BEIJING – Advisor to Prime Minister on Climate Change Amin Aslam Friday said Pakistan and China would sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to make the port city of Gwadar, a starting point of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), into Pakistan’s first emission neutral and clean green city.
“China remains a valued partner in this movement and our Ministry of Climate Change is signing an MoU with China Overseas Ports Holdings Company Limited under Clean Green Pakistan Movement to make Gwadar clean green city,” he said while addressing at the Second Belt and Road Forum here.
He said Pakistan is willing to develop a different pathway and become an “enabler” of a new transition “Green” economy based on the shared vision of “Clean Green Pakistan” and China’s “Eco-Civilization”.
The advisor said the cooperation between Pakistan and China in the field of environment and climate change, which not only enabled to realize the prime minister’s vision of a “Clean and Green” Pakistan but also positioned it to integrate the concept of eco-civilization within the CPEC .
“This cooperation can be a pilot case for the greening of the whole Belt and Road Initiative,” he added.
Pakistan, he said, is one of the most important partners of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), and the CPEC being a flagship of the BRI strengthening the two countries’ longstanding strategic and socioeconomic partnership.
He informed that starting from the small province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the country embarked on a journey to plant a billion trees and four years down the lane, the “Billion Tree Tsunami” became the first entity under the global “Bonn Challenge” not only to meet its pledge but has today significantly enhanced it by restoring over six million hectares of the forest and increasing the forest cover by more than four percent.
This project created half a million green jobs, revived the forest biodiversity, engaged the indigenous communities and energized our youth to become custodians of a green future.
This has now laid the foundations for the “10 Billion Tree Tsunami” which prime minister has recently launched across the country, he added.
The advisor said this green political will is also manifesting itself in other areas including increasing mangrove cover, focusing on renewable energy and also in the transport sector.
In the renewable energy sector, the government is fully committed to capitalizing the large indigenous potential in wind, solar and hydro as well as utilizing nuclear energy.
More than 365 small run-of-the-river hydro projects have been set up in the north of Pakistan, providing off-grid and affordable access to “zero carbon” electricity.
He said in the transport sector Pakistan secured the first transport project under the GCF with a “zero emission” bus metro system for Karachi operating on cattle waste generated bio-methane.
Another innovative initiative, called ‘Recharge Pakistan” aims to turn our climate crisis into an opportunity – by diverting flood waters to restore wetland ecosystems as well as recharge our groundwater.
All are clear indicators of Pakistan’s green political commitment which remains closely aligned with China’s vision of an Eco-Civilisation, he said.
Pakistan, he said, is going green under the visionary leadership of our Prime Minister Imran Khan, adding, “Our government’s flagship initiative called “Clean and Green Pakistan” is a clear local manifestation of this agenda.
It focuses on instituting a paradigm shift in our economic planning as well as catalyzing a national movement for behaviour change.
He said focusing on the five pillars of planting green, management of solid waste, treatment of liquid waste, improving countrywide sanitation and provision of clean drinking water, the national programme called Clean Green Pakistan Movement sets an ambitious agenda for green growth.