RAWALPINDI: Speakers at the launching ceremony of a study report urged the government and key stakeholders to revisit the energy policy and phase out coal-based power plants.

They said thermal coal was the number one cause of global temperature rise.

The ceremony was jointly organised by the Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) and Fair Finance Pakistan at the chamber house in Rawalpindi.The study report examines financial aspects and equity contribution from the private sector to the coal debt in Pakistan.

The speakers said if the transition and eventual departure from coal to renewable energy does not happen, development, particularly in lower-income countries, will be unsustainable economically, socially and environmentally.

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Senator Faisal Karim Kundi, who was the chief guest on the occasion, said Pakistan is facing severe effects of climate change and Sindh and Balochistan have been affected more.

He said the number of volunteers will have to be increased. World powers and developed countries should address the damage caused by the harmful effects of carbon and help in rehabilitation of Pakistan’s flood-affected areas.

Earlier, RCCI President Nadeem Rauf said all stakeholders have a common responsibility to adopt a comprehensive policy to deal with climate change. RCCI believed that the government must focus on renewable energy as the country has tremendous potential to generate wind, hydro and solar power.

“Green energy sources like wind and solar are getting key focus on the global level as they are viable sources of energy at affordable cost,” Mr Rauf said.

Asim Jafari, representative of Fair Finance Pakistan, said the government should bring an clean air act and legislate.Banks should provide cheap loans for renewable energy under green banking, he added.

Bernadette Victoria, Programme Lead at Fair Finance Asia; Dr Abid A. Burki, author policy analyst, Professor of Economics at the Lahore University of Management Sciences (Lums); Mahmood Cheema, country representative International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN); Nasir Shabbir, regional head SME-North, Faysal Bank, and Hussain Jarwar, CEO Indus Consortium, also addressed the participants and answered questions on Zoom.

Published in Dawn, September 30th, 2022

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