Published Date: May 19, 2012
PLANNING COMMISSION FOR IMPROVING ENERGY MIX: TIME HAS COME TO REVISIT POLICIES, SAYS NADEEM
Dr Nadeem-ul-Haque, Deputy Chairman Planning Commission, said that time has come to revisit policies and decisions be taken to improve energy mix in favour of Hydro-power and renewable generation for providing consumers affordable electricity along with building reservoirs on priority basis to minimise water crisis and encourage concept of Green Economy.
He said this at the opening of two-day ‘National consultation on green economy’ jointly organised by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), One UN Joint Programme on Environment, Ministry of Climate Change, Heinrich Boll Stiftung (HBS) and Lead Pakistan here on Friday.
He was of the view that in shaping and managing economic resources, it’s time to think of the economy holistically and focus on productivity in creative manner, exploring the linkage between growth and green economy.
He said that the current policy framework and management of resources have become obsolete.
Shakil Durrani Chairman WAPDA, talking of green energy and hydro-power development in Pakistan, said one thirds of electricity generation in the country is renewable and it is expected to increase to 60 percent by 2025.
Most of the increase would be based on hydro projects as power generation through water is cheaper than all other sources, he added.
He further said that Eastern Himalayan glaciers may deplete in next 50 years because of global warming, increasing flow in Indus River quoting a World Bank Report 2005.
Regarding remedial measures, he said that projects for additional reservoirs and desalination of sea water should be developed and water should be utilised efficiently.
He further said that WAPDA is establishing Glacial Research Institute at Karakorum University Gilgit.
Establishment of water reservoirs will also improve underground water table.
Treatment of Effluent Water of LBOD/RBOD in Sindh Province and lining of canal is must for water conservation, he added.
Timo Pakkala, United Nations Resident Co-ordinator reiterated that UN is committed to support Pakistan in promoting economic growth and spearheading its pace for sustainable development, appreciating recent developments at policy level including establishment of Ministry of Climate Change and preparation of climate change policy.
Ambassador (R) Shafqat Kakakhel, former Deputy-Executive-Director, UNEP and Member Board of Governors, SDPI said that consultants will examine the relevance of green economy keeping in view Pakistan economic and social circumstances as well as global discourse on the concept.
Alfred Leoni, Ambassador of Brazil, said that more than 120 heads of the states have confirmed their participation in Rio +20 which will fundamentally revolve around green economy and institutional framework for sustainable development.
‘The conference will be a landmark event for the international community to deliberate on global challenges of extreme poverty, hunger and environmental degradation etc,” he added.
Khalid Mohtadullah, Director, International Water Management Institute (IWMI) lamented unequal water distribution and inefficient water practices in agriculture and suggested rebuilding and strengthening of institutional capacity to ensure water availability for growing population needs and irrigation.
Javed Jabbar, Former Federal Minister and Vice-President, IUCN, said Pakistani nation is one of the most resilient nations in the world, which have been undergoing a number of extreme natural and men-made disasters over the last sixty years.
We are living in red zone and there is a dire need of transforming this red zone to green by inculcating the green economy concept into our policies especially at provincial level.
“A fundamental conceptual shift at the government, public and media level is need of the hour, besides revision of our consumption patterns, existing destructive growth strategies through adoption of ecological economics,” he maintained.
Malik Amin Aslam Khan, Former Minister of State for Environment briefed participants on the process of preparing Pakistan’s National Sustainable Development Strategy (NSDS), which will be presented at Rio +20 side events after certain review and finalisation process at the national level.
He was of the firm belief that extensive and multi-stakeholder consultations were held and key suggestions and ideas have been incorporated in the NSDS document.
He said NSDS envisions evolving a just and harmonious society in the country through promotion of a vibrant and equitable economic growth without overexploitation of resources and distribution of development dividends to all in particular to the poor and vulnerable groups of the society particularly future generations.
He highlighted economic, social and environmental dimensions and said NSDS implementation system should be flexibly and progressively evolved rather imposition on Pakistan leading towards a green economy.
Farrukh Iqbal Khan of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in his teleconference from Pak Mission in New York highlighted the divisions in global negotiations on green economy and sustainable development.
He underscored that a global transition toward green economy is seen as a mean of resolving the financial crisis globe is facing today.
He added that relying on markets and private sector alone might lead to the similar crisis.
Dr Tariq Banuri, Former Chief, UN’s Division of Sustainable Development (UNDESA) reviewed national public policy-making process and trends, and an absence of a common framework to resolve the series of crisis that nation faces today.
He urged that investment should be made into profitable sectors to ensure a strong revenue base for the country to take care of the growing population needs.
The main objective of the consultation is to review the preparations for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development to be hosted by Brazil in Rio on 20-22 June and likely to be attended by more than 130 heads of state and governments and thousands of delegates representing the UN, private business, non-governmental organisations and media.
On the first day of consultation, the delegates deliberated on set of considerations for the Pakistani delegation for the forthcoming Rio+20 Summit as well as ideas for consideration by all stakeholders after the Summit to accelerate the sustainable development and poverty eradication from Pakistan through awareness campaigns making it part of education curriculum.
Choong Joo Choi, Ambassador Republic of Korea to Pakistan, while giving his view on regional dimension of green economy, said that in 1960 we were able to achieve the objectives of our five-year plan, as Korean government concentrated with determination on human resource development through education which is the only human resource on which you can rely on.
Many other participants gave presentations on the ‘Green Economy and its implication on developing countries, which include Dr Hussein Abaza former chief economic and trade branch UNEP, Jemal Ahmed Country director Action Aid Pakistan and Dr Stefanos Fotion, UNEP Regional Office for Asia-Pacific.