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ISLAMABAD: The greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are likely to increase further because of the China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a regional connectivity framework that includes planned energy-producing plants and at least nine special economic zones across the country, says the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

The bank in its latest report “Urban Sector Inclusion in the Revised Nationally Determined Contributions of Pakistan,” stated that the GHG from the industrial sector have increased over the last 30 years and are likely to increase further because of the CPEC. According to estimates, whereas, overall emissions would increase up to four times (from 406 MtCO2e in 2015 to 1,603 MtCO2e by 2023), the industry contribution would go up by much more (from 22 MtCO2e to 457 MtCO2e).

The report noted that Pakistan emitted an estimated 342 million MtCO2 e of GHG emissions in 2012, with the industrial processes contributing five percent. GHG emissions increased by 87 percent between 1990 and 2012, primarily because of emissions from the energy and agriculture sectors. While the industrial sector may not be contributing significantly to the country’s total GHG inventory, its contribution at the urban sector level is significant. Reducing the GHG emissions of industry will help improve air quality and also lead to other co-benefits, it added.

Urban areas account for more than 70 percent of global GHG emissions. These come from the cities’ energy use, transport, industries, and agriculture.

Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) are at the core of the Paris Agreement and the achievement of its long-term goals. The revised NDC for Pakistan, now under preparation, is envisioned to be more advanced and granular than the first NDC.

According to its updated commitments, a roadmap for emission control will be developed. All four sectors that are major contributors of GHG emissions—energy, transport, land use and forestry, and agriculture—relate mostly to cities and urbanization.

Integrated city-level initiatives building on the role of urban planning and policies in mitigation and adaptation measures are important to be part of the roadmap. These policy notes provide guidelines to assist the relevant agencies and entities in developing the most appropriate policy framework.

Adopting sustainable and climate-responsive policies entails addressing institutional challenges in improving policy implementation at the local level. These challenges include coordinating with stakeholders; strengthening technical capacity, especially regulatory functions of government agencies; and supplementing human and financial resources in delivering urban services, the report noted.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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