Mr Aslam was speaking at the Clean Energy Transition Summit organised here by Sustainable Development Policy Institute. Mr Aslam elaborated that Pakistan is on the development pathway and wants to maintain that momentum. He claimed that the 10 billion tree tsunami initiative generated jobs but was directly addressing the menace of climate change. He said that currently the unprecedented heat-waves and alarming rate of melting glaciers in addition to the unexpected Monsoon season are posing threats at multiple levels. He revealed that ecosystem restoration is a budgetary priority while hydro-development is a key focus of our government in addition to pushing for solar power plants as well as establishing wind corridors. He hoped that with local coal, we would move to coal to liquid or gas, which is much cleaner and pushing for re-commitments to clean energy under the CPEC umbrella. Shandana Gulzar Khan, chairperson, NA Committee on Food Security and Agriculture, said that we need to change the way of doing business and encourage a shift towards cleaner energy. We also need to evaluate the link between gender, clean energy, and COVID-19, she added. Earlier, Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri, executive director, SDPI, raised the question that we need to know how we can make renewable energy fit in the current narrative in a way that it could respond to fiscal restraints and meets the needs of the consumer. He said that the goal is for 60% of energy to come from clean resources by 2030.
Waqas bin Najib, Member Energy, MoPD&SI, informed the participants that our national energy policy has already been approved and renewable energy has a major role in the policy. Danny Kennedy, CEO, New Energy Nexus, said that we chose renewable energy which has been a huge success for the state and Pakistan may get benefitted from this experience for its transition to clean energy. Sheeraz Anwar Khan from ADB, was of view that the energy sector in Pakistan has suffered due to poor strategies and with the increased share of renewable energy, the government is hoping to achieve a sustainable mix of it at affordable prices.
Farzana Altaf, DG, Pak-EPA, was of view that hydropower is very familiar to us but our investments have to be focused to promote this source of energy. Mohammad Faisal Sharif, the energy sector expert, explained that transitioning from fossil fuels to renewable energy is a huge commitment and we are also transitioning our grid from a single buyer to a multi-party system.
Hassan Daud Butt, CEO, KP BOI, said that cleaner energy is imperative but cheaper source of energy is also important and being abundant with indigenous sources.
Mustafa Haider Sayed, Executive Director, Pakistan China Institute, was of view that under CPEC, coal power plants have been the game changer for meeting Pakistan’s energy needs and have played a significant role in uplifting communities.