LAHORE: Cycling enthusiasts and environment campaigners staged a rally outside the Lahore Press Club on Sunday in order to raise awareness about climate change, demanding the government switch over to renewable sources of energy.

At least 50 cyclists participated in the rally, circling around the Shimla Pahari.

The participants were carrying placards inscribed with demands like “End fossil fuels” and “Clean energy now.”

Following the recent floods and climate change events, activists and campaigners of the Pakistan Kissan Rabita Committee (PKRC), in collaboration with Asian People’s Movement on Debt and Development (APMDD), renewed their call to end fossil fuel-based energy in Pakistan.

PKRC secretary general Farooq Tariq said that Pakistan should take climate change seriously, especially after the recent devastating floods. “It can’t happen that we continue to follow dirty fossil fuel projects and expect that it won’t affect local communities and people. It is a scientifically established fact that fossil fuel-based energy has been a major source of climate change in our region and we need to instantly phase it out.”

Pakistan had been over-relying on fossil fuels to meet its energy requirements, but it must plan its exit from the dirty energy now, he added.

Saima Zia regretted that the latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) showed that average annual global greenhouse gas emissions were at their highest levels in human history in the last decade. To keep global temperatures rise within the 1.5°C threshold, the world would need to use about 95 percent less coal, 60pc less oil, and 45pc less gas by 2050.

APMDD coordinator Lidy Nacpil said in a message that the whole world must shift to 100pc renewable energy systems as rapidly as possible. “Governments have to act now to make this transition happen. We are here today to raise voice for a fossil fuel-free future and for 100pc renewable energy systems.”

The rally participants also stressed the importance of raising awareness about climate change and forcing the government to take meaningful actions in order to mitigate the effects.

Published in Dawn, October 3rd, 2022

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