Published Date: Jun 14, 2019
Govt. to introduce policy on electric vehicles to tackle air pollution, Malik Amin Aslam
to Prime Minister on Climate Change, Malik
Amin Aslam said emissions from the vehicles remained one of the largest
contributors to air pollution and the government is moving towards the
direction of materializing the policy on electric vehicles to tackle air
pollution. The Prime Minister has approved the initial concept of the proposal and
policy consultation with the key stakeholders is in the process, which will be
presenting in the cabinet in a couple of weeks, he added.
a seminar titled “World Environment Day 2019: Air Pollution", organized by
Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) here at Islamabad, Malik Amin
Aslam said electric vehicles will solve many of our issues including air
pollution, issues of unmet capacity charges, reduce fuel import bill and save
two third cost of the transportation.
Moreover, around eight billion rupees has been allocated in this budget
for ten billion tree tsunami programme, where provinces will share equal amount
to help tackle climate change and air pollution.
Amin Aslam said air pollution is a
global phenomenon amid growing urbanization, where big metropolitans of the
world are responsible for 75 per cent of the air pollution of the world. He
said air pollution and climate change is now taking a toll on Pakistan’s
economic and social front, as we followed the world in the wrong direction.
However, there is now realization among the economic gurus of the country that
climate change and air pollution has economic and social cost. Pakistan needs
to change its thinking toward economy and show strong political commitment
towards these serious issues of climate change and air pollution, he remarked.
The challenge for us is lack of authentic data on air pollution. For that, the
government is in the process of setting up around 10 air monitoring stations
across Pakistan to get updated and authentic data, he added.
Dr Abid Qaiyum
Director SDPI said unpredictability of climate change and air pollution is hampering
our economy and wellbeing of the society. Owing to unpredictable environmental
extreme events, Pakistan has done very badly in agriculture sector this year,
where air pollution is one of the major causes of poor growth. He said air
pollution is also impacting the insects and photosynthesis mechanism which
impacted the growth of plants. He urged the governments, industry, communities
and individuals to come together to explore renewable energy, green
technologies and improve air quality in cities and regions.
Lijian Zhao, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy
of China in Pakistan said it is the responsibility of every individual to help
tackle the issue of air pollution. However, the government has to take the lead
and must take stringent measures to cope with the issue of climate change and
air pollution. He said China has significantly reduce the air pollution through
promoting the culture of electric vehicles, adapting the advance clean
technology in coal power plants, producing more electricity through solar and
wind and clean waste management methods. He said Pakistan can learn a lot from
China to tackle air pollution.
Dr. Mahmood A.
Adviser, Chemicals, Hazardous Wastes/Sites & Sustainable industrial
development at SDPI, speaking on “SDPI Research Contributions to Air Pollution
in Pakistan,” gave an account of the completed and ongoing research
projects/program, including SMART program for industrial gases emissions,
hazardous POPs chemicals emissions and releases from hospital wastes
incinerators/brick kilns, indoor/outdoor air contamination with mercury vapors
at dental sites (hospitals, dentistry education institutions & dental
clinics), promotion of energy efficient technologies to reduce air pollution
and fuel consumption, Mali declaration and the need for a legally binding
agreement on trans-boundary air
pollution control among countries in South Asia and air pollution due to CPEC
Northern Section road route (Haripur to Khunjarab) construction activities. Dr. Khwaja highlighted some of the findings of
the on-going comparative assessment of Pakistan ambient air quality standards
(AAQSs), with 13 South & South East Asian countries and WHO.
Dr. Hina Aslam, Associate Research Fellow, SDPI
said since China has emerged as a climate leader, Pakistan can draw lessons
from Chinese technological and policy interventions in terms of reducing
greenhouse gas emissions and tackle climate change.
Maryam Shabbir, Environmental Expert, SDPI
while moderating the seminar highlighted the health impacts of air pollution,
where every year 22,000 pre mature deaths are caused due to outdoor air
pollution in Pakistan whereas indoor air pollution causes 28,000 deaths.
of the Faculty of Science & Technology, Fatima Jinnah Women University, Prof. Dr. Uzaira Rafique said we have
to see the issue of air pollution in totality, not in isolation or bit and pieces.
Otherwise, all the strategies, policies and efforts will go in vein. She said the
basic role of academia is to give the picture of the issue in totally and
connect and relate the things. Keeping in the perceptive, sensitization is very
crucial on issues of climate change and air pollution through raising
awareness, she added.
At the closing
ceremony, two brilliant young students, Uzma Jabeen from Fatima Jinnah
University and M. Waseem from Abdul Wali Khan University, Mardan, were awarded
with first and runner-up awards, respectively, for presenting their innovative
ideas to tackle air pollution through a competition.