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Karachi

August 4, 2017

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Call for boosting city’s reliance on renewable energy

Experts have suggested that Karachi increase its reliance on renewable energy resources to mitigate climate change as well as increase plantations on an urgent basis to lower the ambient temperature.

Addressing the first session of a two-day workshop on Thursday, experts from different municipal and cantonment boards, utility services providers, environment regulators and research institutions stressed joint efforts and serious commitment to promote sustainable development and climate-friendly policies to help promote renewable energy and low carbon emissions.

Organised by the World Wide Fund for Nature-Pakistan (WWF-P), the workshop is aimed at capacity-building of government departments and other stakeholders for greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory development and its reporting as well as highlighting the city’s initiatives for climate change adaptation and mitigation to the global platform of carbonn Climate Registry (cCR).

The information gathered would later help the metropolis register with the WWF’s One Planet City Challenge (OPCC), which is a global initiative for recognising and rewarding cities that are attempting to become more climate-friendly.

The two-day workshop is part of a project titled ‘Introducing Renewable Energy Solutions to Enhance Energy Security and Build Climate Resilience in Karachi,’ which is being implemented by the WWF-P in collaboration with the WWF-Sweden and the K-Electric in selected union councils of Sindh’s capital city.  

KMC task force

Karachi Deputy Mayor Arshad Vohra told the workshop’s participants that the metropolis was already a member of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, but no concrete measures had been taken for its implementation during the past decade.

Vohra said GHG emissions produced by different sectors should be measured to support informed decision-making. He agreed to setting up a task force at the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) to help report and register the city’s climate change mitigation initiatives with the OPCC and the cCR.

Time to go green

Ali Dehlavi, the regional head for the WWF-P in Sindh and Balochistan, said Karachi’s citizens were facing large-scale environmental challenges, including energy crisis, industrial and household waste, scarcity of drinking water, lack of green spaces and uneven rainfall patterns.

Dehlavi said that now was the right time for the metropolis to shift towards adopting green technologies that could help reduce GHG emissions.  

A universal threat

Pamela Cabacungan, project officer (mitigation) at the ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability Southeast Asia Secretariat and the workshop’s lead trainer, said climate change was not an isolated subject, as it affected productivity and functions of different sectors.

Pamela said one could not formulate actions until rudimentary data about climate change was collected, adding that for tackling climate change, Karachi should increase its share of renewable energy, promote sustainable public transportation, avoid deforestation and ensure efficient waste management among other measures.

The workshop’s participants also included officials of the KMC; the KE; the Karachi Water & Sewerage Board; Sindh’s planning & development, forest & wildlife, livestock & fisheries, energy, agriculture and research departments; the Civil Aviation Authority; the National Institute of Oceanography; the Sindh Solid Waste Management Board and the Sindh Environmental Protection Agency.

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