Published Date: Feb 15, 2012
S ASIAN COUNTRIES CAN BENEFIT EACH THROUGH COLLABORATION ON ACQUIRING GREEN RENEWABLE ENERG, SAY DELEGATES
South Asian countries can benefit each through collaboration on acquiring green renewable energy as it is more feasible at regional level than at a country level given the cost barriers, said delegates from Pakistan and India on 2nd day of three day s dialogue on climate change here on Tuesday.
They also asked South Asian countries to have shared positions at the international negotiations beside joint research and regional planning to address the climate change challenge.
The delegates were discussing at Pakistan-India Track II Dialogue on (Climate) Change for peace organized by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) and Center for Science and Environment (CSE), India with the support of Heinrich Boll Stiftung (HBS).
Speaking at session Water and Climate Change , Arshad Abbasi, Advisor SDPI stressed on environmental impact assessment for all trans-boundary hydropower projects and called for declaring glaciers as protected areas arguing that climate change negotiation between India and Pakistan can only be successful after demilitarization of Siachin glacier. He said, progress in South Asian region has been held hostage by lack of cooperation between India and Pakistan. He further added that use of coal as major source of energy generation in India is polluting environment that needs to be immediately restricted.
Chandra Bushan, Deputy Director, Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), India recommended efficient water use and climate resistant practices in agriculture sector with joint assessment of vulnerabilities and adaptation due to climate change in arid zones of both country particularly in Rajhistan and Sindh.
Dr. Asad Sarwar Qureshi of International Water Management Institute (IWMI) suggested that we have to rationalize cropping pattern with an increased focus on productivity rather than increasing irrigated area. Dr. Tariq Banuri, Director, Division for Sustainable Development, United Nations, New York stressed upon need of building regional knowledge sharing and clearing netwroks on climate change with common indicators and projects. Dr Innayatullah, Regional Programme Coordinator, ICIMOD stressed upon the Institutional cooperation, shared water management, joint work on glaciers, sharing of data and hydrological modeling between both the countries.
Speakers at session energy and climate change asked for equitable access to affordable energy within South Asian region. Dr Tariq Banuri said, climate change mitigation plan should focus on producing energy with greater efficiency and at affordable prices rather than concentrating on reduction in GHG emissions quantitatively.
Mr Sanjani said, renewable energy potential in both countries cannot be fully exploited owing to high cost that can only be lowered through joint development of low cost low carbon technologies, competitive process and coordination between the two countries.
Shakeel Ramay, Senior Research Associate, SDPI, said progress of renewable energy sector in Pakistan is really discouraging and emphasized on prioritizing areas within renewable energy sector for investment on the basis of cost benefit analysis and their contribution to the economic growth. He said, currently development of hydro power must be the foremost priority to reduce prevailing electricity shortfall that has incurred 2% loss to GDP and unemployment on massive scale in Pakistan.
During session on climate change adaptation , Shafqat Kakakhel, Former Deputy Executive Director, UNEP said Pakistan and India needs to actively participate in global efforts on climate change adaptation but their foremost priority must be to protect sectors of economy which are adversely affected by climate change.
Harjeet Singh said, areas of cooperation between Pakistan and India on climate change adaptation include Implementation of SAARC decisions such as disaster management, food bank and shared positions at the international level beside joint research and regional planning. Ali Tauqir Sheikh said, climate change compatible development is gaining prominence as an issue but mandate in South Asia still lies with weak institutions that are unable to act on planning and implementation challenges.
Session on Gender and climate change was chaired by Dr.Saba Gul Khattak, Member Social Sector, Planning Commission of Pakistan. Mome Saleem, Research Associate, SDPI said Climate Change will have serious implications for women due to their greater responsibilities and less access to resources beside their limited mobility, sexual division of labor, lack of education and access to information. She regretted over absence of gender dimension in climate financing and asserted to ensure women s role in decision making process at national as well as global level, gender mainstreaming in National Adaptation Plan of Action (NAPA) and capacity building through media and community based interventions. Sanjey Vashist talked on policies and practices for gender-just adaptation . He asked to promote women as drivers of change and build women s agency for climate change adaptation in Planning Commission. He also demanded to set gender specific indicators for meeting practical and specific needs.
Khawar Mumtaz commented that excessive use of pesticides on crops has negative repercussions resulting into depleting health conditions and diseases particularly in women such as skin diseases and miscarriages.