EXPERTS SUGGEST IMMEDIATE STEPS TO ENSURE TRANSITION TO CLEAN ENERGY IN PAKISTAN

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Islamabad, MAY 25 – DNA – Right steps should be taken at every level to ensure transition towards clean energy in Pakistan. The experts in oil and gas sector said this while sharing their views with the participants at the public private dialogue ‘The role of Oil and Gas Sector in clean energy transition of Pakistan-Rural Sindh,’ jointly organized by sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) and Shah Abdul Latif University (SALU), Khairpur, here on Tuesday.

Prof Dr Taj Muhammad Lashari, Dean Social Sciences, Shah Abdul Latif University (SALU), Khairpur, was of view that it should be the responsibility of oil and gas companies to provide power access to people below poverty line. Such initiative would help in improving their living standards besides building a sense of security amongst them, he added.

Director Planning and development, Mr Sajjad Hussain Talpur, highlighted that the living conditions of people in Badin and Khairpur districts are dismally poor despite the area being producer of the significant volume of oil and gas. Therefore, the funds under CSR should be used on the development projects in these areas.

Dr Vaqar Ahmed, Joint Executive Director, SDPI, informed the participants about the renewable energy policy of the government and said that it is very encouraging to shift country towards climate friendly projects.  He added further that the investments in renewable sources should remain a priority and transmission and distribution challenges should be addressed. Moreover, he said, we need to incentivize the demand side so that there is a large consumer base for clean energy.

Associate professor, SALU, Dr Naveed Sheikh, while describing the role of Academia in Clean Energy Transition, said that the curriculum of academic studies should be revised to include courses on ‘Clean Environment’ and ‘Quality of life’. Dr Bilal Shams Memon, from Mehran University of Engineering & Technology, Khairpur, emphasized that the curriculum should also be linked to Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), CSR, and entrepreneurship projects.

Dr Abdul Shakoor, representing Benazir Bhutto Shaheed University of Technology and Skill Development, Khairpur, local manufacturing of solar PV panels should be explored, and Oil and Gas sector companies could take lead in encouraging such initiatives.  Each individual should be aware of his carbon footprints and ways to reduce carbon emissions.

Ms Maha Kamal, Teaching Fellow, Information Technology University, opined that we need to move away from thermal based fuels to come in line with Paris Agreement, and be cognizant of the social and economic impacts of clean energy transition. Earlier, Dr Hina Aslam, Research Fellow, SDPI, highlighted the role of oil and gas companies in supporting the growth of deep decarbonization technologies for the sector at the company and industry level, adopting green business models and initiatives. 

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