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LAHORE: Despite the fact that Pakistan stands at 135th position among the countries releasing (intoxicated) gasses in the universe, we are among the most affected countries of global warming as Pakistan got fifth position during the current year, said Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam.

He was speaking to a seminar held to mark the World Ozone Day-2020 here at a local hotel on Wednesday. The seminar was organised by the Ministry of Climate Change in collaboration with the Pakistan HVACR Society, UNDP Pakistan, Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Pakistan Green Building Council and the UN Environment.

"Though Pakistan has not contributed to the global warming but we are facing the brunt which is an "injustice" of nature," the SAPM said, referring to recent floods across the country. He said glaciers in northern areas are melting sharply and urban flooding in Karachi is also another big issue due to shift of monsoon season.

About limiting carbon emissions, Amin said Pakistan has already achieved its given target by the international community under the sustainable development goals (SDGs-2030). For the purpose, the SAPM said the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan had launched a billion tree tree-transplantation drive across the country. "After its successful completion, we are now planning to launch a 10 billion tree-transplantation drive," he revealed.

Talking about the energy sector, the SAPM said the government has decided, in principle, to shift all its energy projects to renewable technology. "By 2025, Pakistan's 60 percent energy would be converted from conventional thermal technology to alternative green technology like wind power, solar and hydel power generation," he added. Under this initiative, Malik said the PTI government also recently signed two major agreements that were pending for the last 10 years.

Malik also strongly castigated the previous PML-N regime for getting outdated coal technology from China. "The previous government wanted to install a coal-fired energy plant at the middle of Sahiwal's agriculture land which was a criminal move. Similarly, two such plants were being installed - one in Muzaffarabad and other in Rahim Yar Khan - under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). But the PTI government negotiated and introduced 3700 megawatt hydel-power projects," he added.

According to the SAPM, all the energy projects under the CPEC are being converted to green technology to save coming generations from the hazards of arising from the global warning. He said the PTI government is also striving to evacuate state land dedicated for forests from land grabbers. Currently, the government has evacuated 3,500 acres of land situated at Balloki from grabbers and declared it as a national park, he added. Regarding the implementation of "Montreal Protocol", the SAPM said that Pakistan has showed performance more than the expectations of the world as it reduced 50 percent import of the HFC instead of the given target of 25 percent.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020

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