World needs at least 70% sustainable infrastructure by 2050: Environmentalists

At least 70 percent of the infrastructure around the world should be environmentally sustainable by 2050, insisted speakers during a workshop organized by the World Wildlife Fund for Nature-Pakistan (WWF-P).

The three-day virtual workshop, titled ‘Sustainable Infrastructure and Greening the Belt and Road Initiative,’ is aimed at reviewing and establishing WWF’s global infrastructure framework, with particular focus on energy and maritime and industrial infrastructure.

As we move through these extraordinary times of multiple global shocks hitting at once, we know the future will not look the same as it did a few months ago,” observed WWF-United States sustainable infrastructure vice-president Kate Newman, explaining the need to develop reliable structure. “It is hard to predict what would be altered forever [or whether] people would fall back on old practices,” she said, “but future infrastructure demand will certainly change.”

According to Newman, “It will be crucial to meet these demands with a focus on sustainability rather than following the habits of the past.”

In line with this argument, Special Adviser to the Prime Minister on climate change Malik Amin Aslam stated that infrastructure was the backbone of sustainable development in Pakistan.

For this reason, Pakistan is working towards making energy, water, transport, and even building systems,he elaborated, adding that the government was making all possible efforts to increase the country’s forest cover and promote alternative energy solutions to meet energy requirements.

WWF-P director-general Hammad Naqi Khan, who also spoke on the occasion, explained that the objective of the workshop was to ensure that infrastructure services fell in line with development goals and, in effect, able to halt and reverse the unprecedented loss of biodiversity, putting nature on a path to recovery for the benefit of people and the planet.

He stressed that under the looming threat of climate change, a shift towards sustainable infrastructure was the need of the hour.

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