By Halima Usman
Al Gore the ex-vice president of United States of America stated “People need to stop financing denial of climate change.” In the last few years, China-Pakistan Economic Corridor has become the light of future hope for development and strengthening of economy of Pakistan. It has been termed as a “win-win model” for both of the countries. One of the major coal-fired power plant is already operational in Sahiwal while other projects such as Thar coal-fired power plant is on its way to be implemented. No specific baseline study has been carried out till date by the agency, prior to construction of Sahiwal coal-fired power plant even though NEQs are available at national level. Coal is considered to be a braking-system on combating climate change and achieving sustainable development. Burning of coal emits carbon which in return burns with oxygen producing a heat trapping gas carbon dioxide leading to warming of the earth above normal range limits. Moreover coal-fired plants can lead to serious health impacts to the nearby community and water pollution. However incorporation of technologies such as carbon capture and storage coupled to coal plants provides a mitigation strategy along with reducing carbon dioxide levels.
2018, has been a year in which various countries have managed to become renewable energy champions leading to phenomenal success stories and providing hope to solve the worlds global problem: climate change. China has gained its position to be one of the top solar countries and continues to invest in solar energy after the success of its Longyangxia Dam Solar Park and Tengger Desert Solar Park having a capacity to provide 850 megawatts and 1547 megawatts of power respectively. On the other end of the Asian continent, India has proved itself to play a useful role in fighting climate change by Kurnool Ultra Mega Solar Park a project utilizing four million solar panels. The achievement of renewable energy projects by different countries transformed their identity from climate sinners to climate saviors. These countries have shown possibility of harnessing renewable energy and racing towards sustainable development for the betterment of environment and well as community. Pakistan renewable energy sector still is underdeveloped, even though it has a unique potential of capturing solar energy, with perfect geographical coordinates enabling sunshine availability more than twelve hours per day can supply electricity at household and commercial level. As the general elections are just around the corner, the upcoming government must realize the dire need for Pakistan to recognize its vulnerable state towards climate change and focus on progressing beyond nonrenewable energy.
Contributor is a postgraduate student in Environmental Sciences at the National University of Sciences and Technology, Islamabad.