ISLAMABAD, Mar 17 (APP):The experts at a workshop on implementation of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) in Pakistan on Thursday demanded a holistic framework to achieve the pledged NDCs targets and ensure climate resilience of the country against whooping impacts of environmental degradation.
The Workshop on “Implementation of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) in Pakistan: Updates, Issues and Options” was organised by the Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre (ADPC) with the collaboration of the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Curtin University.
Secretary Ministry of Climate Change (MoCC) Kazim Niaz in his inaugural remarks briefed the participants about the key measures introduced by the Ministry under the Clean and Green Pakistan vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan.
He also underlined the need for improved coordination among the public, private and civil society stakeholders to ensure climate change and disaster resilience of the country.
Director General Environment MoCC Dr Irfan Tariq said the Ministry was going to launch ‘Ecological Restoration of the Indus Basin for a climate-resilient future, whereas it had also revised the National Climate Change Policy.
He added that the country had pledged 50% reduction in greenhouse gases (GHGs) emissions which was huge and further divided into conditional and non-conditional categories.
The Environment DG mentioned that the revised NDCs submitted at the UNFCCC was the country’s climate agenda which needed to be linked to development strategy.
Managing Director National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (NEECA) Dr Sardar Mohazzam underscored that there was huge space in energy sector which was not utilised to reduce emissions and economic burden due to expensive power generation.
He added that the conservation of one unit was helping in reducing GHG emissions which was otherwise a costly endeavour.
The major emissions’ share will come from the energy sector whereas NEECA developed its strategic plan to ensure reduction of emissions in energy sector with the core focus on NDCs’ implementation. The Authority under the NEECA Act provided the mandate to serve in the power, energy and petroleum sectors.
Chairman Federal Flood Commission (FFC) Dr Ahmed Kamal who also worked on the formulation of the revised NDCs said the country had initiated construction of 10 mega dams till 2030 which would bring 11.2 million acre feet water on ground. Moreover, he said the country also started working on six sites along Indus River to store flood water where the MoCC was applying for Green Climate Fund grant to materialise the project.
CEO National Disaster Risk Management Fund (NDRMF) Bilal Anwar said Pakistan has substantial potential for emission reductions in energy, transport, industry and other sectors whereas the MoCC has to develop a proper institutional structure to capitalise the opportunity.
Executive Director Civil Society Coalition for Climate Change Aisha Khan said the NDCs were the foundational building blocks of the Paris Accord whereas keeping in view the global scenario the country only had 8% of the global carbon budget with only 9 years remaining to achieve resilience targets.
“Pakistan’s varied topography makes it difficult to manage the catastrophes in limited resources, where urban resilience would become a serious challenge in the future.”
Khan proposed that there was need to address crucial gaps of policy frameworks, lack of institutional capacities, non functional Pakistan Climate Act 2017, financial constraints, human and technology limitations, co-creating policy, research and evidence based decision making and role of gender in decision making.
Deputy High Commissioner Australian Embassy said Australia has also been facing serious climate change impacts and natural disasters.
“Australia encourages all countries to enshrine clean energy goals in their NDCs. Moreover. I would like to commend Pakistan for it’s revised NDCs, ten billion tree tsunami plantation, plastic ban, recharge Pakistan projects”.
In his vote of thanks, National Adviser to ADPC Lieutenant General (R) Nadeem Adviser appreciated the speakers for their candid contributions. “It’s going to be a combined national effort of federal and provincial governments and civil society to address climate change whereas dialogue must continue as it’s work is in progress.”
He underlined that it was part of the national responsibility to contribute towards government’s agenda set under NDCs and climate change.
“We need to emerge as an advocacy group that permeates into the society to develop education and knowledge of critical environmental issues,” he concluded.