RIYADH: Pakistan will ensure renewable energy makes up 60 percent of its total mix and 30 percent of all transport will be shifted to electric vehicles by 2030, the country's Prime Minister has confirmed.
Speaking at the Middle East Green Initiative Summit in Riyadh, Imran Khan talked up the initiatives Pakistan has already taken to develop clean energy as he climate change is one of humanity's "biggest crises".
He said Pakistan is in the list of 10 most vulnerable countries in the world due to climate change, and in the last 10 years, the country has had 150 accidents that affected the environment.
As he praised Saudi Arabia for its "wonderful initiative to green its country" Khan set out his own country's actions.
“We already shelved 2400 megawatts of coal projects, and replaced them with 3700 megawatts of hydroelectricity, and then committed that there would be no new coal projects in Pakistan. The only energy through coal will be gasifications and that’s using local coal that is in Pakistan,” he said.
"We also focused on nature-based solutions. We have invested in planting 10 billion trees, and have already planted 2.5 billion. Pakistan is the only country where mangrove carbon is growing. Mangroves absorb the highest amount of carbon emissions – we plan to plant 1 billion more of these trees by 2023,” he added.
Khan said Pakistan recently raised $500 million with the issuance of green bonds.
Reflecting on the climate change issues facing the globe, he said: “Unfortunately this crisis was quite visible 20 years ago, but somehow we were all in self-denial. No one thought that this would actually happen, that the temperature was getting warmer. No one believed there would be effects of this."
"Once you alter the balance of nature, there are always going to be implications. Just in the last two years, we have seen fires in Siberia, in California, in the Mediterranean and Australia,” he added.