Opportunities explored to reduce emissions in urban transport sector

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SIDRA SAIF KHI: While showing grave concern over the global warming and climate change threats especially in Pakistan, experts have called for exploring new vistas and identifying more opportunities including carbon financing in the transport sector as it would contribute a lot in reducing emissions and improving the environment.


A three-day training has recently been organized by the Climate Change Division and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), in Karachi, to focus on reducing emissions in transport sector.


The experts focused on identifying opportunities with regard to carbon financing in the transport sector. Carbon financing is a global mechanism and explores opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which carry a price, if traded in international market. Hence, projects that reduce such emissions can bring additional stream of revenue, besides other environmental, social and sustainable development benefits, they said.


Representatives from Lahore Transport Company, Sindh Transport Department, Economic Affairs Division, Punjab Metro Bus Authority and Ministry of Water and Water attended the event.


The PAKSTRAN Project is being implemented by the government, through the Sindh government (Transport Department), Government of Punjab (Urban Unit, Planning and Development Department) and IUCN.


“Projects in sustainable urban transportation (including mass transit system) are eligible to generate significant amounts of carbon credits, if designed and executed accordingly. As a number of projects on mass transit systems are being planned in future, some of these could be augmented,” said Mahmood Akhtar Cheema, Country Representative, IUCN Pakistan, on the occasion.


Sajjad Haider Yaldram, Deputy Secretary, Climate Change Division, gave an overview on global warming and climate change threats and opportunities while an overview of carbon financing while project cycle was given by Syed Amjad Hussain, Head, CDM Cell, Climate Change Division, Government of Pakistan.


Dr. SaleemJanjua, National Project Manager, PAKSTRAN, Ministry of Water and Power, stressed that “carbon finance is a field with a potential for growth, and learning and awareness of the same would result in producing home-grown experts in the future.”


Fazal Karim Khatri, Component Director, PAKSTRAN, Sindh Transport Department, supported the efforts being made to create awareness regarding the training contents and said that similar events should be put in the pipeline to develop learning of relevant professionals.


PAKSTRAN is supported by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and UNDP and is being implemented by Ministry of Communications, through the Transport Department, Sindh, Urban Unit Punjab, Planning and Development Department, and IUCN with the objective to reduce the growth of energy consumption and related greenhouse gas emissions from Pakistans transport sector, while simultaneously improving urban environmental conditions and improving Pakistans competitiveness.


The national and regional case studies are focused on China as the worlds top emitter of carbon dioxide, major trade nation and greatest critic of carbon tariffs.


The targets were set by EU leaders in March 2007, when they committed Europe to become a highly energy-efficient, low carbon economy, and were enacted through the climate and energy package in 2009.


The 20-20-20 targets represent an integrated approach to climate and energy policy that aims to combat climate change, increase the EUs energy security and strengthen its competitiveness.


Certain industrialized countries have been advocating the adoption of carbon tariffs on products imported from developing countries, such as China.


According to Marco Springmann, a physicist turned economist, the main reason is that certain rich nations have implemented binding targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while poorer countries have so far resisted legal commitments. Additionally, because many of them simply do not set a price on carbon, they can produce cheaper carbon-intensive goods. Promoters of carbon tariffs thus think that taxing such goods at the border will make up for this difference in price and indirectly regulate the associated emissions.


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