Green, competitive industrial sector must for sustainable development: Mushahid Ullah Khan

Islamabad, April 02, 2015 (PPI-OT): Federal Minister for Climate Change, Senator Mushahid Ullah Khan, has said that tackling climate change is a noble cause and has urged the rich and poor countries join hands together to fight the common global menace, which threatens the very sustainability of the life on earth.

He, however, said that tackling global warming and its damaging impacts on economic sectors, particularly agriculture, is not possible without cooperation of industrial sector in both rich and poor countries. For, much of the overall global carbon emissions come from the industrial sector, particularly in rich countries.

He was addressing as a keynote speaker at the conclusive session of the three-day high-level policy workshop on “Intended Nationally Determined Contributions” (INDCs) – an initiative meant for putting the world on the carbon-free pathway that leads to sustainable development – here at a local hotel on Thursday.

“Industrial sector is ranked as a major emitter of man-made carbon dioxide emissions after power generation sector globally. Therefore, shifting towards renewable and environment-friendly alternative sources of energy from fossil fuels can make the industrial sector environment-friendly and economically-sustainable,” the minister highlighted.

He urged the industrial sectors to volunteer their role and join present N-led government’s efforts for coping with climate change by making industrial sector clean and green. Senator Mushahid Ullah Khan said, “Besides other sectors, the power, forestry and livestock, agriculture, transport and waste sectors also need to play their due role in mitigating carbon emissions in the atmosphere to avoid more devastating effects of the climate change.

Focusing on these major sectors in terms of carbon emission reduction will provide the greatest opportunities in reducing emissions and improving resource efficiency, he pointed out and added that building competitive green industries is at the heart of sustainable development.

The minister Mushahid Ullah Khan opined, Emissions can be curbed if the world makes greater use of low-energy technologies for electricity generation and industrial production.” He suggested the power and industrial sectors to use clean and green technologies, which can help capture and store carbon dioxide emitted from power houses and industrial processes. Because, such way a huge amount of carbon emission reductions can be achieved.

Meanwhile, he urged the developed countries, which are in fact major culprits of global warming, to help developing countries deploy low-energy technologies and implement them quickly for ‘leapfrogging’ the sustainable development process.

Without transfer of financial, technological and technical know-how support from rich to poor countries, developing countries will not be able to join global efforts for reducing emissions of heat-trapping gasses, particularly carbon dioxide, which accounts for over 70 percent of the total Green House Gas (GHG) emissions, the federal climate change minister warned. Methane and nitrous Oxide gases account for 18 percent and nine percent, respectively, in the overall global GHG emissions, whose release in the atmosphere has led to global warming.

Federal Secretary for Climate Change, Arif Ahmed Khan, the major industries in Pakistan include textiles, fertilizer, sugar factories, cement, steel and large petro-chemical plants. These industries, among others, contribute about 6 percent to the total GHG emissions of the country while energy sector accounts for more than a quarter of the total carbon emissions in the country.

“However, there is a pressing need to find ways to contain these emissions or at least slow down their growth rate,” he stressed and added that this would require technological innovations and financial resources, for which Pakistan will need the support of the international community.

Proposing measures for mitigating country’s carbon footprints/carbon emissions, The secretary Arif Ahmed Khan said that there is need for incorporating economic incentives to promote emission-reduction by upgrading industrial processes and technologies, preparing voluntary “Corporate Social Responsibility” (CSR) guidelines and encourage the corporate sector to create a CSR fund to cover carbon emission reduction efforts in industrial sector, promoting integration of the “Cleaner Production” strategy in the Industrial sector by making more efficient use of inputs such as energy, water and raw materials, promote the use of energy efficient motors in the industrial sector, encourage the industrial sector to have periodic “Energy Efficiency Audits”.

He also stressed upon need for developing capacity to monitor and estimate emissions locally for each industry and ensuring that ensure that technology transfer is accelerated for industries like cement manufacturing, to control emissions without hampering the production process.

Keeping in view these important policy measures, he urged all stakeholders, experts, scientist, researchers, and academicians from different sectors including energy, agriculture, forestry, livestock, waste, and transportation to come up with proposals and recommendations on intended nationally determined contributions.

“These intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs), in the long run, will be helpful in reducing GHG emission and to cope with the menace of Climate Change,” Arif Ahmed Khan underlined. He said that further that similarly, legislate and enforce industrial and domestic waste management practices to protect the environment, in particular reduce GHG emissions and water resources, in general, from further degradation.

Director General (Environment and Climate Change) of the climate change ministry, Sajjad Ahmed Bhutta, gave a detailed briefing about the INDCs and its importance. Beyond the year 2020, the international community is heading towards finalization of a legally binding outcome in Paris this year.

Furthermore, the countries have been invited to forward Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs). Parties to the Convention agreed in Warsaw in 2013 to “initiate or intensify preparation of their intended nationally determined contributions” so that they can be forwarded well in advance of the UNFCCC conference in Paris in 2015.

He said that INDCs will largely determine whether the world achieves an ambitious 2015 global agreement and is set on a path toward a low-carbon, climate-resilient future. “INDCs bring together elements of a bottom-up system—in which countries put forward their contributions in the context of their national priorities, circumstances and capabilities—with a top-down system, in which countries collectively aim to reduce global emissions enough to limit average global temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius; thus, averting the worst impacts of climate change,” the Sajjad Ahmed Bhutta added.

He said that INDCs, As a result, can create a constructive feedback loop between national and international decision-making on climate change. Ali Tauqeer Sheikh, Chief Executive of Lead-Pakistan, said that INDCs, if well-designed, would signal to the world that the country like Pakistan is doing its part to combat climate change and limit future climate risks.

“Countries should follow an efficient and transparent process when preparing their INDCs to build trust and accountability with domestic and international stakeholders. “A good INDC should be ambitious, leading to transformation in carbon-intensive sectors and industry; transparent, so that the level of ambition can be reviewed; and equitable, so that each country does its fair share to address climate change. An INDC should also articulate how the country is integrating climate change into other national priorities, Ali Dehlavi of WWF-Pakistan highlighted.

The event was attended by top key government officials from environment, water, energy, forest, health ministries and departments and international and local non-governmental organisations. Climate Change and Environmental scientist, researchers, academicians, policymakers and planners also attended the event.

For more information, contact:
Muhammad Saleem
Deputy Director
Media and Communication
Ministry of Climate Change
Government of Pakistan
LG and RD Complex, G-5/2, ISLAMABAD
Ph: 051-9245565
E-mail: moccpakistan@hotmail.com
Web: http://www.mocc.gov.pk/

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