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Global Go To Think Tank Index (GGTTI) 2020 launched                    111,75 Think Tanks across the world ranked in different categories.                SDPI is ranked 90th among “Top Think Tanks Worldwide (non-US)”.           SDPI stands 11th among Top Think Tanks in South & South East Asia & the Pacific (excluding India).            SDPI notches 33rd position in “Best New Idea or Paradigm Developed by A Think Tank” category.                SDPI remains 42nd in “Best Quality Assurance and Integrity Policies and Procedure” category.              SDPI stands 49th in “Think Tank to Watch in 2020”.            SDPI gets 52nd position among “Best Independent Think Tanks”.                           SDPI becomes 63rd in “Best Advocacy Campaign” category.                   SDPI secures 60th position in “Best Institutional Collaboration Involving Two or More Think Tanks” category.                       SDPI obtains 64th position in “Best Use of Media (Print & Electronic)” category.               SDPI gains 66th position in “Top Environment Policy Tink Tanks” category.                SDPI achieves 76th position in “Think Tanks With Best External Relations/Public Engagement Program” category.                    SDPI notches 99th position in “Top Social Policy Think Tanks”.            SDPI wins 140th position among “Top Domestic Economic Policy Think Tanks”.               SDPI is placed among special non-ranked category of Think Tanks – “Best Policy and Institutional Response to COVID-19”.                                            Owing to COVID-19 outbreak, SDPI staff is working from home from 9am to 5pm five days a week. All our staff members are available on phone, email and/or any other digital/electronic modes of communication during our usual official hours. You can also find all our work related to COVID-19 in orange entries in our publications section below.    The Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) is pleased to announce its Twenty-third Sustainable Development Conference (SDC) from 14 – 17 December 2020 in Islamabad, Pakistan. The overarching theme of this year’s Conference is Sustainable Development in the Times of COVID-19. Read more…       FOOD SECIRITY DASHBOARD: On 4th Nov, SDPI has shared the first prototype of Food Security Dashboard with Dr Moeed Yousaf, the Special Assistant to Prime Minister on  National Security and Economic Outreach in the presence of stakeholders, including Ministry of National Food Security and Research. Provincial and district authorities attended the event in person or through zoom. The dashboard will help the government monitor and regulate the supply chain of essential food commodities.

Why they March: Global Movement for Climate Action Comes Home
By: Dr. Imran S Khalid
For a region that has seen many hurricanes, Dorian was not just another storm to hit the Bahamas. For 24 hours, it hovered and churned over the archipelago, devastating anything and everything that came in its path.  By the time the skies had cleared, the tiny Caribbean state had been torn asunder.  The number of dead stood at 44 with hundreds more missing.   But, even before Dorian touched down in this famous tourist destination in early September, a record seven million people, according to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Center, had been displaced from their homes due to extreme weather events in the first six months of 2019, putting it well on course to be one of the most disastrous years in nearly two decades.  What we are experiencing is life in a world increasingly marred by climate change.  What we are witnessing is the advent of a new normal!
Consider. In 2018, the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) produced its special report on capping temperature rise to1.5 degree Centigrade. The report, which is based on over six thousand scientific references, highlighted the urgent need to stem greenhouse gas emissions failing which there will be a significantly negative impact on the global ecosystems and in turn human livelihoods.  Earlier this year, a study by the Kathmandu based International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) highlighted how enhanced global warming will accelerate melting of the glaciers of the Hindukush Karakoram and Himalaya mountain ranges.  These findings are of grave concern for Pakistan, which is already ranked as one of most affected countries due to the impacts of climate change.   We have routinely faced floods, heatwaves, threat of glacial lake outburst floods, changing monsoon patterns and droughts, making us one of the countries most vulnerable to the vagaries of climate change. Most of those affected are poor and the economically vulnerable, who live in insecure communities with uncertain access to food supplies and regular incomes.
But let us go back to 2015 when there was immense hope-filled bonhomie in Paris as world leaders converged there to sign the landmark climate agreement.  The celebrations proved to be fleeting as the watered down agreement led to global commitments that will raise the global temperatures by more than three degrees centigrade as compared to the preindustrial levels, by the end of the 21st century.  Given the fact that the temperatures have already risen by one-degree, further warming does not augur well for humanity.
Given these strenuous circumstances, a clarion call is the need of the hour and it has come courtesy of a 16-year-old Swedish activist named Greta Thunberg. She has been actively mounting efforts to bring greater attention to the cause of those most impacted by climate change.   She skipped school on Fridays to protest in front of the Swedish Parliament. This resulted in the Fridays for Future movement with school students, across the world, making their voices heard every Friday in support of global climate action.   Her speech to the British Parliament won her plaudits as she vociferously cried out, “You did not act in time.” It may, in part, have even led to the British government’s decision to eliminate its reliance on coal fueled power, albeit briefly, for the first time since the 1880s.  Last month, she famously took a yacht all the way from to New York City to participate in the United Nations climate summit because she deemed a regular jet flight to be too carbon intensive.
Greta Thunberg’s message has resonated with young people everywhere.   On September 20th, the world will walk in unison to raise awareness about the climate crisis and the need for a collective and immediate action.   Pakistanis, too, will gather in cities and towns across the country to call for urgent action to deal with the crisis.  The organizers of the climate gatherings and marches have come up with a set of national demands which are ambitious and unequivocal yet representative of the hopes and fears that abound in the minds of our younger generation.   They call for 1) declaration of a climate emergency; 2)  inculcation of climate justice as part of the global climate agenda; 3) adoption of a low carbon economy; 4) ensuring grassroot level climate adaptation efforts.  In addition to these national demands, a list of city specific demands has also been developed which caters to the vulnerabilities, needs and opportunities for individual locales in Pakistan.
A key question remains, however. Will anyone in the policy and decision-making circles pay attention to these demands?  Pakistan is one of the few countries in the world that have a ministry dedicated to climate change. In 2012, a climate change policy was promulgated, followed by a climate action framework for the 2014-2030 period.  Yet, the goals of the policy and the associated framework have remained unachievable under the post 18th amendment scenario. A climate change council, headed by the Prime Minister also exists. Though, it is still to meet under the current administration, which has been in government for well over a year. Two years ago, plans for a national climate change authority were approved too but it has yet to be convened. Even as Pakistan recovered from the floods of 2010, which were arguably more severe than the past due to climate change, the country embarked on a plan to develop a set of coal power plants to meet its energy needs.  This is reflective of the dissonance between the on-ground realities and the governance mechanisms at play in Islamabad and the provincial capitals.
Still, there are reasons to be hopeful, as well as watchful. The billion tree tsunami launched in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has been a major success and is now being replicated across the rest of the country. It is hoped that this initiative will allow us to recover at least some of the dilapidated forest cover in the country, which in turn can serve as a sink for greenhouse gases. What it should not do is give us a license to continue our reliance on fossil fuels. Pakistan’s draft renewable energy policy calls for 30 percent of energy to be sourced from renewable energy technologies by 2030.  This is indeed an ambitious plan given the fact that only about four percent of our current energy supplies originate from renewable energy sources. Special attention will need to be paid to upgrading our decrepit power grid so as to fully benefit from the initiative. An electric vehicle policy is also in the works. Yet, an effective campaign against vehicular emissions will have to ensure significant improvement in our fuel quality. The low hanging fruit when it comes to effectively reducing our vehicular emissions is the development of a public transportation system, something that we’ve failed to achieve even in the so called planned capital city, Islamabad.
If we are to become a climate resilient country, and right now that is our only option, we will have to ensure that our policies and plans are well thought out, based on ground realities and flexible enough to cater to the idiosyncrasies inherent to a nation of 215 million people. Adhocism simply won’t cut it. Not anymore. The government’s plans for reduction in poverty, opportunities for welfare of the downtrodden and an improved economy, all depend on our ability to traverse an increasingly hazardous climate future. The decision makers will do well to take the demands of the climate marchers into account in their planning process in order to ensure a just and equitable climatic environment for our future generations.For a region that has seen many hurricanes, Dorian was not just another storm to hit the Bahamas. For 24 hours, it hovered and churned over the archipelago, devastating anything and everything that came in its path.  By the time the skies had cleared, the tiny Caribbean state had been torn asunder.  The number of dead stood at 44 with hundreds more missing.   But, even before Dorian touched down in this famous tourist destination in early September, a record seven million people, according to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Center, had been displaced from their homes due to extreme weather events in the first six months of 2019, putting it well on course to be one of the most disastrous years in nearly two decades.  What we are experiencing is life in a world increasingly marred by climate change.  What we are witnessing is the advent of a new normal!
Consider. In 2018, the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) produced its special report on capping temperature rise to1.5 degree Centigrade. The report, which is based on over six thousand scientific references, highlighted the urgent need to stem greenhouse gas emissions failing which there will be a significantly negative impact on the global ecosystems and in turn human livelihoods.  Earlier this year, a study by the Kathmandu based International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) highlighted how enhanced global warming will accelerate melting of the glaciers of the Hindukush Karakoram and Himalaya mountain ranges.  These findings are of grave concern for Pakistan, which is already ranked as one of most affected countries due to the impacts of climate change.   We have routinely faced floods, heatwaves, threat of glacial lake outburst floods, changing monsoon patterns and droughts, making us one of the countries most vulnerable to the vagaries of climate change. Most of those affected are poor and the economically vulnerable, who live in insecure communities with uncertain access to food supplies and regular incomes.
But let us go back to 2015 when there was immense hope-filled bonhomie in Paris as world leaders converged there to sign the landmark climate agreement.  The celebrations proved to be fleeting as the watered down agreement led to global commitments that will raise the global temperatures by more than three degrees centigrade as compared to the preindustrial levels, by the end of the 21st century.  Given the fact that the temperatures have already risen by one-degree, further warming does not augur well for humanity.
Given these strenuous circumstances, a clarion call is the need of the hour and it has come courtesy of a 16-year-old Swedish activist named Greta Thunberg. She has been actively mounting efforts to bring greater attention to the cause of those most impacted by climate change.   She skipped school on Fridays to protest in front of the Swedish Parliament. This resulted in the Fridays for Future movement with school students, across the world, making their voices heard every Friday in support of global climate action.   Her speech to the British Parliament won her plaudits as she vociferously cried out, “You did not act in time.” It may, in part, have even led to the British government’s decision to eliminate its reliance on coal fueled power, albeit briefly, for the first time since the 1880s.  Last month, she famously took a yacht all the way from to New York City to participate in the United Nations climate summit because she deemed a regular jet flight to be too carbon intensive.
Greta Thunberg’s message has resonated with young people everywhere.   On September 20th, the world will walk in unison to raise awareness about the climate crisis and the need for a collective and immediate action.   Pakistanis, too, will gather in cities and towns across the country to call for urgent action to deal with the crisis.  The organizers of the climate gatherings and marches have come up with a set of national demands which are ambitious and unequivocal yet representative of the hopes and fears that abound in the minds of our younger generation.   They call for 1) declaration of a climate emergency; 2)  inculcation of climate justice as part of the global climate agenda; 3) adoption of a low carbon economy; 4) ensuring grassroot level climate adaptation efforts.  In addition to these national demands, a list of city specific demands has also been developed which caters to the vulnerabilities, needs and opportunities for individual locales in Pakistan.
A key question remains, however. Will anyone in the policy and decision-making circles pay attention to these demands?  Pakistan is one of the few countries in the world that have a ministry dedicated to climate change. In 2012, a climate change policy was promulgated, followed by a climate action framework for the 2014-2030 period.  Yet, the goals of the policy and the associated framework have remained unachievable under the post 18th amendment scenario. A climate change council, headed by the Prime Minister also exists. Though, it is still to meet under the current administration, which has been in government for well over a year. Two years ago, plans for a national climate change authority were approved too but it has yet to be convened. Even as Pakistan recovered from the floods of 2010, which were arguably more severe than the past due to climate change, the country embarked on a plan to develop a set of coal power plants to meet its energy needs.  This is reflective of the dissonance between the on-ground realities and the governance mechanisms at play in Islamabad and the provincial capitals.
Still, there are reasons to be hopeful, as well as watchful. The billion tree tsunami launched in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has been a major success and is now being replicated across the rest of the country. It is hoped that this initiative will allow us to recover at least some of the dilapidated forest cover in the country, which in turn can serve as a sink for greenhouse gases. What it should not do is give us a license to continue our reliance on fossil fuels. Pakistan’s draft renewable energy policy calls for 30 percent of energy to be sourced from renewable energy technologies by 2030.  This is indeed an ambitious plan given the fact that only about four percent of our current energy supplies originate from renewable energy sources. Special attention will need to be paid to upgrading our decrepit power grid so as to fully benefit from the initiative. An electric vehicle policy is also in the works. Yet, an effective campaign against vehicular emissions will have to ensure significant improvement in our fuel quality. The low hanging fruit when it comes to effectively reducing our vehicular emissions is the development of a public transportation system, something that we’ve failed to achieve even in the so called planned capital city, Islamabad.
If we are to become a climate resilient country, and right now that is our only option, we will have to ensure that our policies and plans are well thought out, based on ground realities and flexible enough to cater to the idiosyncrasies inherent to a nation of 215 million people. Adhocism simply won’t cut it. Not anymore. The government’s plans for reduction in poverty, opportunities for welfare of the downtrodden and an improved economy, all depend on our ability to traverse an increasingly hazardous climate future. The decision makers will do well to take the demands of the climate marchers into account in their planning process in order to ensure a just and equitable climatic environment for our future generations.
 
Source: https://www.epiphany.com.pk/blog/2019/09/18/why-they-march-global-movement-for-climate-action-comes-home/ 

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The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint or stance of SDPI.