Published Date: Apr 1, 2012
Head of Climate Change Study Centre, SDPI, Shakeel Ahmed Ramay answers queries regarding green economy and Pakistan
How can green economy help Pakistan?
Green economy can help us only if it is implemented as a tool, and not as an objective. We have to realise that if we use it an objective, it will be simply replacing sustainable development, which is not acceptable. For example, let’s suppose you plan to go to Lahore from Karachi, and you commute by train. Your objective is to reach Lahore, for which you are using the train as a tool. Similarly, we need to use the concept of green economy to reach our goal of sustainable development, and green economy itself should not be our goal.
What are the risks and challenges involved in implementing green economy?
We need to understand how to use green economy in order to bring a difference. We already have a concept on which we have worked on for years; we should build on that, instead of introducing something new.
Secondly, when introducing green economy, we should have the understanding of the socio-economic development of Pakistan. As of now we don’t have the resources to implement an ideal situation which other countries may have been able to.
Therefore, we need to study our ground realities, work around them, and eventually we will be able to realise an ideal situation.
As for challenges, given our economic situation, our biggest challenge could be finances since we have few sources to finance such projects. The other challenge is technical expertise which, again, is not very strong. We will need time to overcome these challenges.
There’s a fear that green economy is nothing more than a tool to widen the gap between the rich and the poor countries. Is it true?
This is quite true. The developing countries feel that the developed countries are using green economy as a diversion tactic.
That is, they want to divert attention from other climate change issues which are yet to be resolved or completed. As a result, what they push to the forefront is not sustainable development which is the real goal, but green economy which is a path, and this attitude has a negative impact on developing countries.
What should we expect from the forthcoming UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20)?
Twenty years ago, the Third World countries were promised assistance in terms of food and agricultural security, etc., but these promises are yet to be fulfilled. In Rio+20, these nations would expect to see commitments translated into action; we are now tired of listening to the same promises for two decades.