Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA) – an independent European environmental think-tank – launched a study on carbon dioxide (CO2) emission, in collaboration with Alliance for Climate Justice and Clean Energy (ACJCE).
The virtually held event was addressed by local and international industry experts. They revealed that Pakistan’s cement industry is the country’s single largest source of carbon dioxide (CO2) emission – a highly hazardous gas – whereas various constituents of the country’s energy sector are responsible for 90 percent of the CO2 emission.
Research study says that CO2 emissions from fossil fuels consumption have more than doubled in Pakistan during the last two decades.
CREA lead analyst Lauri Myllyvirta, who is also one of the authors of the study, said though Pakistan’s CO2 emissions per capita remain low, however, energy-related emissions have doubled over the past two decades. Lauri said the power sector is responsible for over one-quarter of the total emissions, while fossil fuels are responsible for 2/3 of power generation.
Lauri added that constant share during the past decade indicates that there is little progress in moving towards clean power generation. He said the industrial sector – cement industries in particular – is the largest contributor of carbon emissions and is responsible for 1/3 increase over the past decade.
An independent analyst, Dawar Butt pointed out that Pakistan has committed to shift 30 percent to electric vehicles and produce 60 percent of power from renewables by 2030. He said fuel-use trends and government incentives portray a different picture. He was of the view that the cement industry, which is leading the construction industry and lobbying for lower taxes and amnesties, has so far not been studied in detail.
Zain Moulvi, associate at Alternative Law Collective, stressed the need to bring strategies for managing damaging environmental impacts caused by the ever-increasing carbon emissions. He said these strategies must have an immediate upgrade of environmental quality standards and monitoring procedures, both of which are out of sync with best global practices.
Dr Sanval Nasim, assistant professor of economics at Lahore University of Management Sciences, said air pollution is often conflated with climate change. He said although these issues overlap to some extent, they differ enough to warrant separate policies.