar had sold itself. In that first month, Nizam made $100,000 and sales only continued to explode. In a matter of three months, the company brought in nearly $1 million. Usman’s bet had paid off.

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Soon enough, Usman and his team became Pakistan’s go-to guys for solar energy. Lahore’s University of Engineering and Technology hired Nizam to install a 36-kilowatt solar system, and Pakistan’s biggest banks enlisted the company to power dozens of branches across the country. Nizam even captured the attention of the Chief Minister of Punjab, who called on Usman to propose a solar policy for the province. Usman’s luck had returned. Nizam brought in $6 million in its second year and $10 million the following year.
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In 2015, Usman and his team began to take what they had learned on the grid to develop a low-cost suite of products, ranging from 10 to 100 watts, for Pakistan’s remote, underserved communities. Usman and his team sought out local sales agents to hire and partnered with nonprofits and microfinance organizations to tackle issues of distribution and provide last-mile customers with direct sales to offer them easy, affordable payment options. Nizam’s goal is to provide clean, reliable energy to one million people in the next five years. It’s ambitious but, in Usman’s mind, totally achievable.

Riaz Haq said...

Marshall Islands sue #Britain, #India and #Pakistan over #nuclear weapons. http://gu.com/p/4g9km/stw

The tiny Marshall Islands will seek to persuade the UN’s highest court to take up a lawsuit against India, Pakistan and Britain, which it accuses of failing to halt the nuclear arms race.

The international court of justice – founded in 1945 to rule on legal disputes between nations – announced late on Friday dates for separate hearings for the three cases between March 7 and March 16.

In the cases brought against India and Pakistan, the court will examine whether the tribunal based in The Hague is competent to hear the lawsuits.

The hearing involving Britain will be devoted to “preliminary objections” raised by London.

A decision will be made at a later date as to whether the cases can proceed.

In 2014, the Marshall Islands – a Pacific Ocean territory with 55,000 people – accused nine countries of “not fulfilling their obligations with respect to the cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament”.

They included China, Britain, France, India, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia and the United States.

The government, based in the Marshall Islands capital of Majuro, said by not stopping the nuclear arms race, the countries continued to breach their obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) – even if the treaty has not been signed by countries such as India and Pakistan.

The Marshall Islands had decided to sue the world’s nuclear heavyweights as “it has a particular awareness of the dire consequences of nuclear weapons”, it said.

Between 1946 and 1958 the United States conducted repeated nuclear tests in the Marshall Islands, Majuro’s representatives said in papers filed in court.


In March 2014 the Marshall Islands marked 60 years since the devastating hydrogen bomb test at Bikini Atoll that laid waste the island and exposed thousands in the surrounding area to radioactive fallout.


Building the atom bomb: the full story of the Nevada Test Site
Read more
The 15-megatonne test on 1 March, 1954 was part of the intense cold war nuclear arms race and 1,000 times more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

Bikini Islanders have lived in exile since they were moved for the first weapons tests in 1946.

When US government scientists declared Bikini safe for resettlement some residents were allowed to return in the early 1970s. But they were removed again in 1978 after ingesting high levels of radiation from eating local foods grown on the former test site.

The Marshall Islands nuclear claims tribunal had awarded more than US$2bn in personal injury and land damage claims arising form the nuclear tests, but stopped paying after a US$150m US compensation fund was exhausted.

Eight of the nine countries originally targeted in the lawsuits have officially admitted to possessing a nuclear weapon. Israel has never acknowledged having one, though observers believe it is the sole nuclear-armed nation in the Middle East.

Leon P said...

"Climate Change" is the new mantra but more important for developing countries with limited resources is to look at Energy Efficiency or specifically GDP vs Energy use. In other words total energy consumption per unit GDP. According to, Global Energy Statistics Yearbook 26 July 2015, the world average Energy Intensity is 212.9 TOE/1 Million GDP. A lower number = higher efficiency. Bangladesh is most efficient in South Asia at 97.9, India at 189.5 and Pakistan at 236.1. China is 231.3 and the US is 221.7 for reference.

Riaz Haq said...

Leon P: ""Climate Change" is the new mantra but more important for developing countries with limited resources is to look at Energy Efficiency or specifically GDP vs Energy use. In other words total energy consumption per unit GDP. According to, Global Energy Statistics Yearbook 26 July 2015, the world average Energy Intensity is 212.9 TOE/1 Million GDP. A lower number = higher efficiency. Bangladesh is most efficient in South Asia at 97.9, India at 189.5 and Pakistan at 236.1. China is 231.3 and the US is 221.7 for reference."


The World Bank data in terms of GDP per unit of energy use (constant 2011 PPP $ per kg of oil equivalent) shows as follows:

Bangladesh $12.7 per Kg of oil

China 5.1

France 9.7

Germany 11.1

India 7.6

Pakistan 9.1

United Kingdom 12.2

United States 7.4

http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/EG.GDP.PUSE.KO.PP.KD

Riaz Haq said...

#Russia to Spend Billions on #Gas Pipeline in #Pakistan. #Putin http://learningenglish.voanews.com/content/russia-to-spend-billions-on-gas-pipeline-in-pakistan/3193228.html …


Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to visit Pakistan in the next few months to begin a gas pipeline project.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif asked Putin to visit.

Mobin Saulat heads Inter State Gas Systems, the Pakistani company that would build the pipeline. He says Putin may visit Pakistan before June.

He says Russia is interested in the project because 200 million people live in Pakistan, and investing in the country could help Russia gain influence in other South Asian nations.

When Pakistani officials and energy experts visited Moscow recently, they met with the heads of three large Russian energy companies for the first time in more than 20 years. He says that shows Russia’s interest in Pakistani energy issues.

Saulat says he believes the pipeline is the first of many investments Russia will make in Pakistan.

Experts say both countries may have strategic and political reasons to work together on the gas pipeline project.

Pakistan has tried to form new partnerships to reduce its dependence on the United States and China.

Russia will spend about two to $2.5 billion dollars on the project. That is almost 85 percent of the cost.

The 1,100-kilometer-long pipeline will be able to transport 34 million cubic meters of gas per day throughout Pakistan from Karachi to Lahore. The first part of the project is expected to be finished in two years. The last two parts are set to be completed in 2019.

Riaz Haq said...

#Tarbela 4th and 5th extension projects to add 2820 MW to system: #Pakistan Minister - #renewables #cleanenergy http://dunyanews.tv/index.php/en/SpecialReport/322877-Tarbela-4th-and-5th-extension-projects-to-add-2820#.VslI0rLSEZc.twitter …

Minister of State for Water and Power Chaudhry Abid Sher Ali has stated that Tarbela 4th and 5th extension power projects will add 2820 Mega Watt (MW) low cost hydel electricity to the national grid system.

Addressing the APP in Islamabad, the minister expressed that both projects in Tarbela would improve the current generation capacity of 3478 MW to 6298 MW. At the same time, 49 per cent work on Tarbela 4th generation extension project has been completed and the project would begin supplying 1410 MW to the national grid system in July 2017.

Furthermore, the 5th extension power project would also add another 1410 MW to the system, the minister added.
With regard to the 4th extension power project, the minister expressed that the project was expected to complete in 2018, but on the direct orders of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, the project will be operational by June 2017.

The World Bank has offered financial assistance to the total cost of the project which is $ 929 million.
On the other hand, the layout and design plan for the 5th extension power project had already been completed at a cost of $ 2.9 million. “It will complete in a 39-month period once work starts on it. The project would be commissioned in March 2020,” he added.

“By the end of December 2017, the remaining three units having capacity to generate 242 MW each would start supplying electricity to national grid,” Abid Sher Ali added.
In Pakistan, there has been an enormous increase in the demand of energy as a result of industrial development and population growth, compared to the enhancements in energy production. Therefore the supply of energy is falling behind the actual demand.

For years, the matter of balancing Pakistan’s supply against the demand for electricity has remained a largely unresolved matter. The country faces big challenges in altering its networks that are responsible for the supply of electricity. Electricity generation in Pakistan has shrunk by up to 50% in the recent years, primarily because Pakistan’s energy infrastructure is not well developed; rather, it is considered to be under- developed and poorly managed.

Pakistan needs around 15,000 to 20,000 MW electricity per day, however, currently it is able to produce only 11,500 MW per day hence there is a shortfall of about 4000 to 9000 MW per day.
Over the years, there is a greater need of energy because there is a notable increase in population. According to the economic survey of Pakistan 2010-11, the total population of Pakistan is 177.1 million against the 173.5 million in last year. Population growth rate is 2.1 % and in the list of most populous countries, Pakistan is at 6th number. At the same time, Pakistan has higher-than-average population growth rate n South Asia.

Energy crisis has, more or less, plagued all sectors of Pakistan’s machinery ranging from economy to industry, agriculture to social life, inflation to poverty and it is hampering national progress in a drastic manner. Nonetheless, menace of energy crisis can be overwhelmed by government working towards effective policies and its implementation. Simultaneously, it is also the responsibility of the people to utilize the available energy wisely to play our role for the progress of our nation.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan has recently negotiated a good bargain with Qatar for importing $16 billion worth of liquified natural gas (LNG).

Pakistan will import as much as 20 million tons of the super-chilled gas annually from various sources including Qatar, enough to fuel about two-thirds of Pakistan’s power plants. Gas shortage has idled half the nation’s generators. A 75 percent drop in LNG prices since 2014 has dramatically reduced the cost of the South Asian country’s energy needs, according to a Bloomberg report.

LNG arriving in Pakistan from Qatar will fetch 13.37% of the preceding three-month average price of a Brent barrel (considering the present Brent price as a proxy, that would equate to $167.5 per 1000 cubic meters), according to a report in Azerbaijan's Trend News. It translates to $4.50 per million BTUs.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan saves trees, cuts risk by micro hydro electrcity for northern villages. #climatechange http://www.trust.org/item/20160314070911-3jowc/?source=shtw … via @TR_Foundation

In this picturesque village, perched above the gushing turquoise waters of the Hunza river, and with a view of the 8,000-metre Rakaposhi mountain, in Pakistan's Karakoram range, women once had to walk for miles to collect firewood each day.

For the last eight years, however, hydropower has supplied the village's energy needs, and life has gotten much easier, said Mehreen, who has an electric stove, electric oven and electric lights, fitted with energy-saving bulbs.

"With the availability of electricity we have been relieved of such burdensome work," she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. "The initiative holds great meaning in our lives."

The village's community-run micro hydropower station - built in 2008 by the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme with backing from the United States Department of Agriculture and the Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund - produces about 190 kilowatts of electricity an hour.

That's enough to supply power to 144 homes in Ahmedabad and nearly 110 in the nearby villages of Sultanabad and Faizabad.

Such small-scale hydropower plants are proving a key way to provide power in remote, off-grid areas of power-short Pakistan, while at the same time helping protect the environment.

MORE TREES, LESS RISK

Besides making life easier for people in the villages, in Pakistan's Gilgit-Baltistan province, hydropower has slowed deforestation - rampant in many mountain areas of Pakistan - and cut landslide risks as more trees are left standing to hold the soil, local people say.

"Now no one chops down trees to harvest fuelwood," said Ghulam Raza, an environmentalist who works in the area with a range of non-governmental organisations. As a result, natural forests in the mountains nearby "are coming back to life," he said.

Social development activist Ghulam Sarwar, who works for the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme, said hydropower has changed Ahmedabad from a village that "lived in darkness" to one where children can now study by electric light at night, and no longer miss school to help their families collect firewood.

"Now our children don't skip school. They find enough time at home to study and finish their schoolwork even after sunset," said Ali Gohar, a member of the community committee that maintains the hydropower plant.

Community leaders say if they can find the funding, they intend to expand the project and provide electricity to an additional 1,400 households in nearby Karimabad and Altit villages.

Shahana Khan, a development projects manager for the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme, said small-scale hydropower is a natural for mountain villages with access to rivers, and is a good way of ensuring access to clean energy.

A key, she said, is that such facilities "are owned, run and maintained by the communities."

Pakistan could generate around 100,000 megawatts of hydroelectricity, through both large and small hydropower projects, according to a 2006 report by the Pakistan Alternative Energy Development Board.

Sixty percent of that could come at spots identified in the river-rich, mountainous northwest of the country, it said.

Riaz Haq said...

Three Gorges Corp (TGC), #China's leading #hydropower company, to invest in #Pakistan http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/?p=500670 via @ePakistanToday

A consortium, led by China’s Three Gorges Corp, the world’s largest hydropower producer, plans to invest in Pakistan, building both state-owned and private hydropower stations.

” We want to take an active part in the expected auction of the state-owned hydropower stations in the brotherly country,” said Wang Shaofeng, executive vice-president of China Three Gorges International Corporation, the Beijing-based unit of CTG.

There are several large hydropower projects in Pakistan with a total installed capacity of about 3,000 MW, Wang said in an interview with China Daily.

“These could be our top choices for acquisition, but we will also consider acquiring small and newly built private hydropower projects,” said the senior executive, who has previously worked in Pakistan for more than a decade.

The projects that the group has in Pakistan are worth $9 billion. It has signed an agreement with Pakistan for a series of projects that can increase the figure to $50 billion.

The Chinese company chose Pakistan as the first stop of its overseas investment due to close ties between China and Pakistan, a country that faces great challenges in meeting its energy demand. Wang said the 1,100-MW Kohala hydropower station, the group’s biggest project in Pakistan at the moment, is expected to start construction this year and will be completed in six years.

The Chinese company also plans to set up a facility jointly with Dongfang Electric Corporation in Pakistan to support the local market as well as other neighbouring countries.

The company is also preparing to bid for a contract to build and operate an 8,000-MW power station in Brazil.

When bidding opens for the hydropower dam on the Tapajos River, the Chinese consortium will be a strong contender. Wang said his group’s participation in the project would involve capital investment.

The Tapajos dam will become one of the world’s 10 largest hydropower projects after completion, he said.

The builder of the world’s largest dam has also set up a Hong Kong-based company named Hydro Global Investment Ltd with the Portuguese power company EDP – Energias de Portugal – as a platform to explore business opportunities of small and medium-sized hydropower projects in the region.

“When we are doing global projects, we are looking at the long-term development and investment, so we are very careful in selecting the projects and conducting them,” Wang said.

The executive said the biggest challenge the company faces right now is to deal with the exchange rate fluctuations to prevent risk and increase profit in overseas countries.

China itself has embarked on an ambitious plan of dam building to combat air pollution. The Three Gorges Power Plant, the world’s largest hydropower project, has generated more than 800 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity since its first turbine was connected to the grid in 2003.

The world’s largest energy consumer possesses more than half the large-scale hydroelectric plants on earth – that is more than all the plants in Brazil, the United States and Canada combined.

Riaz Haq said...

Overreacting to #Terrorism? #BrusselsAttacks #Obama #Trump #Cruz2016 #Islamophobia http://nyti.ms/1XPfJOn

Are terrorists more of a threat than slippery bathtubs?

President Obama, er, slipped into hot water when The Atlantic reportedthat he frequently suggests to his staff that fear of terrorism is overblown, with Americans more likely to die from falls in tubs than from attacks by terrorists.

The timing was awkward, coming right before the Brussels bombings, but Obama is roughly right on his facts: 464 people drowned in America in tubs, sometimes after falls, in 2013, while 17 were killed here by terrorists in 2014 (the most recent years for which I could get figures). Of course, that’s not an argument for relaxing vigilance, for at some point terrorists will graduate from explosives to nuclear, chemical or biological weapons that could be far more devastating than even 9/11. But it is an argument for addressing global challenges a little more rationally.

The basic problem is this: The human brain evolved so that we systematically misjudge risks and how to respond to them.

Our visceral fear of terrorism has repeatedly led us to adopt policies that are expensive and counterproductive, such as the invasion of Iraq. We have ramped up the intelligence community so much that there are now seven times as many Americans with security clearances (4.5 million) as live in Washington, D.C. Meanwhile, Donald Trump responded to the Brussels attacks with crowd-pleasing calls for torture or barring Muslims that even Republican security experts agree are preposterous.

On the same day as the attacks, a paper by James E. Hansen and other climate experts was released arguing that carbon emissions are transforming our world far more quickly than expected, in ways that may inundate coastal cities and cause storms more horrendous than any in modern history. The response? A yawn.

Hansen is an eminent former NASA scientist, but he’s also an outlier in his timing forecasts, and I’m not qualified to judge whether he’s correct. Yet whatever the disagreement about the timeline, there is scientific consensus that emissions on our watch are transforming our globe for 10,000 years to come. As an important analysis in Nature Climate Change put it, “The next few decades offer a brief window of opportunity to minimize large-scale and potentially catastrophic climate change that will extend longer than the entire history of human civilization thus far.”

To put it another way, this year’s election choices may shape coastlines 10,000 years from now. Donald Trump and Ted Cruz have both mocked the idea of human-caused climate change, with Trump suggesting that it is a hoax invented by China to harm the American economy (he now says that last point was a joke).

The upshot is that Brussels survived this week’s terrorist attacks, but it may not survive climate change (much of the city is less than 100 feet above sea level).

Doesn’t it seem prudent to invest in efforts to avert not only shoe bombers but also the drowning of the world’s low-lying countries?

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Daniel Gilbert, a professor of psychology at Harvard, says that the kind of threats that we evolved to deal with are those that are imminent rather than gradual, and those that involve a deliberate bad actor, especially one transgressing our moral code. Explaining our lack of concern for global warming, he noted,“Climate change is caused by the burning of fossil fuels, not flags.”

In short, our brains are perfectly evolved for the Pleistocene, but are not as well suited for the risks we face today. If only climate change caused sharp increases in snake populations, then we’d be on top of the problem!

Yet even if our brains sometimes mislead us, they also crown us with the capacity to recognize our flaws and rectify mistakes. So maybe we can adjust for our weaknesses in risk assessment — so that we confront the possible destruction of our planet as if it were every bit as ominous and urgent a threat as, say, a passing garter snake.

Riaz Haq said...

Global #renewableenergy Boom: From 2009 to 2015, #solar panels costs dropped 61%, #windturbines price down 14% http://nyti.ms/1pYYAqz

Last year, for the first time, renewables accounted for a majority of new electricity-generating capacity added around the world, according to a recent United Nations report. More than half the $286 billion invested in wind, solar and other renewables occurred in emerging markets like China, India and Brazil — also for the first time. Excluding large hydroelectric plants, 10.3 percent of all electricity generated globally in 2015 came from renewables, roughly double the amount in 2007, according to the report.

The average global cost of generating electricity from solar panels fell 61 percent between 2009 and 2015 and 14 percent for land-based wind turbines. In sunny parts of the world like India and Dubai, developers of solar farms have recently offered to sell electricity for less than half the global average price. In November, the accounting firm KPMG predicted that by 2020 solar energy in India could be 10 percent cheaper than electricity generated by burning coal.

These are all hopeful signs. They suggest that reductions in carbon emissions can be achieved more quickly and more cheaply than widely believed. And they provide hope that nations will be able to achieve the ambitious goals they set for themselves at last December’s climate summit meeting in Paris — to keep warming below the threshold beyond which the world will be locked into a future of devastating consequences, including rising sea levels, severe droughts and flooding, widespread food and water shortages and more destructive storms.

Replacing coal-fired plants or avoiding new ones will have major health benefits as well, especially in heavily polluted cities in China and India where ground-level pollutants like soot and smog make the simple act of breathing a major undertaking. Those benefits will be even greater as gasoline-powered cars are replaced with electric vehicles that draw power from wind and solar farms.

Riaz Haq said...

Poo-powered biogas pumps help #Pakistan farmers grow richer, greener. #renewables http://reut.rs/1OuV42D via @ReutersIndia

For farmer Mujahid Abbasi, switching the power source for his irrigation pump from diesel to biogas has brought economic and health gains.

The 43-year-old from Fateh Jhang village, some 26 miles (42 km) from Pakistan’s capital city Islamabad, has benefited from a pilot project led by the Punjab provincial government to provide biogas equipment at a subsidised rate.

Abbasi uses dung from his 30 buffalo to produce nearly 40 cubic metres of gas per day, which powers his irrigation pump for six hours and his family’s cooking stove.

The father of five says cutting out diesel has saved him around $10-$12 daily over the past 13 months.

He has used the money to plant seasonal vegetables on five additional hectares that had lain fallow for several years due to a lack of funds.

Turning a lever to start his groundwater pump, Abbasi recalls how the 20-horse power engine used to consume around 13 litres of diesel each day. But he has not bought diesel since he installed the biogas-run pump in March 2015.

“This is a brilliant saving,” he said. “This means additional income of $1,150 for me annually. It has helped improve our family’s economic well-being.”

Close to 20 other farmers in his area have followed suit and are also running their irrigation pumps on biogas, thanks to the government-backed project.

Vegetable farmer Naeem Raza Shah uses slurry left over from the biogas production process to fertilise his 19 hectares, cutting out chemical fertiliser which previously cost him around $850 per year.

“The organic fertiliser from the biogas plant is an economic blessing for me,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

SUBSIDIES FOR SMALL FARMERS

Abbasi and Raza are among nearly 17,000 beneficiaries of the $67 million programme that aims to convert 100,000 irrigation pumps from diesel to biogas by the end of 2017 across Punjab province.

According to Punjab Agriculture Minister Farrukh Javed, the initiative aims to reduce dependence on diesel and boost farm productivity by improving access to irrigation water and promoting the use of bio-fertiliser, while fighting groundwater contamination from chemical inputs.

The government is paying half of the conversion cost for diesel-powered pumps, which ranges from 200,000 to 400,000 rupees ($1,912-$3,824) per tube well.

The subsidies are weighted in favour of farmers with less land, who usually have lower incomes and would struggle to afford the pump conversion without additional financial support.

The programme is expected to avoid the use of 288 million litres of diesel, worth 30 billion rupees each year.

It will help cut the diesel import bill and boost farmers’ profits, while reducing environmental pollution. It is expected to shrink the sector’s carbon footprint by more than 5 percent.

Agriculture accounts for nearly 39 percent of Pakistan’s annual carbon emissions, which are increasing at a rate of 6 percent per year.

According to a 2010 census by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, farmers operate 1.1 million irrigation pumps across the country to exploit groundwater, more than 70 percent of them in Punjab. Of these, 900,000 are run on diesel.

Meanwhile, in Punjab alone, there are 32 million cattle and buffalo, which produce 117 million tonnes of dung annually - enough to produce around 6 billion cubic metres of biogas.

“The government should encourage the private sector to join its efforts to capitalise on the untapped opportunity the biogas sector offers in view of the millions of tonnes of unused dung from 180 million head of cattle across the country,” said Arif Allauddin, former head of Pakistan's Alternative Energy Development Board.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan's plan for tackling deforestation: Plant a billion trees. #ClimateChange

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2016/05/18/pakistans-plan-for-tackling-deforestation-a-billion-trees/


It's a rough life in Pakistan, even for a tree.

The country's hills were once home to endless stretches of pine and fir, but these days Pakistan's forest cover is somewhere below 2 percent. In the United States, that number is roughly 33 percent and in India 23 percent.

In an ambitious plan to counter this deforestation, which ecologists say is a major cause of deadly landslides, the government of a province along Pakistan's restive border with Afghanistan says it is a quarter of the way to a goal announced last year: planting 1 billion saplings. The so-called Billion Tree Tsunami campaign was recognized by the Bonn Challenge, a global partnership of forestry ministries to regain green cover.

Landslides killed 140 this April alone and destroyed hundreds of villages in northern Pakistan. Trees' roots help to keep soil in its place. Without them, hillsides more easily erode, and heavy mountain rain can bring whole slopes down — trees, boulders and all.

“The KP government has committed to not only reversing the high rate of deforestation but also shifting the current philosophy of treating forests as ‘revenue’ machines towards preserving them as valued ‘natural capital,’” Malik Amin, an environmentalist who advises the government of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, explained to thethirdpole.net.

"Timber mafias," as well as Afghan refugees and local themselves, have chopped down immense swaths of forest. Many in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (once known as Northwest Frontier Province) don't have electricity, or don't get it regularly, and use wood fires for lighting, cooking and warmth. The so-called mafia refers to those who cut trees without a permit, and allegations that politicians engage in that business are common in Pakistan.

Riaz Haq said...

Biogas Brings Heat, Light to #Pakistani Village. Saves Trees. Cuts Air #Pollution. Improves Health http://www.ipsnews.net/2016/06/biogas-brings-heat-and-light-to-pakistans-rural-poor/ … via @sharethis

Nabela Zainab no longer chokes and coughs when she cooks a meal, thanks to the new biogas-fueled two-burner stove in her kitchen.

Zainab, 38, from Faisalabad, a town 360 kilometers from the Pakistani capital of Islamabad, is among the beneficiaries of a flagship pilot biogas project to free poor households and farmers of their dependence on wood, cattle dung and diesel fuel for cooking needs and running irrigation pumps.

She got the biogas unit, worth 400 dollars, at a 50 percent subsidised rate from the NGO Rural Support Programme Network under the latter’s five-year Pakistan Domestic Biogas Programme (PDBP).

In the past, Zainab had to collect wood from a distant forest three times a week and carry it home balanced on her head.

“Getting rid of that routine is a life-changing experience,” she told IPS.

The four-cubic-meter biogas plant requires the dung of three buffalos every day to meet the energy needs of a four-member family, including cooking, heating, washing and bathing for 24 hours.

It saves nearly 160 kg of fuelwood a day, worth 20 to 25 dollars every month for a four-member family.

The wife of a smallholder vegetable farmer, Zainab says she has suffered from a cough and sore eyes for the last 20 years. “We have no access to piped natural gas in our village. The rising cost of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) was not feasible either for us poor. However, we had no choice but to continue burning buffalo dung cakes or fuelwood,” she said.

Last January, cattle farmer Amir Nawaz installed a biogas plant of eight-cubic-meter capacity at a cost of 700 dollars under the PDBP. He got subsidy of nearly 300 dollars.

“I am now saving nearly 60 dollars a month that I used to spend on LPG,” he told IPS.

His plant is fueled by the dung of his six buffalos — enough to meet household gas needs for cooking and heating.

Nawaz also uses biogas to power wall-mounted lamps in his house at night, saving another 15 dollars a month.

“Above all, this has helped our children do schoolwork and for me to finish up the household chores in the evening hours,” Nawaz’s wife, Shaista Bano, said with a smile.

As many as 5,360 biogas plants of varying sizes have been installed in 12 districts of Punjab province over five years (2009-2015), ridding nearly 43,000 people of exposure to smoke from wood and kerosene.

Nearby, 500 large biogas plants of the 25-cubic-meter capacity each have also been introduced in all 12 districts of Punjab province under the PBDP, namely: Faisalabad, Sargodha, Khushab, Jhang, Chniot, Toba Tek Singh, Shekhapura, Gujranwala, Sahiwal, Pakpatan, Nankana Sahib and Okara.

Such plants provide gas for a family of 10 for cooking, heating and running irrigation pumps for six hours daily.

Rab Nawaz bought one of these large plants for 1,700 dollars. PBDP provided him a subsidy of 400 dollars as part of its biogas promotion in the area.

“I use the dung of 18 buffalos to produce nearly 40 cubic meters of gas every day to run my diesel-turned-biogas-run irrigation pump for six hours and cooking stove for three times a day,” he told IPS, while shoveling out his cattle pen in Sargodha.

The father of three says that after eliminating diesel — which is damaging to the environment and health, as well as expensive — he saves 10-12 dollars daily.

As a part of sustainability of the biogas programme, 50 local biogas construction companies have been set up. International technical experts trained nearly 450 people in construction, maintenance and repair of the biogas units.

Initiated in 2009 by the non-governmental organization National Rural Support Programme – Pakistan (NRSP-Pakistan), PBDP was financed by the Netherlands Embassy in Pakistan and technical support was extended by Winrock International and SNV (Netherlands-based nongovernmental development organisations).

Riaz Haq said...

BBC News - #India climate: What do drowning rhinos and drought tell us? #Pakistan #climatechange
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-36989173

A river, swollen by raging monsoon floodwaters, had torn down a bridge on the main road between Mumbai and Goa.
More than 30 people are thought to have died when the great stone structure crashed into the torrent, taking with it two buses and a number of cars.
Some of the bodies were swept more than 60 miles downriver in two days.
Rescue workers search the flooded River Savitri after an old bridge collapsed in Mahad, western Maharashtra state, India, Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2016.

In the heart-wrenchingly brutal calculus of the newsroom, this isn't a major story. But zoom out, and you begin to see the outlines of a much bigger and more worrying picture.
India, indeed the whole South Asia region, has been riding a rollercoaster of extreme weather.
The summer monsoon is the most productive rain system in the world, and this year the region is experiencing a strong one. The floods it caused have affected more than 8.5 million people; more than a million are living in temporary shelters; some 300 people have been killed.
Though what really caught people's interest was the three baby rhinos rescued from the waters in the north Indian state of Assam.


The fact that 17 adult rhinos drowned got rather less attention.
But the important point is that the region is awash with water. Just a few months ago, it was a very different story. The previous two monsoons were unusually weak. The result was a terrible drought in northern India, and parts of Pakistan and Bangladesh.
And it was exacerbated by another extreme weather event - record heat.
India experienced its highest temperature ever this summer, a blistering 51C.
Rivers ran dry; water holes evaporated; reservoirs became dusty plains. And, once again, the statistics were staggering.
More than 300 million people were affected by water shortages - the equivalent of the entire population of the US. A city of half a million people was left completely dry. It had to rely on supplies brought in by train.

As if that weren't bad enough, in spite of the drought, the country was hit by a series of unseasonal rain and hailstorms. They caused such terrible damage to crops that some farmers were driven to suicide.
All these examples of extreme weather were widely reported, rightly so. What tended not to be discussed was the underlying cause.
We are all interested in weather; few of us want to be told - once again - that our lifestyles are disrupting the global climate. Yet the truth is that many climatologists believe the monsoon, always fickle, is becoming even more erratic as a result of global warming.
The picture in the last couple of years is complicated by the fact that the world has been experiencing a particularly strong El Nino, the periodic weather variation caused by warming of the sea in the Pacific.
But a series of long-term studies have shown the number of extreme rainfall events in South Asia increasing while low-to-moderate events are decreasing. And increasingly erratic and extreme weather is precisely what scientists expect climate change will bring.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has predicted "rainfall patterns in peninsular India will become more and more erratic, with a possible decrease in overall rainfall, but an increase in extreme weather events".
Indian pedestrians and a cyclist wade through a flooded street after heavy monsoon rain showers in Mumbai on June 21, 2016

Riaz Haq said...

#USAID, #Pakistan banks partner for $88 million small-scale #renewable energy projects financing https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/153912-USAID-banks-partner-for-88mln-energy-sectors-financing …

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) on Friday partnered with five banks to lend an estimated $88 million for the development of clean energy sector in Pakistan.

The US Consul General Karachi Grace Shelton presided over the signing of a partnership agreement between the USAID and Habib Bank Limited, MCB Bank Limited, Faysal Bank Limited, Meezan Bank Limited and JS Bank Limited.

Under the 15-year partnership, the U.S. government agency agreed to settle half of the total bad loans. Approximately, $88 million in financing will be available to support the development of the clean energy sector.

Partner banks will be able to provide debt financing to small-scale clean energy projects undertaken by developers, companies or households. The loan is for purchasing energy equipment.

"The U.S. Government is excited to partner with some of Pakistan's leading private commercial banks and support the banks' efforts in promoting clean energy," said William Hammink, USAID Assistant to the Administrator for Afghanistan-Pakistan Affairs. "Under the program, small scale clean energy projects will be able to access long-term, Pakistani rupee financing.”

Hammink said the facility is expected to significantly improve access to financing for the smaller scale projects and encourage private investment in clean energy.

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Working with other US agencies, as well as donors and international development partners, USAID has focused its program over the last year on five areas essential to Pakistan’s stability and long-term development and reflective of Pakistani priorities: energy, economic growth, stabilisation, education and health.

Over the last year, USAID has streamlined the number of projects from approximately 150 to less than 70 and has also chosen to implement over half of all funding through local organisations in Pakistan – both government and non-government.

Riaz Haq said...

India and China account for more than half of the world’s premature deaths due to air pollution, a new report said.

Noting that India’s lives lost to the tiny particulate matter is “approaching” China’s numbers, the ‘State of Global Air 2017’ report said that among the 10 most populous countries and the European Union (EU), Bangladesh and India have the highest exposure to PM2.5, the “steepest” rise since 2010.


What
Globally, there was 60 per cent rise in ozone attributable deaths, with a striking 67 per cent of this increase occurring in India.
The ‘State of Global Air 2017’ is the first of a new series of annual reports and accompanying interactive website, designed by Health Effects Institute in cooperation with the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington and University of British Columbia.
In 2015, long-term exposure to PM2.5 contributed to 4.2 million deaths and to a loss of 103 million years of healthy life. China and India together accounted for 52 per cent of the total global deaths attributable to PM2.5.
It found that increasing exposure and a growing and aging population have meant that India now rivals China for among the highest air pollution health burdens in the world, with both countries facing some 1.1 million early deaths due to it in 2015.
According to the report, while 11,08,100 deaths were attributed to PM2.5 exposure in China in 2015, in India, it was 10,90,400.
Around 92 per cent of the world’s population lives in areas with “unhealthy” air.
Bangladesh and India, have experienced the steepest rise in air pollution levels since 2010 and now have the highest PM2.5 concentrations among the countries.
Among the world’s 10 most populous countries and the EU, the biggest increase (14 per cent to 25 per cent) in seasonal average population-weighted concentrations of ozone over the last 25 years were experienced in China, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Brazil.
China, India, Bangladesh, and Japan increases in exposure, combined with increases in population growth and aging, resulted in net increases in attributable mortality.
Meanwhile, Pakistan, Bangladesh and India had PM2.5 attributable Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALYs) rates that were 5 to 10 times the lowest rates, which were found in the US and Japan.

http://www.ksgindia.com/index.php/study-material/news-for-aspirants/5972-state-of-global-air-2017-report

https://www.stateofglobalair.org/sites/default/files/SOGA2017_report.pdf

Riaz Haq said...

Contract to build Dasu Dam with 4,325 MW power and 1,410 million cubic meter water storage awarded to a Chinese firm.

Here's a China Daily report:

China has contracted to build a hydroelectric power project in Pakistan, with the first phase of investment reaching $2.5 billion.

China Gezhouba Group Co Ltd has agreed to invest more than $1.72 billion for the construction of the main works of the 5,400MW Dasu hydropower project in the country, cooperating with the local water and power development authority, the company said on Thursday.

According to Deng Yinqi, vice president of CGGC, a member company of the China Energy Engineering Corporation, the construction of the hydropower project is a significant milestone in Chinese construction going global.

Deng said: "CGGC has been involved with Pakistani construction works for years and the company is committed to continuously contributing to the local economy."

According to CGGC, the power project, situated in remote mountainous terrain in the Upper Indus valley in the district of Kohistan, in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in northern Pakistan, is one of the most challenging hydroelectric power projects ever undertaken.

On completion it should be capable of generating 12 billion kilowatt hours annually, the company said.

The Chinese operator said the project would provide more than 8,000 jobs to local residents while helping the Pakistan government modernize and expand the energy sector of the country, shifting from thermal generated electricity to clean, low-cost high reward hydroelectricity.

The project, consisting of the main dam, affiliated facilities, a powerhouse, a residential complex and transmission lines, will also help boost the development of local industry, agriculture and tourism.

Chinese companies have branched out beyond their borders in recent years to become the biggest builders of hydropower projects worldwide, exporting its hydroelectric power know-how to developing countries.

Hydroelectricp projects require huge investment involving complex issues, especially when investing in projects overseas.

On the other hand, China's investment in clean energy would help reduce pollution, said Joseph Jacobelli, a senior analyst with Asia utilities and infrastructure research at Bloomberg Intelligence.

http://africa.chinadaily.com.cn/business/2017-03/10/content_28502786.htm

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan’s Unheralded Fight Against Climate Change
BY MICHAEL KUGELMAN

https://thewire.in/115683/pakistans-fight-against-climate-change/

Small steps by Pakistan are helping to create resilience in the face of climate change, an issue the Indus Waters Treaty did not anticipate, and which endangers it.

In 2013, Pakistan launched a National Climate Change Policy (NCCP) and an accompanying implementation framework. It proposes the development of renewables, the imposition of a carbon tax, and the implementation of “green fiscal reforms” to reduce emissions.

Hold on, one might say. Pakistan has introduced scores of promising laws and policies that fail to get implemented. And yet the NCCP is different – thanks to the efforts of Syed Mansoor Ali Shah, a judge with the high court of Lahore. In 2015, in a ruling with few precedents anywhere in the world, he ordered Islamabad to do more to enforce the climate change adaptation measures articulated in the NCCP. His ruling also established a new climate change commission to oversee the process. Subsequent orders issued by Shah laid out a detailed timetable for commission meetings and the fulfillment of expected deliverables.

Accompanying the NCCP has been a series of government efforts to incentivise both producers and consumers to embrace renewables. Islamabad has announced generous upfront tariffs to solar and small hydro power producers. It has approved new measures that facilitate the installation of rooftop solar panels for private use, and that enable solar-powered homeowners to receive credits on future energy bills if they allow their excess solar power to be supplied to the national grid. The State Bank of Pakistan and Alternative Energy Development Board have announced a new mortgage financing option that enables homeowners to borrow up to $50,000 against their mortgage to pay for the installation of rooftop solar panels. Meanwhile, the provincial government in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa has announced a plan to provide solar power to nearly 6,000 off-grid households – while footing 90% of the bill.

To be sure, this progress is more modest than robust, and formidable obstacles stand in the way of deeper and sustained climate change mitigation efforts. Climate change – as in many other countries – is not viewed by Islamabad as a priority relative to more immediate policy concerns. Solar and wind energy costs are prohibitively high. Additionally, Pakistan’s 18th constitutional amendment, which was ratified in 2010 and devolves more power and resources to the provinces, axed the national environment ministry and transferred authority over environment regulation to provincial authorities woefully unfamiliar with environmental policy. On top of all this, Pakistan’s rapid urbanisation – and the increase in heavy industrialisation and exhaust-belching automobiles that this entails – ensures relentless environmental stress.

And yet, it would be a travesty if the very real progress Pakistan has made in climate change mitigation were to go to waste. This progress can be safeguarded and enhanced by introducing additional measures – civil society and media-led awareness-building campaigns about the climate change threat; more regulation of renewable energy markets to attract more investors and bring costs down (middlemen often take advantage of an unregulated environment to sell renewable products at sky-high prices); climate change-blunting correctives such as stringent new laws against deforestation; and the recruitment of international donors to sponsor capacity-building training programs that help provincial officials better learn how to oversee environmental policy.

Riaz Haq said...

Poor #Farmers -- Unlike Rich -- Face Uphill Battle With #Pakistan's Climate Extremes. #ClimateChange #Agriculture

http://www.voanews.com/a/poor-farmers-uphill-battle-pakistan-climate-extremes/3784698.html

Three years ago he stopped growing rice on the farm in Bakrani, a village a few miles from Larkana, in southern Pakistan's Sindh province. The crop was too labor-intensive, and took too long to get to harvest, he said.

Now he squeezes out a living for his family cultivating vegetables that grow more quickly and require less water.

"In view of the rapidly changing weather and upheaval in it, growing a six-month rice crop that requires huge irrigation and care was not a viable option compared to growing vegetables," he said.


Land, money, education

Richer farmers, with more land, money and education, meanwhile, are finding the switch easier. That reality suggests Pakistan may face a future where an uncertain climate forces the poor - who cultivate over 80 percent of the country's agricultural land - out of farming unless they get help, experts say.

Failing small farms could undermine government efforts to achieve sustainable agriculture and food security, and to eradicate poverty, hunger and malnutrition, experts warn.

"Providing the poor farmers with required technical, financial and institutional support ... is key," said Khuda Bakhsh, an agriculture scientist at the COMSATS Institute of Information Technology in Vehari, in Punjab province.

In Bakrani, Assadullah, after abandoning rice, is growing traditional varieties of cauliflower, spinach, green chilli, cabbage, tomatoes and onion. He says that in his village many farmers with larger plots of land are adopting water conservation technologies, such as drip irrigation.

He would like to join them, but the installation costs "up to $700 per hectare" are too high, he says.

But 80 kilometers (50 miles) east, in Khairpur, 38-year-old Nawaz Somroo is using lasers to grow more cotton on his father's more than 80 hectares of land.

Agricultural studies

Unlike the self-trained Assadullah, Somroo is a graduate in agricultural science from Faisalabad Agriculture University, one of the Pakistan's top agricultural schools.

With his education and access to more money, Somroo has been able to adopt improved cotton varieties with higher yields. He uses the latest laser technology to make his fields level, which helps him reduce water consumption by nearly 60 percent.

Somroo said that until 2012 his father cultivated a traditional cotton variety. But at the university, Somroo learned about a seed variety bio-engineered to be pest resistant and introduced it on the family farm. Yields jumped by about a third.

---
But resource-poor farmers could be encouraged to stay in farming through things like on-farm demonstrations, help diversifying crops and adjusting the timing of cultivation, and better access to new crop varieties and water management techniques, he said.

Credit schemes for small-scale farmers and subsidised access to technology could also help, he noted.

He said a recent CIMMYT study showed that farmers who adapted to changing weather had achieved 8-13 percent better food security than those who did not, and poverty was 3-6 percent lower.

Programs to help

Pakistani provincial agriculture departments have launched a few programs to boost farmers' ability to cope with climate change.

Starting this year, a three-year World Bank-funded effort is underway to help 16,000 small-scale farmers in Sindh province adapt their livestock and vegetable farming, said Sohail Anwar Siyal, the Sindh provincial agriculture minister.

The $88 million scheme aims to improve the productivity and market access of small- and medium-scale farmers by improving their knowledge and access to technology.

Late last year, Punjab's chief minister also launched programs to help farmers with everything from new financial support to a distribution of more than 5 million smartphones.

Riaz Haq said...

#China and #Pakistan sign US$50 billion MoU for #Indus River Cascade. #Bhasha #Dasu #Patan #Thakot Dams. #CPEC http://www.hydroworld.com/articles/2017/05/china-and-pakistan-sign-mou-for-us-50-billion-earmarked-for-indus-river-cascade.html China and Pakistan signed a US$50 billion memorandum of understanding (MoU) on May 13 to develop and complete the Indus River Cascade, according to information from the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The MoU was one of several signed related to improving and developing Pakistan’s infrastructure.
Yousuf Naseem Khokhar, Pakistan’s Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) secretary for Water and Power, and Chinese Ambassador in Pakistan, Sun Weidong, signed the MoU under the CPEC agreement during the Diamer-Bhasha Project Conference hosted by China’s National Energy Administration (NEA) in Beijing, China.
Under the MoU, China’s NEA would oversee building and funding the five hydropower projects that have an estimated total installed generation capacity of 22,320 MW and according to WAPDA, the Indus River has a potential of producing 40,000 MW.
The Indus River Cascade begins from Skardu in Gilgit-Baltistan and runs through Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, both located in the northwestern portion of Pakistan. Overall, Pakistan has identified a potential of 60,000 MW from hydropower projects.
The planned cascade includes the 4,500-MW Diamer-Basha project, which is already being constructed and four additional projects being developed: 2,400-MW Patan; 4,000-MW Thakot; 7,100-MW Bunji; and 4,320-MW Dasu.
In April, WAPDA awarded a pair of contracts to perform resettlement works associated with construction of the two-stage Dasu hydropower project to China's Zhongmei Engineering Group, worth about $18.56 million combined. The work includes the resettlement of Barseen, Kaigah, Khoshe, Logro, Nasirabad and Uchar.
WAPDA said the resettlement package includes utilities, roads and other amenities including schools, livestock accommodations and recreational areas.
In February, WAPDA announced it finalized the main contracts for civil works for stage-1 of the Dasu project, which is 2,160 MW. The Dasu hydropower stage-I project is estimated to cost about $4.2 billion and is located on the Indus River in the Kohsitan district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Its location is about 240 km upstream of the 3,480-MW Tarbela hydropower complex and 74 km downstream from the Diamer-Basha site.
According to CPEC information, funding the Indus River Cascade represents China’s second-largest investment in Pakistan following $57 billion already committed to several infrastructure improvements under the CPEC.

Riaz Haq said...

Indian media on Bunji and Bhasha dams in Gilgit Baltistan:

China To Invest $27 Billion In Construction Of Two Mega Dams In Pakistan-Occupied Gilgit-Baltistan

https://swarajyamag.com/insta/china-pakistan-plan-for-construction-of-two-mega-dams-in-gilgit-baltistan

China and Pakistan have inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the construction of two mega dams in Gilgit-Baltistan, a part of India’s Jammu and Kashmir state that remains under latter’s illegal occupation. The MoU was signed during the visit of Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to Beijing for participation in the recently concluded Belt and Road Initiative.

The two dams, called Bunji and Diamer-Bhasha hydroelectricity projects, will have the capacity of generating 7,100MW and 4,500MW of electricity respectively. China will fund the construction of the two dams, investing $27 billion in the process, a report authored by Brahma Chellaney in the Times of India has noted.

According to Chellaney, India does not have a single dam measuring even one-third of Bunji in power generation capacity. The total installed hydropower capacity in India’s part of the state does not equal even Diamer-Bhasha, the smaller of the two dams.

The two dams are part of Pakistan’s North Indus River Cascade, which involves construction of five big water reservoirs with an estimated cost of $50 billion. These dams, together, will have the potential of generating approximately 40,000MW of hydroelectricity. Under the MoU, China’s National Energy Administration would oversee the financing and funding of these projects.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan to quadruple #carbon emissions in 15 years despite feeling pain of #climatechange - The Ecologist #energy

http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/2989149/pakistan_to_quadruple_carbon_emissions_despite_feeling_pain_of_climate_change.html

At the same time, as Pakistan has developed, its carbon emissions have grown. Between 1994 and 2015, the country’s carbon emissions grew 123 percent.

And as the country continues to push forward with economic development, under its Vision 2025 strategy and the CPEC, the prime minister recently reiterated the goal of becoming one of the top 20 economies of the world by 2025.

To achieve this economic growth, there will be a focus on the energy and transport sectors, which already account for a sizeable amount of Pakistan's emissions.

In a recent statement, Pakistan’s minister for climate change stated that given the projected economic growth trajectory, emissions in Pakistan were expected to increase from 405 metric tons carbon dioxide to more than 1,603 metric tons of CO2 in the next 15 years - that means increasing by almost four times.

And although this will still not make Pakistan a big emitter, especially in comparison to its neighbours India and China, it will still have significant environmental impacts, as well as implications for Pakistan’s position as a country that has historically painted itself as a sufferer of the impacts of climate change, and not a contributor.

From an energy perspective, Pakistan’s development plans do include investment in renewables under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor, such as the $ 1.6 billion hydropower project in Karot, the $ 1.2 billion solar power park in Bahawalpur and the $ 260 million 100-megawatt wind farm in Jhimpir.

However, these are dwarfed by the huge investments in coal energy at the same time. As a country with a growing population, which faces an energy crisis, the government is justified in investing in energy, but at what future cost?

Recent reports also suggest that the price per unit of renewable energy in Pakistan is much higher than that of its neighbours, despite being tax free.

There are also a number of other hurdles, such as Pakistan’s rapid urbanization - more than half of the country will be living in urban areas by 2025, according to UN estimates. Karachi, the port city, is already the 7th largest megacity in the world.

Not only do urban areas consume a lot of energy, they are also responsible for producing the most emissions - UNHABITAT put the total emissions from carbon from cities at 60 percent, while putting the global consumption at 78 percent.

While Pakistan surges forward with its economic development plans, which is not only encouraging but much needed, it has two options: either to continue in its current role as a vulnerable country, and position itself through its policies as such, or to think 20 years into the future, when it will have a larger economy and a larger population, and create a balance in its policies between curbing emissions growth and adaptation needs.

Given the frequency and rate at which climate change is impacting Pakistan, it will always be a vulnerable country. However, experts are optimistic about Pakistan catching up to its neighbours, India and China, in terms of economic development, albeit with external assistance.

This also means that emissions are set to rise, and Pakistan’s current planning and policies are not fully addressing the implications this may have.

Riaz Haq said...

Green #Pakistan Program. #Pakistan to plant 100 million saplings in monsoon season. #climatechange - Vatican Radio

http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2017/07/24/green_pakistan_programme_%E2%80%8E/1326830

Pakistani government on Sunday approved a monsoon campaign which aims to plant more than 100 million saplings across the nation. Minister for Climate Change Zahid Hamid accorded the approval of what is called the Green Pakistan Programme at a meeting in which targets suggested by various government entities and non-governmental organizations were evaluated and discussed.
Spokesman for the Ministry of Climate Change, Mohammad Saleem later told media that a ceremony would be held in August to launch a full-fledged monsoon plantation campaign sponsored by the federal minister for Climate Change. He explained that the various entities have already made preparations for kicking off the monsoon plantation with enough stocks of saplings in nurseries in various parts of the country.
Trees mitigate impact of flood
Saleem explained that the government was committed to boosting the country’s forest cover in order to mitigate the impact of floods in the most effective way. In this task all provincial and federal government organizations, educational institutes, corporate sector, the NGOs and media were being approached and engaged.
According to the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) forests hold back flood water by nearly 72 hours. Forests reduce intensity of the deluge water, lower chances of deaths and damages to roads, building infrastructures, bridges as well as standing crops from being washed away or wiped out, the spokesman for the Ministry for Climate Change explained. He said the 4-month long monsoon season was the best time for the growth of the country’s forest cover as the wet season provided the much needed rain water for the saplings to grow fast and take a strong grip on the soil.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan plants 1 billionth tree in #KPK to help reverse deforestation. #ImranKhan #PTI #ClimateChange https://upi.com/6618374t via @upi

A plan to plant 1 billion trees in Pakistan to help offset deforestation was achieved this month, Pakistani provincial leader Imran Khan said.

Khan, a former cricket star, began the Billion Tree Tsunami Afforestation Project in 2015 to reverse the trend of heavy deforestation in the region. The initiative's goal was to hit the 1 billion tree mark by the end of 2017, and organizers met it nearly five months ahead of schedule.

"If you plant trees, we have discovered, by the river banks it sustains the rivers. But most importantly, the glaciers that are melting in the mountains, and one of the biggest reasons is because there has been a massive deforestation. So, this billion tree is very significant for our future," Khan, leader of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party, told Voice of America.

The trees were planted in Pakistan's northern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

Inger Anderson, director general of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, praised the Billion Tree Tsunami organizers for making efforts to reverse deforestation in Pakistan.

"IUCN congratulates the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on reaching this momentous milestone," Anderson said. "The Billion Tree Tsunami initiative is a true conservation success story, one that further demonstrates Pakistan's leadership role in the international restoration effort and continued commitment to the Bonn Challenge."

The Bonn Challenge is an effort to restore 350 hectares of deforested land by 2030. The Pakistani effort currently accounts for 350,000 restores hectares of land.

Since 1990, the planet has lost 1.3 million square kilometers of forests, according to World Bank data. The regions that have seen the heaviest losses are Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa.

In Latin America and the Caribbean, nearly 1 million square kilometers of forest was destroyed between 1990 and 2015.