Minister: (Mushahidullah Khan says boosting clean development must for country’s sustained economic growth)

June 23, 2015 Off By Web Desk

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Climate Change, Mushahidullah Khan has urged federal and provincial government departments of the country to hammer out projects, which can help boost clean development and make the current trajectory of economic growth environmental-friendly and sustainable.

Addressing an inaugural ceremony of the three-day national training programme on clean development here on Wednesday, the minister told the participants, “Policymakers and planners need to make development plans in different socio-economic sectors, particularly agriculture, energy, water, industry and transport at federal and provincial levels. For, such projects would help achieve sustainable development goals and check environmental degradation, which costs nearly US $600 annually to the national exchequer.”

The capacity-building programme ‘National Training for Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) Assessment for PC-I of Public Sector Projects was organized by the climate change ministry to build the capacity and create awareness among all relevant stakeholders from both government and non-governmental sectors for CDM project assessment and implementation in the country as well as impart skills to them so that the public sector officials in planning and environmental departments are able to conduct CDM project assessment by setting up CDM assessment units at federal and provincial levels for identification and assessment of the public sector CDM projects.

The minister told the participants that being a signatory to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and Kyoto Protocol the country is eligible for international technical and financial assistance available under the CDM to fund federal and provincial projects in different socio-economic sectors, which are can boost clean and environmental-friendly development in the country.

The Kyoto Protocol treaty was negotiated in December 1997 at the city of Kyoto, Japan and came into force February 16th, 2005.

The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement linked to the UNFCCC, which recognises that developed countries are principally responsible for the current high levels of climte-altering GHG emissions in the atmosphere as a result of more than 150 years of industrial activity. Besides, the Protocol places a heavier burden on developed nations under the principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities.

Under the CDM, the rich countries invest in carbon emissions reduction projects/programmers in developing/poor countries such as Pakistan to make up for the national climate change mitigation targets, Mushahidullah Khan elaborated.

Describing the CDM, the federal minister told the participants that the CDM is operational since the beginning of 2006, which allows a country with an emission-reduction or emission-limitation commitment under the Kyoto Protocol to implement an emission-reduction project in developing countries. Such projects can earn saleable certified emission reduction (CER) credits, each equivalent to one tons of CO2, which can be counted towards meeting Kyoto targets, he added.

He further explained for the understanding of the participants that a CDM project activity might involve, for example, a rural electrification project using solar panels or the installation of more energy-efficient boilers in power plants.

The mechanism has potential to stimulate sustainable development and emission reductions, while giving industrialised countries some flexibility in how they meet their emission reduction or limitation targets to stablise the climate change.

Drawing focus of the participants towards present state of CDM-related progrest is the country, Senator Mushahidullah Khan said that during the first commitment period for the CDM, starting from 2008-2012, our country has accorded host country approval (HCA) to 73 CDM projects out of which 38 projects have also been successfully registered with the CDM executive board based in Bonn, Germany.

Seven of our projects have also started generating Certified Emissions Reductions (CERs) of over 4.8 metric ton (Mt) emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent, one of the key heat-trapping greenhouse gases, which are responsible for global warming, per annum, which has resulted into over US$ 60 million per annum of additional revenues from the sale of the CERs, he added.

The federal minister said, “In total, Pakistan has over 140 CDM projects at various stages of development,” he highlighted. He recalled that in its 18th UN-led global climate conference held in Doha in December 2012, the UNFCCC expanded the CDM eight-year schedule for second commitment period, starting from 2013.

“Such extension for another eight years provides a huge opportunity for developing countries like Pakistan to benefit from the global clean development funding mechanism called CDM.”

He informed the participants that incidentally all except one of these projects are from private sectors. However, mega CDM-able projects are in the public sector, which have hitherto remained untapped. The prime reason for missing out on the CDM-able public sector projects so far is lack of capacity of public sector stakeholders on CDM.

“Which is why, the ministry has arranged this three-day training to bridge the capacity gap in the public sector to tap the available CDM’s economic potential,” the minister emphasized.

Besides, the present government has also included CDM/Carbon Credits provision in PC-I proforma of the Planning Commission of

Pakistan and has already started advising CDM eligibility of public sector projects before every Central Development Working Party (CDWP) meeting, Mushahidullah Khan added.

He, thus, hoped that after attaining training, the participants from all parts of the country shall find themselves proficient in assessing CDM eligibility of different public sector projects without any external assistance, which will eventually led to overall clean and sustainable socio-economic development in the country.