Carbon Market

In the absence of a carbon market policy, the federal government gave Sindh the permission to sell carbon credits worth at least $200 million in the next two decades so that it can expand its mangrove forest cover. It would appear that we are finally benefiting off of being a low emitting country. Funds generated through this avenue could enable the government to initiate great development projects that could promote sustainability and protect our ecology. At the same time however, there must be strict oversight on how such finances are used. Furthermore, this income should be incorporated within the national policy framework so that a self-sustaining system is established for the future as well.
As part of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC), Pakistan made certain commitments like reducing 240 tonnes of carbon dioxide—amounting to 15 percent in carbon credits in total. Within this endeavor of reducing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, the Sindh government has also stressed the importance of restoring mangrove forest cover as it will not only promote a healthier atmosphere, but will promote biodiversity in the province. And considering that Sindh has made enough progress in reducing carbon emissions, it has earned enough credits to earn a hefty income through which it can facilitate this initiative.
There are a few problems; because we do not have a national policy on carbon credits, the Sindh government would have to resort to the voluntary market in which credits cannot be counted towards the nationally determined contribution commitments of a country. This means that efforts towards reducing carbon emissions and then earning through credits would not help Pakistan honour its international requirements. Furthermore, every time a province needs to sell its credits, it would have to go through a lengthy procedure of approvals and investigations. The only way to solve this is through creating a cohesive and comprehensive national policy, something the federal government must work towards.
Secondly, $200 million is a huge sum of money that will be funneled into the country. There needs to be immense oversight to ensure that it is actually spent on environmental projects, and remains tied to sustainability. Promoting such key areas of development is essential, and the government must see to it that everything is done according to plan.

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