Experts call for change in Pakistan’s fossil-fuel-dependent energy policy for a just transition to clean energy
- Sep 30, 2022
ISLAMABAD, September 30, 2022: Energy experts have called for a people-centric approach and change in policies to revamp the power sector for a just transition to clean energy and to resolve the flaws in our energy design.
Speaking at a multi-stakeholder dialogue, the experts shared consensus on a dynamic growth model for the future, integration of ecological and environmental considerations for energy planning and mainstreaming of climate justice at the national level. The experts said that the way forward is framing climate justice by modifying the existing governance paradigm or making it anew, and transitioning towards clean energy while keeping vulnerable communities at the center of discussion. The event was organized by the Alliance for Climate Justice and Clean Energy (ACJCE), a coalition of civil society organizations working on energy transition in Pakistan.
Addressing the audience, MNA Dr Nafisa Shah said that the people are not benefitting from the fossil fuel-dependent energy policy of Pakistan. She said that fossil fuel energy is not contributing to Pakistan’s development but instead is more of a liability.
Referring to the recent flood in Pakistan, Shah said that majority of Sindh is still under water and people who are facing the brunt of such climate change-driven natural disasters are not contributors to climate change. She suggested mainstreaming climate justice through dialogues between the federation and provinces, redressal of flaws in governance paradigm and making people-centric and nature-centric energy policies.
Dr Irfan Yousuf, Advisor RE at National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA), said false decision-making in the past has contributed to issues in the energy sector, but we must now focus on the future. Speaking about the recent floods, he said, “We need to prepare on what to do with the flood water and how to store it to prevent it from being wasted.”
Water expert Dr Hassan Abbas called for a people-centric approach to development. Emphasizing that hydro is not a solution in current times when solar is taking off, he said that large-scale hydropower projects are expensive, cause land erosion due to silt blockage, and are also a reason behind civil and ethnic tensions between upstream and downstream communities on water resources allocation.
N.A Zuberi, Senior Advisor CSAIL, called for overhauling of Pakistan’s complex energy sector. He said that too many institutions are handling the power sector business with a disintegrated approach. Zuberi urged for privatization of distribution and transmission networks, retiring of inefficient and old power plants – mostly oil based, along with several other reforms in the existing business model.
Aqeel Jaffri from Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) recommended the diversification of energy resources based on the National Electricity Policy, 2021. He also suggested properly functioning the forecasting systems, syncing of Indicative Generation Capacity Expansion Plan and issuance of energy security mechanisms for the foreseeable future.
Other panelists of the consultative session included Shahid Hamid from WAPDA, Senator Rukhsana Zuberi, Halima Khan Energy Update, Samim Affan from CPPA-G, Ahsan Kamal from Alternative Law Collective, Azhar Lashari from Policy Research Institute for Equitable Development, Fatima Anila from One Network, Tayyab Choudhry from LUMS and Ammar Qaseem from Renewables First.
The participants included lawmakers, experts from the private sector, researchers from policy think tanks and government officials and university students.