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Energy experts call for change in fossil-fuel-dependent energy policy

Energy experts call for change in fossil-fuel-dependent energy policy

Energy experts call for change in fossil-fuel-dependent energy policy

Energy experts call for change in fossil-fuel-dependent energy policy(credits: Google)

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KARACHI: 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 the energy design, a statement said on Friday.

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 the climate justice at the national level.

The experts said 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 centre of discussion.

The event was organised by the Alliance for Climate Justice and Clean Energy (ACJCE), a coalition of civil society organisations 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.

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The fossil fuel energy is not contributing to Pakistan’s development but instead is more of a liability, she added.

Referring to the recent floods in Pakistan, Shah said that the majority of Sindh is still under water and the 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 the provinces, redressal of flaws in the governance paradigm and making people- and nature-centric energy policies.

Dr Irfan Yousuf, adviser on renewable energy at the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra), said that false decision-making in the past has contributed to the energy sector issues but the focus should now be focus on the future.

Speaking about the recent floods, he said: “We need to prepare on what to do with the floodwater and how to store it to prevent it from being wasted.”

Water expert Dr Hassan Abbas called for a people-centric approach to development. Emphasising that hydro is not a solution in the current times when solar power is taking off, he said, the large-scale hydropower projects are expensive, causing land erosion due to silt blockage and are also a reason behind the civil and ethnic tensions between the upstream and downstream communities on water resources allocation.

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N A Zuberi, senior adviser at CSAIL, called for overhauling of Pakistan’s complex energy sector.
Too many institutions are handling the power sector business with a disintegrated approach, he said and urged for the privatisation 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 the Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) recommended the diversification of energy resources based on the National Electricity Policy, 2021.

He also suggested proper functioning of the forecasting systems, syncing of Indicative Generation Capacity Expansion Plan and the 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 from 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.

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