Monday, November 1, 2021

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. 

Pakistan Power Generation Fuel Mix. Source: Third Pole

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
as part of UN Climate Change Conference 2021 in #Glasgow

Many thanks to




samir sardana said...

Renewables have failed to make a dent.Technical evolution in the renewable tech and the efficiencies and scale economies, in the raw material and manufacturing operations, of the component manufacturers - have not been in tandem.Massive surge in renewables,will NOT be financially viable,as the SUPPLY CHAIN AND MANUFACTURING IS BOTTLENECKED.

Thence,comes in COVID.dindooohindoo

The only solution to reduce temperatures and carbon,is COVID.The global economy has to slow down - SIGNIFICANTLY,people have stop working or work from home,and people have to live on the web, and be content with pensions and state doles,and live WITHIN THE DOLES,and the RULES OF THE STATE (enforced via the guise of COVID)


samir sardana said...

What Prince Charles and Company,do not get,is that Renewables in Africa,will not solve the carbon issue.The capacity to pay a carbon tax,capacity to pay a higher renewables tarriff, ideological acceptance of a lifestyle shange, due to carbon - is a prime product,primed for the US and EU.

Africa is ALSO,not the playground,to experiment with renewables - as the power grid and power matrix,is primitive - and what works in Africa,MAY NOT work in the 1st world.

Bio diesel is also not the solution - these are all minor incremental arbitrage opportunities.

The ONLY VIABLE solution is to REDUCE POWER DEMAND for Manufacturing and Consumers.That will happen by crashing manufacturing - which can happen only BY COVID.The world has tried fiscal,monetary,licensing ...... and other policies,and all have failed.

The only way to lower CONSUMER DEMAND FOR POWER,is to keep the users at home,reduce their spending power,place curbs on movement,make them work from home and SHIFT POWER DEMAND FROM CORPORATIONS MANAGEMENT operatins,TO POWER DEMAND from workers and users,IN "WORK FROM HOME" mode on the web.














THAT IS THE COVID TRUTH ! dindooohindoo














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...

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...

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...

Methane emissions (kt of CO2 equivalent) - Country Ranking
Definition: Methane emissions are those stemming from human activities such as agriculture and from industrial methane production.

Rank Country Value Year
1 China 1,752,290.00 2012
2 India 636,395.80 2012
3 Russia 545,818.60 2012
4 United States 499,809.30 2012
5 Brazil 477,076.80 2012
6 Indonesia 223,315.70 2012
7 Pakistan 158,336.60 2012
8 Australia 125,588.20 2012
9 Iran 121,298.10 2012
10 Mexico 116,704.60 2012

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...

Cement sector pledges to decarbonise Pakistan

KARACHI: Pakistan Business Council (PBC) hosted a virtual session with British High Commission and Embassy of Italy to discuss the pathways for the decarbonisation of the country's cement sector.

This webinar comes at a time when the world leaders have huddled in Glasgow to discuss sustainability and growth without compromising everyone’s collective future. Speaking at the moot, Mike Nithavrianakis, British Deputy High Commissioner and Director of Trade, said, “Next to water, concrete is the second-most consumed substance on earth; on average, each person uses nearly three tonnes a year”.

According to Nithavrianakis, the concrete industry uses about 1.6 billion tons of Portland cement to produce 12 billion tons of concrete a year and accounts for 7-8 percent of greenhouse emissions. Ehsan Malik, CEO PBC, said, “The investment in infrastructure and the construction packages of the government will entail substantial increase in the use of cement in Pakistan, so we need to think about climate-resilient ways of production”.

Muhammad Ali Tabba, CEO Lucky Cement Limited and President of All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association said, “In a bid to achieve green growth going forward, the industry globally will have to adapt to climate change challenges and rework business models to ensure environmental stewardship and robust growth and the cement industry in Pakistan is committed to playing its role”. Faustine Delasalle, Co-Executive Director, Mission Possible Partnership and Director, Energy Transitions Commission explained, “There are essentially three routes, which need to be taken to meet the increasing demand whilst reducing emissions in the cement sector”. “The first being a need to relook at using materials efficiently, the second being improving energy efficiency and the third being employing new technologies to cut emissions,” Delasalle added.

According to the statement, Pakistan’s leading companies are also committing to reduce carbon emissions by disclosing their pledge openly. More than 28 companies from various sectors have signed the pledge letter to the ‘Business Ambition to 1.5 Degrees’ – and are ready to embark on the journey to reduce Carbon emissions to 50 percent by 2030.

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...

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...

Fuel being loaded into #Pakistan's 1,100 MW #nuclear power plant K-3 in #Karachi to start generating #electricity by March 2022, brining nuclear to 10% of power in the country. Earlier, K-2 successfully started commercial operation on May 21, 2021. #energy

akistan has completed the loading of fuel at its Chinese-assisted Karachi Nuclear Power Plant Unit-3 to celebrate three decades of cooperation with its “all-weather ally” China, according to a media report here on Saturday.

Pakistani authorities, after getting a formal permit from the Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority (PNRA), completed the fuel loading process of the second 1,100-megawatt nuclear power plant on Friday, the state-run Associated Press of Pakistan (APP) reported.

It said that the ceremony to mark “three decades of cooperation between China and Pakistan in the field of peaceful use of nuclear energy” as well as of the fuel loading of Karachi Nuclear Power Plant Unit-3, commonly known as K-3, was attended by top officials of nuclear energy related organisations from the two countries.

The report said that K-3 is in the final stages of commissioning and after operational and safety tests, the plant is expected to begin commercial operation by the end of March 2022.

A new era in the nuclear power development programme of Pakistan commenced with the signing of the 'Agreement for Cooperation in Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy' between the governments of China and Pakistan in 1986, according to the report.

However, the first concrete step in the remarkable journey was taken 30 years ago when China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) and Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) signed the contract for construction and installation of a 325-megawatt Pressurised Water Reactor (PWR) at Chashma on December 31, 1991, it said.

The cooperation strengthened with the construction of three more nuclear power plants at Chashma Nuclear Power Generation Station (CNPGS) site.

The contract for the construction of two more units having a generation capacity of 1,100 megawatts each near Karachi was signed on February 18, 2013. These units are called Karachi Nuclear Power Plant Unit-2 and 3 (K-2 and K-3).

After the groundbreaking of K-2 and K-3 in November 2013, the construction of K-3 was formally started.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, both Pakistan and China faced all odds and continued the construction work. K-2 successfully started commercial operation on May 21, 2021, and now K-3 is expected to do so by the end of March 2022.

K-2 and K-3 are pressurised water reactors based on the Chinese ACP-1000 design and are generation-three plants equipped with advanced safety features.

With the connection of K-2 and K-3 into the national grid, the share of nuclear power in the energy mix of Pakistan will exceed 10 per cent, according to the report.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Riaz Haq said...

Chinese envoy sees big prospects of Sino-Pak partnership in renewables

Chinese Consul General in Karachi Li Bijian, while speaking as the chief guest at a Memorandum of Understanding signing ceremony here, he said for achieving sustained development goals (SDGs) China had made huge progress in green energy as this was future of the world.

China had largest renewable energy resources and cutting-edge equipment and machinery. Pakistan was also making every possible effort for conversion to green energy. It had big potential of renewable energy with Sindh’s better position in solar.

The memorandum of understanding was signed between Chinese Solar Energy Zonergy Company Limited-Pakistan and Altamash General Hospital, Karachi to install 351 KV solar energy plants to feed Altamash’s three health facilities in the city; with expected completion period of three months.

AGH’s Director Dr. Emad Altamash and CEO of Zonergy Company Limited (Pakistan) Xu Hong Chang signed the agreement, which was witnessed by Chairman of Altamash Group, Prof. Dr. Muhammad Altamash, Chairperson of AGH, Dr. Shahina Altamash and Chinese Consul General in Karachi, Li Bijian.

Chinese Consul General said, “I am very impressed by the quality and quantum of medical equipment at Altamash General Hospital.”

He acknowledged Altamash’s health services to the humanity, especially to low income group people. Today, he said, Altamash Group had taken a step forward for conversion to renewable energy.

Being the fastest and tested friends, and big partners in various social and economic sectors, under CPEC China and Pakistan were also increasing their cooperation and partnership in energy sector especially in renewables, which was the only future solution.

For last couple of decades, the two countries had been working together in energy sector i.e. solar, wind and coal power generation.

“My government is committed for renewables,” he reaffirmed.

He described Zonergy as one of leading solar energy companies of China and appreciated the company’s contribution in promoting green energy. During a media chat there, Chinese diplomat congratulated Pakistanis on celebrating their “Pakistan Resolution Day “ and successfully holding great event of two-day OIC Foreign Ministers’ Conference in Islamabad.—APP

Riaz Haq said...

Under the project, a 150 MW floating solar subproject will be deployed in the Ghazi Barrage headpond and another floating project of similar capacity at the Forebay of the existing Ghazi Barotha Hydropower plant. The project would greatly enhance the electricity supply and help meet the rising demand for electricity in the country.

Currently, according to the National Electric Power Regulator Authority state industry report 2021, Pakistan’s total installed electricity generation capacity is 143,588 GWH, of which a measly 4,521 GWH is produced by renewable sources such as solar and wind. Thermal sources account for 61.76 percent, whereas Hydel sources account for 27.02 percent. A shift toward renewable sources of energy was long pending and is a major component of Pakistan’s vision 2050.

The Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) plans to take on the Floating Solar Project (FSP or the Project) and, in that effort, seeks financing from the World Bank. Pakistan’s Water and Power Development Authority has prepared a Stakeholder Engagement Plan (SEP), and according to a report by Business Recorder, it is engaged in meetings with the World Bank to establish a 300 MW floating solar project in the country.

A delegation from the World Bank is expected to reach Pakistan today for a ten-day visit, for the initial assessment and evaluation of the project. The World Bank delegation will meet with all the relevant authorities and stakeholders, such as the Ministry of Water Resources, Water and Power Development Authority, and the Economic Affairs Division. After the visit, the World Bank mission would generate a feasibility report of the project, which would detail the proposed financing and the expected Return on Investment (ROI) in the following period.

The World Bank team includes but is not limited to; Gunjan Gautam (Senior Energy Specialist and Task Team Leader), Rikard Liden (Lead Energy Specialist and co-Task Team Leader), Imran ul Haq (Senior Social Development Specialist), Sana Ahmad (Environmental Specialist), Uzma Sadaf (Sr Procurement Specialist), Shafiq Hussain (Procurement Specialist), Noureen LNU (Financial Management Specialist), Mohammad Omar Khalid (Senior Consultant) to be supported by Amna W Mir (Senior Program Associate).

The World Bank mission is expected to hold a meeting with the project management unit of WAPDA on the 22 April in Islamabad. Following which, it is scheduled to meet with the officials of the Water Resources Ministry on 23 April. The mission would also listen to briefings and partake in discussion sessions with the relevant authorities.
According to the initial assessment conducted by the Water and Power Distribution Authority of Pakistan, the project is expected to strengthen the capacity of WAPDA as it increases the supply of electricity by financing 300 MW floating solar subprojects in water body of the already existing project of the Ghazi-Barotha complex.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan: Experts stress shifting to coal for energy needs

Power sector experts have emphasised upon Pakistan to push harder for utilisation of lignite - an economical alternative to imported furnace oil and RLNG (re-gasified liquefied natural gas) - as it is crucial for the country’s ambition to achieve higher economic growth through industrialisation.

Besides industrialisation, provision of electricity to domestic consumers by using local coal reserves could serve the purpose of generating cheap electricity and curbing the ever increasing circular debt in the power sector, they added. They were of the view that the incumbent coalition government, led by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, inherited fiscally unsustainable circular debt of nearly Rs2.5 trillion and lofty subsidies on energy prices, as well as re-surging blackouts despite surplus generation capacity. Electricity at current price is not affordable for businesses and residential consumers.

According to the government, the electricity generation cost rose by over 66% in March compared to a year ago because of the surging global energy prices.

The generation cost has surged 66.2% to Rs9.22 kWh in March this year from Rs5.55 kWh a year ago owing to spike in imported fossil fuel prices.

“Pakistan should now focus on local coal reserves for power generation as an alternate to imported fuel and coal given that its cost is much cheaper than the imported coal,” emphasised Sino-Sindh Resources Deputy CEO Chaudhary Abdul Qayyum.

Talking to The Express Tribune, Qayyum said that the local coal prices were not sensitive to international price fluctuations.

“Local coal at Thar is available for as low as $40 per ton and with rise in mine scaling, its prices will fall further to $30 a ton,” he pointed out.

“The best thing is that the government has to pay the price in local currency.”

Currently, around 16 million tons of coal is being imported by Pakistan to operate four power plants, Qayyum said adding that if these plants had been running on local coal, massive amounts of foreign exchange could have been saved by the country besides generation of cheap electricity.

He underlined that the recent commodity cycle had witnessed imported coal prices going up to $420-470 a ton from $100-120 a ton, making imported coal even more expensive than residual fuel oil (RFO) for power production.

Riaz Haq said...

Karot Hydropower connects unit one to national grid. It is a 720 MW plant constructed on river Jhelum, #Pakistan , in collaboration with one of the largest state-owned #Chinese power companies, #China Three Gorges Corporation. #CPEC Global Village Space

Pakistan’s first Hydel power generation project – Karot Hydropower – under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) connected unit one to the national grid on 30 April, kick-starting the operations at full capacity, reported Developing Pakistan, a Pakistan based digital media platform. By connecting unit one of the Karot Hydropower, the project pumps 180 MW of electricity into the national grid. Karot Hydropower Project is a 720 MW constructed on river Jhelum, Pakistan, in collaboration with one of the largest state-owned Chinese power companies, the China Three Gorges Corporation, more commonly known as the CTG. The rest of the three units will be connected to the national grid in the upcoming months.

The project’s financial close was achieved in March 2017, and construction work began the same year. The mechanical, electrical, and other technical works of the project were completed around February 2022, and internal testing began in the same month. Work pertaining to transmitting power to the national grid was mostly completed by January however was not completed till April 30. The project is the first of three hydropower projects under China Pakistan Economic Corridor, and the estimated cost to get the plant operational stands at around $1.42 billion. According to the Managing Director of the Private Power and Infrastructure Board, the other two include “the 870MW Sukhi Kenari HPP and 1,124MW Kohala HPP.” Work on Sukhi Kerani is underway, whereas the construction of the Kohala Hydropower Project is yet to be initiated. The Kohala HPP is also being constructed on the Jhelum river, and a tripartite agreement was signed for its construction in June 2020; however, due to tax issues, the work on the construction site of the said river has still not begun.

It is pertinent to mention that according to the National Electric Power Regulator Authority state industry report 2021, Hydel sources of electricity generation account for 27.02 percent of the country’s electricity, significantly more than any other source except for thermal.

Separately, to address the energy demands of the country, Pakistani authorities have also engaged the World Bank to facilitate the set up of a 300 MW floating solar project at the Tarbela – Ghazi Barotha complex. The project’s projected cost is proposed to be around $346.5 million. Under the project, a 150 MW floating solar subproject will be deployed in the Ghazi Barrage headpond and another floating project of similar capacity at the Forebay of the existing Ghazi Barotha Hydropower plant. The project would greatly enhance the electricity supply and help meet the rising demand for electricity in a climate-smart manner.

Riaz Haq said...

A crucial bridge in northern Pakistan collapsed on 7 May after a glacial lake outburst.

This was caused by a recent heatwave, which released huge amounts of water into the stream and surrounding areas, local media reported.

Experts are saying the water volume at the Shisper glacier lake had increased by 40 per cent over the past 20 days due to unusually high and abrupt temperature rises in the north of the country.

Pakistan recorded its hottest April in decades with Jacobabad touching 49C.

They also added that rapidly melting glaciers have created more than 3,000 glacial lakes in the northern areas and 33 could burst soon. This would send torrents of water coursing through streams, which is very dangerous.

In Hassanabad, local officials helped those affected and ensured that people were not stranded due to the flooding.

“A compact bridge would be temporarily installed to restore traffic,” while construction of a permanent bridge would take about seven to eight months, National Highway Authority chair Muhammad Khurram Agha said, according to Gulf News.

Traffic was diverted to an alternate route and heavy transport vehicles were barred.

There has been no loss of life, officials said.

Riaz Haq said...

#India ramps up #coal production & consumption amid record-setting #HeatWaves, although #Modi pledged to be a leader in #renewableenergy. #FossilFuels #Solar #Wind #climate #COP26 #BJP #energy #economy

But India has installed less than 100 gigawatts of solar and wind power so far, and most Indian analysts say the 175 gigawatt goal is beyond reach this year.

Had India stuck to its pledge on renewables, it would not have faced a power shortage this spring, according to estimates from the Climate Risk Horizons consultancy in New Delhi. Even on April 29, when Delhi reached 110 degrees — the second-highest temperature for that month in 70 years — and peak electricity demand hit a record high, India could have met the need had it been on track to install 160 gigawatts of solar and wind power by the end of the year, said Ashish Fernandes, the consultancy’s chief executive.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi has long touted his vision of turning India into a leader in renewable energy. Recent weeks have revealed a more complicated reality.

In the past month, as India broiled under a historic heat wave and consumed a record amount of electricity for cooling, the Coal Ministry announced it would reopen old mines and increase output by 100 million tons. As cities went into rolling blackouts because of electricity shortages, the Power Ministry ordered plants that burn imported coal to run at full capacity.

The environment ministry has given coal mines permission to boost production by up to 50 percent without seeking new permits, according to a May 7 memo. The memo attributed the relaxed environmental regulations to “huge pressure on domestic coal supply in the country” and said “all efforts are being made to meet the demand of coal.”

The developments highlight the persistent, even growing, reliance on coal in the world’s third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases — and one of the foremost victims of climate change.

Although analysts acknowledge that India faces a genuine dilemma in how to meet its soaring energy demands, many say the government is sending mixed policy signals by promoting coal mining and power generation as it trumpets its green ambitions on the international stage. In the run-up to the 2015 Paris climate agreement, Modi pledged to install 175 gigawatts of renewable energy capacity by 2022. He later raised that target to 450 gigawatts by 2030.

Riaz Haq said...

What is happening to Pakistan’s green stimulus?
New climate change minister Sherry Rehman has given her assurance that Pakistan will remain serious about conservation.

Wajahat Shah, 32, is a labourer at a government-run tree plantation, spread over 3,000 hectares of army land in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. “Ten days after the government announced the lockdown due to coronavirus, I had to close my grocery shop,” Shah told The Third Pole.

The plantation is part of the Ten Billion Tree Tsunami Programme, the flagship initiative of the recently ousted Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government. The project has been a lifesaver for up to 85,000 residents like Shah, Mohammad Usman Khan, a forest officer, said.

Before Covid-19, Shah earned as much as 25,000 Pakistani rupees (USD 129) a month from his shop. Now, his work at the plantation gives him PKR 15,000 (USD 77), and he also receives a small monthly rent from his shop, which is being run by someone else.

“I know this is much less, but our family of three has fewer needs [now]; I also prefer working outdoors,” he said, adding that this way he gets time to study for his bachelor’s degree.

However, forest officer Khan admitted that turning 3,000 hectares of barren army land into an oasis, growing olive, ziziphus lotus, rosewood, acacia trees and more, is too big a task for the 50 labourers the plantation employs. The government’s hands, he explained, were tied due to lack of funds.

The area – 32 kilometres from Peshawar, the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa – has plenty of water, with groundwater drawn from solar-powered tubewells, but not enough manpower. “We should have at least eight labourers for every 40 hectares,” said Khan, adding that it may not be possible to green the area without more staff.

A ‘booster dose’ for conservation
Pakistan’s Green Stimulus, a USD 120 million loan from the World Bank, was conceived as a “booster dose” for this and similar nature-based projects, said former minister for climate change, Malik Amin Aslam, using a Covid-19 analogy.

The money, originally earmarked for a project by the Pakistan Meteorological Department, was redirected to nature restoration in response to hardship created by Covid-19, Aslam said.

Speaking to The Third Pole on 29 April following Imran Khan’s removal as prime minister, he said he feared the package may face delays.

These “nature-positive funds” Aslam said, referring to the Green Stimulus package, were “literally within arm’s reach”, with the first tranche to be released by 15 April. “The first phase was ready for rollout – when we ourselves got prematurely rolled out!” he rued.

Pakistan’s Green Stimulus fits within the scope of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021–2030, a framework focused on reversing ecosystem loss to fight the climate crisis. It “was meant to protect nature and give green jobs to thousands of people including youth and women”, Aslam explained.

Now with Pakistan in political turmoil, Aslam feared that “all efforts to protect nature and give green jobs may well go down the drain”.

New minister wants to continue Pakistan’s green stimulus
Aslam’s concerns may be unfounded. Sherry Rehman, the new climate change minister, told The Third Pole that the grant will remain available to Pakistan. The World Bank, she explained, is supporting the country, not a particular administration under a certain party, so the agreement still stands.

The Third Pole contacted the World Bank about the status of the loan; a reply had not been received at the time of publication.

Riaz Haq said...

What is happening to Pakistan’s green stimulus?
New climate change minister Sherry Rehman has given her assurance that Pakistan will remain serious about conservation.

According to the agreement, a body called the National Disaster & Risk Management Fund will receive the funds and distribute them to various departments. Eleven projects have already been vetted and approved by the bank.

“The MoCC [Ministry of Climate Change] would like to continue with [the Green Stimulus] initiative and adopt any course correction in future if necessary,” Rehman said.

Upon taking office, however, she was expecting the ministry to be more than “a single project implementation department” dedicated solely to planting trees.

“[The MoCC] is essentially a policy ministry, not a project implementation department,” she pointed out, detailing her vision of the climate change ministry, which includes policy design, monitoring provinces and engaging internationally with the global community to press Pakistan’s case as a low net polluter.

But above all, Rehman said, “[the ministry] needs Pakistan to engage in a public conversation on conservation and climate goals through state and community action”.

She noted the absence of a climate communication cell at the ministry, as well as the fact that the federal secretary’s post remains vacant. And when it comes to gender, she added, “institutional frameworks in Pakistan are inadvertently designed to preserve inequity”.

The Climate Council, a forum where representatives for the provinces meet to discuss and cooperate on frameworks for climate action, has been dormant with not a single meeting held in the past four years, she added. “All this needs to change,” she said.

Acknowledging that Rehman would have a “good idea” of the country’s needs and priorities on the climate front, Aslam cautioned that “implementation and focus” require political ownership and the understanding and backing needed at the highest level “may be missing in this administration”.

Domestic reform is the new priority
Aslam said adopting the “two-pronged approach of using clean energy transition and nature-based solutions” is essential. Reversing targets set by the previous government, he warned, will not only have ecological but economic and social consequences that Pakistan can ill afford.

He said he hoped the present government “can comprehend this and take the logical way forward towards climate compatible development”.

However, Rehman commented that she worried that Pakistan has been put in a “commitment trap” where, at the international level, “it has promised far more than it can even measure, let alone deliver”.

“While commitments to lower emissions were made abroad, no infrastructure or institutional reform was attempted at home for a genuine energy transition,” she pointed out.

And despite the “existential” nature of the crisis, no awareness was built either at a policymaking or a community level. “No work or public messaging on water deficits were made,” said Rehman, even though Pakistan will be water-scarce by 2025, according to the UN. “It seems that climate solutions have been reduced to tree plantation only.”

Riaz Haq said...

India Calls Environment Index 'Unscientific'; 'Rankings Based on Performance,' Says Lead Author
This year, India is ranked lowest, at 180.

The EPI, released on June 6, was put together by a group of scientists from institutes including the universities of Yale and Columbia. It analyses 40 performance indicators, such as particulate matter levels and projected greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), across 11 categories (including air quality and climate change mitigation).

The scientists then use this to rank the 180 countries on their “progress toward improving environmental health, protecting ecosystem vitality and mitigating climate change”. According to the EPI report, its methodology has been refined over two decades and it builds on the most recent data.

Analysis of the EPI data demonstrates that financial resources, good governance, human development, and regulatory quality matter in elevating a country’s sustainability, it noted.

This year, India is ranked lowest, at 180, with an EPI score of just 18.9 (on a scale of 0 to 100).

“Based on the latest scientific insights and environmental data, India ranks at the bottom of all countries in the 2022 EPI, with low scores across a range of critical issues,” the report reads. “Deteriorating air quality and rapidly rising greenhouse gas emissions pose especially urgent challenges.”

The EPI data also indicates that India is one of the four countries – apart from China, the United States and Russia – that will account for over 50% of residual global greenhouse gas emissions in 2050, if current trends hold. “A total of 24 countries will be responsible for nearly 80% of 2050 emissions unless decision-makers strengthen climate policies and emissions trajectories change,” the EPI report noted.

‘Based on surmises and unscientific methods’

In a press release on June 8, the Union environment ministry said it “does not accept” the Index’s analysis and conclusions for several reasons, including changes in methodology.

According to the Ministry, ‘Projected GHG Emissions levels in 2050’ is a new indicator that the EPI, 2022 uses. However, it takes into account only the average rate of change in emissions over the last decade, and does not incorporate aspects such as the extent of renewable energy capacity.

India’s data on forests and wetlands – which are crucial carbon sinks – has not been factored into the Index while computing the projected greenhouse gas emissions trajectory up to 2050. India’s historical data on emissions – which is low compared to developed countries, most of which rank high in the EPI 2022 – has also not been considered, said the Ministry.

Moreover, the weight of indicators in which the country was performing well have been reduced and reasons for the change in assignment of weights has not been explained in the report, the Ministry alleged.

“For example, new parameters have changed the weightage given to climate policy as an objective. Similarly, the ecosystem vitality policy objective’s weightage has [been] reduced from 60% to 42% in the total EPI,” the ministry claims, saying that these changes in methodology have contributed to India’s dismal rank compared to previous iterations.

“The Environmental Performance Index, 2022, released recently, has many indicators based on unfounded assumptions. Some of these indicators used for assessing performance are extrapolated and based on surmises and unscientific methods,” the Union environment ministry said in the release.

Riaz Haq said...

India Calls Environment Index 'Unscientific'; 'Rankings Based on Performance,' Says Lead Author
This year, India is ranked lowest, at 180.

According to the Ministry, the Index also uses “outdated” data. The Ministry had requested that the EPI refer to the India State of Forests Report (ISFR 2021) for the latest data on biodiversity variables, but this has not been done, the ministry said. Ironically, experts have raised questions about the methodology used in the ISFR 2021, which may show India to be more forested than it really is.

Collaborating with, learning from peers

The EPI, however, has always based rankings on existing country performance and not on historical emissions or climate policy intent, clarified lead author of the Index, Martin Wolf, principal investigator at the Yale Centre for Environmental Law and Policy, in an email to The Wire.

The goal of the EPI is to “inform current policy choices, not place blame on countries for contributing to climate change or destroying the environment,” he said. In fact, the best use of the EPI is to compare countries to their peers; for example, it is useful to compare India to other major developing countries, like China, he added.

“Although they are not perfectly analogous, these two countries have things to learn from each other. India may be able to borrow some policies China has enacted to improve air quality, while China can learn from India about many issues, like sustainable fisheries and wetland conservation. The hope is that with data-driven analyses like the EPI, countries will be able to collaborate with their peers to improve their country’s environmental performance,” Wolf said.

Similarly, with every iteration, the EPI adjusts the weights given to indicators to reflect a balanced scorecard, clarified Wolf. “We do not adjust weights to punish certain countries. Rather, we choose weights such that all issues are reflected in a country’s overall ranking.”

The EPI recognises the “shortcomings” of the new greenhouse gas emissions trajectories, and hopes to incorporate additional nuances in future iterations of the report, Wolf added. However, even with factoring in carbon sinks, China, India, the United States, and Russia are not on track to meet the climate targets outlined by the 2021 Glasgow Climate Pact.

“Efforts and plans to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere is not a substitute for reducing emissions in the first place,” Wolf told The Wire.

“The EPI looks forward to collaborating with the Indian government and the Ministry as we work to improve our analyses, elevate India’s environmental performance, and put the world on track for a happier and healthier future,” he said.

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#Karachi’s newly opened MagnifiScience Center has a high-tech centerpiece with a living #mangrove forest exhibit. Mangroves are powerful natural tools to reduce #ClimateCrisis risks and protect ourselves from the impacts that are already here. #Pakistan

In what’s left of Karachi’s original mangrove swamps, one of the museum exhibit’s designers is documenting, in forensic detail, the piecemeal destruction of a once pristine forest for his weekly social media dispatch. “There are days out here when you can’t hear a single bird because the chainsaws are so loud,” Tariq Qaiser murmurs into his iPhone with a David Attenborough cadence as he pans the camera over a clear-cut swath of stump-studded silt. Just a few weeks ago, he continues, “the tree canopy was overhead, and the light filtered through as if you were in a cathedral. Now …” He shakes his head mutely as he steers his small boat past a pile of cut branches destined for the city’s back-alley firewood markets and charcoal kilns.

Pakistan’s Indus River Delta is home to hundreds of thousands of acres of mangroves, and the country boasts one of the most successful mangrove reforestation projects in the world. But only a few remain in the economic capital of Karachi, where 16 million residents are corralled onto low-lying spits of land, many of which have been reclaimed from the sea. Qaiser, an architect of some renown, with thick gray hair, horn-rimmed glasses, and a late-middle-age paunch he attributes to COVID-enforced inactivity, has spent the past half decade fighting for the protection and expansion of a small patch of mangroves rooted at the tip of a tidal island directly facing some of Karachi’s most valuable land.

Developers envision landfilling Bundal Island, linking it to the mainland via a causeway, and turning it into prime real estate for an ever expanding city. Qaiser sees the island as the terrestrial incarnation of Abdullah Shah Ghazi, the patron Sufi saint of Karachi, who protects the city from storms, disease, and hunger. “I don’t want to fight with the developers,” Qaiser says. “But I do want them to think about the future of this city.” In a congested metropolis already plagued by the urban heat-island effect, in which endless expanses of concrete buildings and paved roads amplify the already sweltering temperatures by several degrees, trees are a threatened resource. Mangroves, says Qaiser, “are our air-conditioning, our oxygen supply. If you just increase the mangrove cover, Karachi’s next 30 years will be much better than if you build over them.”

The world will be better as well. By sequestering carbon, mangroves help slow climate change. They also protect locals against some of its effects, like rising sea levels and increasingly severe storms. Qaiser’s quest to save Karachi’s last intact mangrove forest comes against the backdrop of a growing global movement to preserve those that remain and replace what has been lost. In this battle, his weapon of choice is a series of short, stunning nature videos filmed in and around Karachi’s mangroves. He disseminates them weekly via Whats-App to some 2,000 contacts, and urges his followers to share widely. And they do. At 197 and counting, his 90-second dispatches (the maximum allowed by WhatsApp) have raised awareness among the urban elite, and have in some instances spurred officials to act, sending in security to stop illegal woodcutters. But in a city where land is at a premium, development is the bigger threat. Keeping Bundal Island intact means educating a new generation of Karachiites about the value of not just the mangroves but the entire surrounding ecosystem. That was the impetus behind the museum’s mangrove exhibit, says Qaiser. The problem is that by the time the schoolkids are in a position to make any decisions, it might be too late—not for Pakistan’s mangroves, which are flourishing, but for Karachi’s, which are not.

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Pakistan's depleted #mangroves cover in Arabian Sea growing 'rapidly'. Between 1999-2021, the mangrove area along #Pakistan’s 1,050-kilometer (652-mile) coastline has increased to over 494,000 acres from over a 113,000 acres. #Climate #GlobalWarming

Also, mangroves require a systematic flow of fresh water, which unfortunately does not persist at the moment, he said.

Gilani noted that the South Asian country has seen a rapid augmentation in mangrove cover after the 2010 massive floods, which, although inundating a fifth of Pakistan, made up for a freshwater shortage.

Sharing a similar view, Rasheed said: "To keep the momentum going, we have to create awareness among the masses, and especially the policymakers, about the environmental significance of the mangroves and reinforce how important they are as the threat is not over yet."

Bulwark against sea battering

Thick mangroves have long protected Karachi and its coastal communities from erosion caused by the Arabian Sea's unending waves, observed Shabina Faraz, a Karachi-based expert, who often writes on the environment.

However, she added, the fragile ecosystem faces numerous threats, from coastal development, urbanization, and encroachment to the commercial exploitation of mangroves, reduction of freshwater flows and sedimentation, erosion of coastal areas, chemical dumping, and raw sewage.

"Karachi city alone contributes 500 million gallons of untreated water to the sea. Apart from that, polluted water from 6,000 industries also contributes high-impact pollutants to the Arabian sea that negatively affect the mangrove ecosystem and marine fauna," she maintained, speaking to Anadolu Agency.

Gilani, the Lahore-based expert, said that despite an increasing mangrove cover, satellite imagery has punctuated the need for national-scale carbon sequestration reporting for a performance-based payment mechanism flowing from developed countries to developing ones.

Seconding his view, Faraz said carbon sequestration reporting could add to the national economy "significantly."

Forests lose ground around Karachi

Tariq Alexander Qaiser, a Karachi-based environmentalist, said that although the mangrove cover on the wider delta was increasing, mature forests around Karachi have been pushed back.

Urban expansion into the estuaries and intertidal lands where the mangroves are found has had a negative environmental impact, he observed.

He said serious urban flooding had resulted from construction on flood plains, whereas water outflow into the sea had also been constricted, he told Anadolu Agency.

The dying of the plants' roots holding together the mud and sand on the islands and coast, Qaiser said, has allowed sands to shift and islands to erode.

This results in greater dredging needs, and increases costs of operating ports, he maintained.

"The removal of mangrove cover from the coastline also leaves the city vulnerable to sea surges and tsunamis. This has a serious impact on human life and safety."

According to Qaiser, the deltas' mangrove cover is expanding, but the situation is "very different" on the islands and shores of the cities, especially Karachi.

He explained that these "most mature and tallest of the forests" were being cut down due to poverty and the need for fuel.

The only way to retain this very necessary forest cover is to create and enforce a nature reserve on Karachi's Islands, Qaiser argued, adding that the metropolis, home to 20 million people, needed this oxygen-producing wilderness to maintain some control over its air quality.

"We need to keep planting new mangrove forests, but equally important is the need to protect the forests that exist. Especially on the islands of Karachi."

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistanis plant #trees to provide relief from scorching sun. There are neem saplings and vegetables sprouting up from scrubland in the #Clifton district of #Pakistan's largest city #Karachi. #ClimateCrisis #heatwave #floods #fires via @reuterspictures

Mulazim Hussain is proud of the trees he has planted.

Surrounded by neem saplings and vegetables sprouting up from scrubland in the Clifton district of Pakistan's largest city Karachi, the 61-year-old recalls a time a few years ago when the area was a giant, informal rubbish tip.

"Now there is greenery and happiness, children come in the evening to play, people come to walk," he said, speaking near a patch of trees amid a barren expanse bordered by the sea on one side and tower blocks and offices in the distance on the other.

"I have raised these plants like my children over the last four years," he added, taking a break from his labours amid a fierce summer heatwave.

Wearing a white and brown scarf around his head and a loose, cream-coloured shirt, Hussain collected dry grass from the ground and watered his cherished trees during a recent visit by Reuters reporters to the urban forest plantation project.

At the end of the day, he turned the hose on himself to cool off and clean up before heading home on his motorcycle.

The father of two is employed by an urban afforestation project in a government-owned park in Karachi's upmarket Clifton area that is run by Shahzad Qureshi, who has worked on similar projects in other Pakistani cities and overseas.

It is one of dozens of state-owned and private planting initiatives in Pakistan, where forest cover lags far behind average levels across South Asia. Trees absorb carbon dioxide, emissions of which contribute to warming global temperatures.

The aim in Clifton is to counterbalance rapid urbanisation in Karachi, a sprawling port city of some 17 million people where breakneck expansion of roads and buildings means there is less and less space for trees and parkland.

Qureshi wanted to provide shade for residents seeking escape from rising temperatures - a heatwave in 2015 killed more than 400 people in the city in three days, and temperatures in the surrounding Sindh region reached record highs this year.

The trees can also attract local wildlife, mitigate urban flooding and provide new sources of food.

"The bigger the tree cover of the city the more the cooling, with a difference of up to 10 (degrees) Celsius when you are surrounded by trees," he told Reuters, adding that the project only used native species.

"As you plant ... it attracts insects, and varieties of birds start coming. Presently mongoose are roaming around in the park, and four or five varieties of chameleon.

"You give them a home, you give them food and let it happen. Nature is so beautiful."


Overall forest cover in Pakistan, home to more than 220 million people, is around 5.4%, according to Syed Kamran Hussain, manager for the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province at the World Wide Fund for Nature's national branch.

That compares with 24% in neighbouring India and 14.5% in Bangladesh, and the previous government announced a mass forestation programme that envisaged planting 10 billion trees between 2019 and 2023.

"Pakistan is among the top 10 most vulnerable countries affected by global warming," Hussain said. "After oceans, trees are the second largest sink of carbon."

Some climate change experts question the impact of afforestation projects - the planting of trees where there were none before - in urban settings.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistanis plant #trees to provide relief from scorching sun. There are neem saplings and vegetables sprouting up from scrubland in the #Clifton district of #Pakistan's largest city #Karachi. #ClimateCrisis #heatwave #floods #fires via @reuterspictures

Some climate change experts question the impact of afforestation projects - the planting of trees where there were none before - in urban settings.

The choice of species is important, because it affects the amount saplings may need to be watered - a major factor in Pakistan where water is generally scarce.

And whether to plant trees at all is not a simple question: the benefits are not always clear and significant investment is needed to nurture saplings into fully grown trees.

"What is missing from urban forestry is a holistic approach to the environment," said Usman Ashraf, a doctoral researcher in development studies at the University of Helsinki. He was not commenting specifically on the Karachi project.

"It's about visual success, the numbers, small patches here and there," he said. "It won't even make a dent on any of the environmental harm in these cities."

Masood Lohar, who founded the Clifton Urban Forest that has planted trees on the beach front not far from Qureshi's project, said afforestation could help make Karachi more resilient against natural disasters and encourage wildlife to settle.

Experts say it can also provide relief from heatwaves, with the sea breeze getting hotter as it passes through concrete structures while roadways and rooftops absorb heat. Where to plant is a key question, with wealthier urban areas often better off in terms of tree cover.

In the absence of more trees, "we are turning the city into hell", Lohar said.

In the Sakhi Hassan Graveyard in the centre of the city, small saplings grow among uneven tombstones crammed close together, while larger trees offer shade from the midday sun.

Mohammad Jahangir, 35, is a caretaker there who waters the plants for a small cash donation from relatives who seeded them. Viewed from above, the graveyard is a sea of green that stands out against a low-rise neighbourhood.

"We don't feel the heat here in the graveyard, while the city sizzles," said Jahangir. "These trees are a blessing."

(Photo Editing Gabrielle Fonseca Johnson and Kezia Levitas; Additional Reporting Gloria Dickie in London; Writing Mike Collett-White; Text Editing Alison Williams; Layout Eve Watling)

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Tree Plantation: 8.8 Mln Saplings Would Be Planted

A total of 8.8 million saplings would be planted in four districts of the division during current tree plantation campaign.

This was stated by Divisional Commissioner Dr Irshad Ahmad while inaugurating tree plantation campaign by planting a sapling in the lawn of his office here on Sunday. Additional Commissioner Coordination Fareed Ahmad, Conservator of Forests Niaz Muhammad, Divisional Officer of Forests Nisar Khan and ACR Ghazala Kanwal and others were also present.

The Commissioner said that the forest department would plant 5.4 saplings, while private organizations would plant 2 million saplings, Pakistan Army would plant 1.2 million and other departments would also plant 0.

2 million saplings in the division.

Divisional Officer, Forest ,Nisar Khan briefed the Commissioner that on the Independence Day (August 14) 30,000 saplings would be planted in four districts in which 10,000 saplings would be planted in Sargodha and 5,000 in other three districts each, while the forest department would also distribute 1500 saplings to citizens free of cost, he added.

The Commissioner Dr Irshad Ahmad highlighted that trees were imperative to counter environmental pollution, in addition to combating climate changes. "Therefore, the nation should take part actively in the tree plantation campaign to plant maximum trees in greater national interest", he added.

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How Pakistan emerged as a climate champion
A country not known for leadership at home provides some abroad

Pakistan is not often praised for its leadership. Yet its climate change minister, Sherry Rehman, was one of the star turns at the un climate talks held in Sharm el-Sheikh last week. At the helm of the “g77+China” negotiating group of developing countries, Ms Rehman won plaudits for shepherding a new deal to channel money from rich countries to poor ones that have suffered climate-related disasters. It was the annual climate jamboree’s single main achievement.

Ms Rehman, a former journalist, information minister and ambassador to America, blends well-heeled glamour and toughness. A rare champion of Pakistani liberalism, the 61-year-old Karachiite is known for her fights against honour killings and the country’s cruel blasphemy laws. They have earned her multiple death threats. She also bears scars from a suicide blast aimed at her friend Benazir Bhutto (the former prime minister survived that jihadist attack, but not one weeks later). By comparison, the talks in Sharm el-Sheikh must have seemed like the holiday camp that the Egyptian town usually is.

Yet Ms Rehman was also assisted by the fact that the massive floods Pakistan suffered this year, costing an estimated $30bn in damages, are one of the biggest climate-related disasters on record. They gave moral authority to her argument that poor countries should receive “loss and damage” funds from the rich countries whose emissions have contributed to such calamities. A study attributes the engorged monsoon floods in part to global warming. Yet Pakistan is responsible for less than 1% of the stock of global emissions.

Pakistani environmental activists, a subset of the country’s embattled liberal campaigners, hope Ms Rehman’s triumph will stir more climate action back home. It had been modestly increasing before the floods—with, for example, a few cases in which activists sued the government for neglecting its environmental commitments. Yet Pakistan’s climate change ministry is vastly underfunded. Just $43m were allocated to it this year from a federal budget of $47bn. A proposed national climate change authority has yet to be formed, five years after a law was passed to facilitate it. Pakistan, which experiences some of the hottest temperatures on Earth, has only just begun serious work on a national adaptation plan.

The floods helped publicise such shortcomings. Pakistan’s few climate experts were suddenly hot property on the country’s news channels. But will that focus be maintained? As the government scrambles to provide flood relief, it is giving little thought to climate-proofing against future disasters. Before the floods, Ms Rehman was pushing a $11bn-17bn initiative to regenerate the Indus river that supports the livelihoods, indirectly or directly, of over 200m people. But funds that might have been earmarked for the programme are now going on flood relief.

The heightened global attention she has brought to Pakistan’s flood losses could attract a lot more money and relevant expertise. That could make the country a poster child not only for loss-and-damage activism but, more usefully, for long-term planning and climate resilience. There is a precedent for this. After a devastating cyclone in 1970 Bangladesh built one of the world’s best disaster preparedness schemes. A tragic, likelier scenario would see the momentum generated by Pakistan’s calamity and Ms Rehman’s astute diplomacy lost in a protracted relief effort and Pakistan’s usual obsessions with politics and scandal. At least, until the floodwaters rise again.■

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Green investment on rise, Pakistan to get 30 % renewable energy - Pakistan Observer

Until now, renewable energy sources make up a very minor fraction of Pakistan’s overall power generation mix. According to a recent report of the National Electric Power Regulatovry Authority, the installed capacity for wind and solar accounts for roughly 4.2% (1,831 MW) and 1.4% (630 MW) of a total of 43,775 MW, respectively.

China is already the biggest investor in green energy in Pakistan. Currently, out of the $144 million in foreign investment in solar PV plants in Pakistan, $125 million is from China, accounting for nearly 87% of the total.

Thanks to Chinese investments, a few weeks ago Federal Power Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan inaugurated two new wind energy projects in Jhimpir, Thatta District, Sindh, with an aim to produce cheaper and clean electricity through indigenous energy sources. Wind projects in this region have been one of several renewable energy projects to have received Chinese investment in recent years. Around 90 kilometers from Karachi, Jhimpir is the heartland of the country’s largest ‘Wind corridor’, which has the potential to produce 11,000 megawatts (MW) of energy from green resources.

Riaz Haq said...

In mid-March 2022, Innovate Educate & Inspire Pakistan (IEI), a nonprofit organization that works to make high-quality education accessible in the rural northeastern Gilgit Baltistan region, launched the country’s first-ever climate education program for teachers. The region is particularly vulnerable to climate change due to rapidly melting glaciers, and locals have struggled to find economically viable ways to adapt.

Seven educators from across the country took part in the program, which equipped them with the resources to teach children from sixth to eighth grade about climate change and climate action in their schools by translating materials into local languages and engaging in play-based activities. The program was the first of its kind in a country that would months later be reeling from a summer of deadly super floods.

Those floods were one reason that state parties to last year’s United Nations climate change conference in Egypt, known as COP27, approved the creation of a loss and damage fund. Though rich countries had for decades shunned the prospect, Pakistan and other vulnerable countries in the global south helped move climate reparations into the mainstream conversation.

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Pakistan among 26 countries which added over 1,000 MW of solar electricity in 2022

Where are the major solar countries?
More countries than ever are real “solar contenders”, the report shows.

In 2022, the number of major solar countries - defined as those installing at least 1 GW annually - grew from 12 to 26. By 2025, the report predicts that more than 50 countries will be installing more than 1 GW of solar per year.

European countries make up 12 of the solar heavyweights, led by Spain, Germany, Poland, the Netherlands and Italy.

Poland’s solar development has flown past expectations. It’s mostly due to a surge in small rooftop ‘prosumer’ systems that enable homeowners to be rewarded for producing as well as consuming energy.

Ranked by the amount of extra solar they installed last year, here is the full list of the 26 major solar powers:

1. China
2. US
3. India
4. Brazil
5. Spain
6. Germany
7. Japan
8. Poland
9. The Netherlands
10. Australia
11. South Korea
12. Italy
13. France
14. Taiwan
15. Chile
16. Denmark
17. Turkiye
18. Greece
19. South Africa
20. Austria
21. UK
22. Mexico
23. Hungary
24. Pakistan
25. Israel
26. Switzerland

Riaz Haq said...

CPEC Suki Kinari project nears completion | The Manila Times

The Suki Kinari Hydropower project in northwest Pakistan achieved the hoisting of a core component on Saturday, as a 413-ton rotor, crucial to turning water into electricity, was smoothly installed on the last of four generating units.

The successful hoisting of the last rotor will help advance the construction progress of the power station under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), located in the Mansehra district of the South Asian country's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

Noting the hoisting of the last rotor as a key milestone of the 884-megawatt hydropower project, Yu Zhiliang, assistant general manager of the Suki Kinari Hydropower project of the Overseas Investment Co. of China Gezhouba Group, which invests in and implements the project, said that it marks the installation of the unit body of the hydropower station is coming to an end.

It is also a solid step for the waterless commissioning of four generating units in the coming six months, said Yu.

The hydropower project started construction in January 2017. Once getting functional, the CPEC project will annually generate some 3.21 billion kilowatt-hours of clean electricity, replacing 1.28 million tons of coal and reducing 2.52 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year, said Yu.

It will significantly optimize Pakistan's energy structure, boosting the country's economic and social development, he added.

Launched in 2013, the CPEC is a corridor linking Pakistan's Gwadar port with Kashgar in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, highlighting energy, transport and industrial cooperation.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan will add up to 10 GW of new hydropower capacity by 2030 | Enerdata

In July 2022, Pakistan commissioned the 720 MW Karot hydropower plant, one of five projects on the Jhelum River (northern Pakistan), alongside the Azad Pattan plant (700 MW), the Mangla Dam (1.1 GW), the Neelum-Jehlum plant (969 MW) and the Kohala plant (1.1 GW).


700MW Azad Pattan hydropower project ready for construction: Energy China - Profit by Pakistan Today

Wang Huihua, Managing Director of China Energy Int’l Group’s Pakistan Branch, announced that the 700-megawatt Azad Pattan hydropower project, run by Energy China, is ready for construction after the completion of a feasibility study and land acquisition.

Wang made these remarks at the ‘Pakistan Energy Sector Landscape: Challenges & Opportunities’ conference held at NUST University, Islamabad.

He explained that the project would provide cheap, clean energy to Pakistan. “We have been developing this project for six years. We hope the government will give it more priority in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) initiative to expedite financial closure,” he said.

He further stated that Energy China believed that investing in renewable energy in Pakistan was financially viable. “We are committed to setting up our long-term operation in Pakistan and investing more,” he said.

He highlighted that China Energy Engineering Corp. (Energy China) has been present in Pakistan for the past 20 years. “Energy China considers Pakistan as its favored investment destination,” he added.

Wang also pointed out some of the challenges faced by foreign investors in Pakistan, underscoring the importance of resolving them quickly to foster win-win cooperation.

Riaz Haq said...

Dasu Hydropower Project: Stage 1 of concrete Starter Dam completed

In a major development towards implementation of Dasu Hydropower Project, Stage 1 of the concrete Starter Dam has been completed upstream of Main Dam site.

As per the design, the Starter Dam for Dasu Hydropower Project is to be completed in two stages; Stage 1 up to elevation of 785 meters while Stage 2 up to elevation of 798 meters above mean sea level, said a spokesperson WAPDA here. The Stage 1 of the concrete Starter Dam was completed in June this year before the high flow season – a major landmark which the project team successfully achieved, the spokesperson said.

As the high flow season has started, River Indus is flowing through the two diversion tunnels completed earlier this year, while some of the river water is overtopping the concrete Starter Dam as designed.

After the high flow season in October this year, the construction of the Starter Dam’s Stage 2 will be carried out. The Stage 2 is scheduled for completion during the coming low flow season. The project is being constructed across the River Indus, upstream of Dasu Town in Upper Kohistan district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The 4,320-MW-Dasu Hydropower Project is planned to be completed in two stages. At present, WAPDA is constructing its stage-I with installed generation capacity of 2,160-MW and annual energy generation of 12 billion units. Stage-I of the project is likely to start electricity generation in 2026. The 2,160-MW stage-II, when implemented, will also provide 9 billion units to the national grid. On completion of the both stages, Dasu will become the project with highest annual energy generation in Pakistan i.e. 21 billion units per annum on the average. The project will commence by end 2026. It is worth mentioning here that in February this year, Dasu Hydropower Project crossed a major milestone as the River Indus was successfully diverted following completion of a 1.33-kilometre long diversion tunnel.

Following the completion of one of the two diversion tunnels, the River Indus was successfully diverted to the completed tunnel. Instead of its natural course, the River Indus is now flowing through a 1.33-kilometer long diversion tunnel with 20-metre width and 23-metre height. Consequently, construction activities have been initiated on the starter dam, leading towards construction of the main dam of Dasu Hydropower Project.

Riaz Haq said...

WAPDA & Al Maktoum's private office join hands for solar power development in Pakistan

Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) and the Private Office of Sheikh Ahmed Dalmook Al Maktoum have signed two strategic memorandum of understanding (MoUs) for the development of a floating solar power project of up to 1000MW on existing water reservoirs and the rehabilitation, upgradation, and capacity enhancement of four hydro power projects in Pakistan.

Chairman Lt. Gen. Sajjad Ghani (Retd) of WAPDA and Sheikh Ahmed Dalmook Al Maktoum expressed their mutual interest and enthusiasm to collaborate on future, long-term projects in Pakistan’s energy sector, with a specific focus on developing renewable energy solutions.

The MoUs aim to create a cooperative framework between the Private Office and WAPDA, facilitating collaboration and exploration of investment opportunities in Pakistan’s energy sector, particularly focusing on WAPDA’s small hydro power projects.

Read more: CPEC’s first hydropower plant in Pakistan begins full operations

Both parties have agreed to collaborate on upgrading and rehabilitating hydro power projects in Renala, Rasul, Chichokimalian, and Nandipur.

The parties have mutually agreed to collaborate in assessing the technical and economic feasibility of these projects, as well as formulating an implementation plan.

Riaz Haq said...

LONGi and Nimir Energy Forge Strategic Partnership to Advance Solar Energy Solutions in Pakistan

LONGi and Nimir Energy announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) aimed at fostering collaboration in the development and deployment of solar energy solutions. This strategic partnership marks a significant milestone in the pursuit of sustainable and clean energy sources to meet Pakistan’s growing energy demand.

Under the terms of the MOU, Nimir Energy and LONGi will work together to explore opportunities and synergies in solar energy projects and capacity-building initiatives. The collaboration will leverage Nimir Energy’s expertise in project development and LONGi’s cutting-edge solar technology to drive the adoption of renewable energy in pan-Pakistan, pushing the government’s intent to promote solar.

Nimir Energy is part of Nimir Group, providing services in renewable energy with a primary focus on solar EPC for industrial, commercial and residential users. Nimir Group has been serving Pakistan and its business community since 1964 with a diversified range of products.

With climate action in full swing, Nimir would like to play a positive role in bringing in the right resources to ensure Pakistan’s transition to clean and sustainable energy. The company’s commitment to sustainable development aligns perfectly with LONGi’s vision to enable the world to transition to a low-carbon future through its industry-leading solar products and solutions.

LONGi, renowned for its high-efficiency solar modules and advanced photovoltaic technology, has emerged as a global leader in the solar industry. By joining forces with Nimir Energy, the company aims to expand its reach and accelerate the development of solar energy projects in key markets around the world.

“We are delighted to enter into this strategic partnership with LONGi, a company that shares our commitment to advancing renewable energy solutions,” said Waqas Ahmed Rana, COO of Nimir Energy. “Through this collaboration, we will combine our strengths and resources to drive innovation and promote the widespread adoption of solar energy, contributing to a more sustainable future.”

“LONGi is excited to join forces with Nimir Energy, a respected player in the renewable energy sector,” stated Ali Majid, Country head, Sales of LONGi. “Together, we can unlock new opportunities and create lasting impact by accelerating the deployment of solar energy projects worldwide. This collaboration exemplifies our dedication to addressing the challenges of climate change through technology innovation and sustainable business practices.”

With 90 terawatt-hours of total energy needed, Pakistan ranks among the top countries with huge potential for solar energy. Rising electricity prices and instability in the grid have added further to the woes of the average Pakistani consumer. LONGi envisions solving this problem by providing a cost-effective and high-quality solution to the public at large. As the biggest panel manufacturer in the world, LONGi plans to cater to all kinds of consumers with a focus on industrial users to provide services unparalleled in the market.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan is planting lots of mangrove forests – so why are some upset? : NPR

KETI BANDAR, Pakistan — Wildlife ranger Mohammad Jamali boats through mangrove forests of the Indus River Delta, the terminus of a curly waterway that begins thousands of miles upstream in the Himalayas. Birds flutter in and out. Insects dart around mangrove roots that poke like fingers out of the mud. It looks ancient, but this part of the forest is only 5 years old.

"We planted this," says Jamali, 28-years-old. We — rangers of the wildlife department of the government of the southern Pakistani province of Sindh, and locals of nearby fishing communities.

This forest in southern Pakistan is part of one of the world's largest mangrove restoration projects, covering much of the vast delta, an area nearly the size of Rhode Island. These trees, which exist in slivers between sea and land, are powerhouses of sucking up the carbon dioxide that is dangerously heating up the planet.

"They do this very big job per hectare," says Catherine Lovelock, an expert on coastal ecology. Mangroves capture, or sequester, carbon dioxide "through their roots and into the soil, as well as above ground," she says.

This mangrove reforestation effort alone in the Indus Delta is expected to absorb anestimated 142 million tons of carbon dioxide over the next sixty years. It's a test case for restoration, and planting mangroves at this scale might help the fight to curb planetary warming.


In Pakistan, some environmentalists say without carbon credits, this massive reforestation project wouldn't have happened. They say the government was incentivized to support it. Instead of having to find the budget to do this, the government is being paid proceeds from carbon credit sales.

So far, Delta Blue Carbon has sold two batches of credits, most recently in June. It's made the provincial government around $40 million so far, according to local media outlet Arab News. It's big money in a poor country.

"It is paying money. It is generating revenue," says ecologist Rafiul Haq who consulted on the mangrove project. Haq says without that revenue stream, the government would be under pressure to let developers in, for shrimp farms or for seaside homes.

Haq says there's another benefit: auditors must evaluate the company's progress before they can sell more carbon credits, which means the mangrove forests are nurtured and protected, and the company has to show local communities are benefiting. "This is a blessing for us," Haq says. "We have to present ourselves as the good boy," he laughs.


To other environmentalists, the mangrove project is "carbon colonialism."

"I don't begrudge anyone, especially in areas like these, for taking money for large scale restoration projects like this," says Polly Hemming, director of the climate and energy program of the progressive think tank, the Australia Institute. But she says, "it's just another form of carbon colonialism. Like, we'll give you some money to restore your land," and then, sell "your credits to a polluter so they can continue emitting."

Underscoring that argument, Hemming pointed to one of the key purchasers of these carbon credits is one of the world's largest fossil fuel trading companies, Trafigura. It is also one of the world's largest traders of carbon credits. Through a spokesperson, the company declined to comment for this story.