“There is need to generate both resources and mechanisms for a just energy transition that should be replicable and scalable to Pakistan,” said the minister presiding over an inter-ministerial meeting to discuss a clean energy transition with Yong Ye, Country Director Asian Development Bank (ADB). It was agreed that an initial transition assessment, to be carried out by ADB, will lead to a much larger feasibility study for a High-Carbon Replacement Fund (HCRF) aiming to replace coal and/or other high-carbon power generation with cleaner technologies in Pakistan.
The Federal Minister highlighted, “Pakistan is facing a severe energy shortage. It is essential both for public consumption and climate commitments, as well as in reducing our reliance on expensive, imported, dirty energy, to work on a framework and roadmap to such a transition.
“We need to urgently build a viable mechanism for higher reliance on clean energy, as coal and carbon intensive generation plants dominate Pakistan’s power grid. Moving away from them is now the only option for a sustainable future and an early retirement of inefficient fuel-based plants, without compromising the country’s financial and economic integrity.” she said.
Sherry requested the ADB to move forward on conducting a Transition Assessment for Energy Transition Mechanism (ETM) to help Pakistan accelerate the move to clean power. Mr Yong Ye stressed that retirement of dirty energy power plants will not only decrease significant carbon emissions but will also unlock investments in renewable energy, storage, electric vehicles, and other clean technologies. “During COP26, 90% of the world, 154 representatives of global emissions, had put forward net zero targets but Pakistan was not one of these countries. Carbon neutrality is a state of NET Zero CO2 emissions which can only be achieved by cutting down GHG to as close to zero as possible. While Net Zero pledges are commendable, they are not enough as Pakistan bears the burden of carbon emissions by rich countries. Climate catastrophe is here now and we have to collectively come together to take up this challenge.”
Federal Minister for Climate Change Senator Sherry Rehman requested the ADB to accelerate the feasibility study for a phased transition to clean energy. She stressed, “We must also remember that Pakistan should not be burdened with the financial costs of the transition in this climate emergency.
Pakistan is on the frontlines of the climate catastrophe as we brace for floods, endure heatwaves, and watch GLOF incidents unfold throughout the north of the country,” she said, adding that they produce less than 1% of GHG emissions, but our economy is exposed to high levels of climate costs to the tune of 9.2 percent of our GDP, so we need all pledges to assist our country in transitioning into renewable energy to be realised because it is going to be an extremely expensive, complex and difficult process.