ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Monday said the country will completely phase out furnace oil-based power generation in near future to mitigate oil’s negative fallout on climate.
“Power plants will no longer be running on furnace oil,” Abbasi said, addressing the ‘Science Policy Conference on Climate Change’.
Government has already banned new power plants based on furnace oil in the wake of a growing import of comparatively inexpensive liquefied natural gas (LNG). The country has currently two LNG terminals with a production capacity of 1.2 billion cubic feet/day, which is quite a relief for the country facing a gas shortfall of around two billion cubic feet/day.
Prime Minister said the country is already utilising Euro-II diesel and petrol.
“Pakistan is fully cognisant of its commitment towards the challenges of environment and is effectively dealing with the phenomenon of greenhouse effect,” he added.
Abbasi said Pakistan contributes only one percent to global greenhouse footprint.
Presently, gas-combusted power plants produce half of electricity, followed by 20 percent from hydropower.
The country earmarks approximately eight percent of its budget to cope up with climate change. The country also runs National Climate Change Authority and National Climate Change Council for climate change policy interventions.
In 2015, the country ratified the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and is committed to bring greenhouse gas emissions down 20 percent.
“Climate change has become one of the biggest challenges for mankind and united all for action against the hazards,” the premier said.
Minister for Climate Change Mushahidullah Khan said the government wants to strengthen Pakistan’s research capacity in climate change, and especially the country’s premier climate research institute Global Change Impact Studies Centre (GCISC).
“We hope to raise this centre to international standards,” Khan said in a statement. “We would like Pakistan to benefit from international expertise and other countries to benefit from our experience and knowledge.” Climate change minister approved a proposal for the capacity building of Global Change Impact Studies Centre. The total budget of the proposal is Rs791 million, of which Rs60 million has already been released.
“Pakistan has taken a number of important steps towards climate-friendly development including ratification of Paris agreement and passing of Climate Change Act,” Khan said. “Steps are being taken to establish provincial climate change centers as well.
More than 140 scientists from all over the world will present their latest research findings at the three-day science policy conference on climate change, which is the first international event on the issue in the country hosted by GCISC.
“The conference presents an opportunity for stakeholders to deliberate on Pakistan’s development in the context of climate change,” the statement said. “Pakistan is the major victims of the adverse impacts of changing climate. There is an urgent need for reliable research in this field to support policymakers, inform the public and provide early warning.”
The moot will provide mapping efforts to alleviate the impacts of climate change, assess knowledge and identify capacity needs and priorities that better reflect the Pakistani development context.
The moot also seeks to highlight the need for improved climate-related research and information for Pakistan, as well as to strengthen the science-policy interface.
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