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Pakistan climate policy calls for Iranian gas, adaptation measures

Published: Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Pakistan's recently unveiled National Climate Change Policy is unlikely to win many accolades from the United States. The country says it plans to fight global warming by importing more natural gas from Iran, and is moving forward on a trans-border pipeline that could run liquid natural gas all the way to China.

The Iran-Pakistan pipeline has been under discussion since 1994, and Iran has already completed its section of the project. However, the pipeline still featured prominently in the new climate strategy document approved by Pakistan's government last week, which cited a need to reduce the import of petroleum products and increase domestic energy security.

The pipeline is opposed by the United States, which asked Pakistan to abandon the project in 2010. Pakistan has so far declined the request.

The draft policy also recommended stimulating development of renewable energy resources and preparing a detailed area analysis for possible wind and solar energy sites. It also encouraged the expanded use of nuclear power, which accounts for about 2 percent of the country's energy production.

Much of the report was dedicated to climate adaptation rather than mitigation. Qamaruz Zaman Chaudhry, the lead author of the policy, noted that Pakistan is among the world's 10 most vulnerable countries to climate change.

"Major focus of the policy is the adaptation to climate change by different sectors of national economy, which includes water resources, agriculture, livestock, human health, biodiversity and disaster preparedness," he said.

The report recommends allocating additional financial and other resources to implement a "National Disaster Risk Management Framework" and clearly define the roles of various government departments in responding to natural disasters.

It also recommends the development of new varieties of high-yielding, drought-tolerant crops in the nation's agricultural regions, as well as natural barriers like mangroves and coastal palm to protect against erosion, cyclones and tsunamis (Noor Aftab, News International, March 18). -- NM

Reprinted from ClimateWire with permission from Environment & Energy Publishing, LLC. 202-628-6500


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Reprinted from ClimateWire with permission from Environment & Energy Publishing, LLC. 202-628-6500.

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