Pakistan: Development Must Take Place with a Sense of Sustainability

[South Asia] – April 13, 2014: Climate Action Network South Asia welcomes the launch of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (#IPCC) latest report in Berlin today which shows that avoiding catastrophic climate change is still possible, but only with rapid and sustained cuts to #CarbonPollution.

The report points to the benefits of increasing the use of pollution-free renewable power and phasing out dirty #FossilFuels in the long term. In addition to highlighting the need to transform the energy system, the IPCC says other solutions to the climate crisis include using energy more efficiently, and investing in better transport and building technologies.

For the world to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, the report points out that the use of zero and low carbon energy sources will need to at least triple by 2050. To fund the transition, the IPCC said at least USD30 billion per year would be needed to be divested from dirty energy over the coming decades, while investments in renewable power would need to double.

“Pakistan has taken notable steps towards mitigation in the short and medium terms, such as a shift back to hydropower electricity production and development of other renewable sources of energy. This effort needs to be supplemented by savings in buildings and the transport sector that are technologically feasible and financially doable,” said CANSA Co-Chair Amb. Shafqat Kakakhel who also is in the Board of Governors of Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI).

Asia in particular is highlighted as a ‘hard-hit’ region as a result of water scarcity, food insecurity, the redistribution of land species and an increased risk to coastal and marine ecosystems. South Asia more specifically would be susceptible to climate extremities especially weather events such as flood and drought and its impact would only be aggravated as the region houses some of the world’s most impoverished in countries namely Bangladesh, India and Pakistan.

“With high rates of urbanisation (over 50%) and an exploding population, the proportion of people and assets exposed to climate risk is increasing, as is the pressure on climate sensitive resources. Translating the Climate Change policy in Pakistan towards action at the ground level (national to provincial to district level) is the need of the hour. Actions towards development requires a country like Pakistan to have a plan to avoid the losses and damages associated with extreme weather and to make disaster resilience central to economic and social policies,” said Climate Action Network South Asia Member of Board of Directors Hina Lotia, who is also the Director Programmes at LEAD Pakistan.

“While the Climate Change Division, National and Provincial Disaster Management Authorities along with civil society are making an effort, a lot remains to be desired. Government owned documents and plans like the Framework for Implementation (2014-2030) and the Work Programme for Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation in Pakistan: Priority Actions need to be operationalised,” added Ms Lotia.

The third instalment of the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report – which involves over 800 scientists synthesising the latest findings in the field – has raised pressure on government leaders to act as it has outlined how cutting pollution now will be cheaper and more effective.

“This report shows that we have the solutions to the climate crisis,” Sanjay Vashist, Director of Climate Action Network South Asia said. “But with the high levels of carbon pollution which is still on the rise, it is evident that a lot needs to be done, and faster, to accelerate the transition from dirty energy to clean, renewable power.”

The transition to renewable energy will provide massive benefits ranging from energy security, new jobs, good business and improved public health.

But it’s time for Pakistan to show its commitment to climate action on the world stage. Climate Action Network South Asia  Cilmate Action n Climurges the Pakistani Government to commit towards increasing climate action at the United Nations’ Secretary-General’s Climate Summit in September 2014, in order to lay the groundwork for a strong global treaty that is due to be signed in Paris in 2015.

CANSA is a coalition of 116 civil society organisations from seven countries of South Asia, demanding that all countries ratify the second commitment period of Kyoto protocol by 2015. CANSA is on a vision to strive actively towards the protection of the global climate in a manner that promotes equity and social justice between peoples, sustainable development of all communities, and protection of the global environment.

For further information contact Vositha Wijenayake on

#CarbonPollution  #FossilFuels  #IPCC  #RenewablePower