ISLAMABAD, Sept. 15 (Xinhua) -- Pakistan needs to further enhance cooperation with China under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) to promote affordable clean and green energy in the South Asian country, Pakistani experts have said.
Pakistan and China enjoy close ties, which must be utilized for expanding affordable and clean energy access in Pakistan, experts said during a seminar titled "Renewable Energy Collaboration under the CPEC", which was organized recently by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), an Islamabad-based thinktank.
Launched in 2013, CPEC, the flagship project of the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, is a corridor linking the Gwadar port in southwestern Pakistan with Kashgar in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, which highlights energy, transport and industrial cooperation.
Speaking on the occasion, Abid Qaiyum Suleri, SDPI's executive directer, said that climate crisis amplified by consistent use of dirty fuels impacts the global community without any distinction of geography and economic conditions.
Pakistan ranked among the top 10 most vulnerable countries on the Climate Risk Index, and the country faced climate-induced devastating floods last year, affecting over 33 million people including children.
While countries around the globe are responding to the climate crisis by embarking on a renewable energy transition, the energy inflation in Pakistan owing to various internal and international factors manifests itself at the domestic level, Suleri said.
"Pakistan must bank on China's expertise in promoting green energy initiatives with doable and practical solutions to address these problems. Various energy projects under CPEC have already been helping Pakistan realize its goal of increasing the share of renewable energy in power generation to 30 percent till 2030," he added.
Liaquat Ali Shah, executive director of the Center of Excellence for CPEC at the Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives, said that CPEC provided Pakistan with a platform to fast-track adoption of renewable energy and significantly low carbon emissions.
Shah stressed the need for building institutional capacity, and policy integration, by aligning industry and energy policies with green industrial policies.
"The focus on renewable energy should extend beyond generation to energy conservation and efficiency ... the outdated facilities can lead to increased costs," he said.
Khalid Waleed, a scholar and expert in energy economics, stressed the need to attract foreign investment into the country especially from China to advance green initiatives and spur economic activity.
"The potential for China to shift manufacturing to Pakistan, China, with its abundant capital resources, could benefit from utilizing Pakistan's labor-intensive workforce, creating a mutually advantageous trade relationship," he said.
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