National Steel Policy to Carbon Emissions Decline; Infocus Weekly Briefs

by M. Wasim

October 17, 2021

A National Steel Policy

Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar the Federal Minister for Industries and Production has said that a comprehensive steel policy will be announced soon with active consultation of stakeholders of the steel sector. He expressed these views while presiding over a consultative meeting on the country’s steel policy with leading steel industry tycoons. A two-member team has been nominated from the Pakistan Association of Large Steel Producers (PALSP) for that consultation.

The minister has asked the PALSP to extend all kinds of support in drafting the comprehensive policy as suggestions of all stakeholders would be incorporated in the policy.

WHO’ Recommendations to COP26

For the COP26 summit the World Health Organization (WHO) spells out the global health community’s prescription for climate action with 10 important recommendations to tackle the climate crisis, restore biodiversity and protect health. The WHO launched this week Special Report on Climate Change and Health, which remarks “Climate change is the single biggest health threat facing humanity.”

The WHO with these recommendations to COP26 participants, asked governments to prioritize health and equity in the international climate regime and sustainable development agenda. An open letter has been sent to the COP26 leaders by 300 organizations representing some 45 million health professionals which calls for real action to address the climate crises.

Ease in Renewable Energy Financing

With the aim of helping address the challenges of energy shortages and climate change, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has allowed all Renewable Energy Investment Entities (RE-IEs) to avail financing on easy conditions to remove growing electricity shortage in the country. Under its Refinance Scheme for Renewable Energy, now all RE-IEs interested in installing renewable energy projects and solutions are allowed to avail refinance under Category-III of the scheme.

Under Category-III, financing is allowed to vendors, suppliers and energy sale companies for installation of wind and solar systems of up to 5 MW.

Eviction Notices served to Nesla Tower

The residents of controversial Nasla Tower have been ordered to vacate the 15-storey building by Oct 27 or face coercive action by the district administration authorities. The assistant commissioner of Ferozabad has served the Nasla Tower’ residents eviction notices, with warning of necessary proceedings under Section 3 (i) of the Sindh Public Property (Removal of Encroachment) Act, 2010.  In case they failed to vacate the building within 15 days “other coercive action” might be initiated against the occupants.

The Supreme Court had on Sept 22 dismissed a review petition against its earlier order to demolish the 15-storey building and asked the Karachi commissioner to submit a compliance report and ensure the building was vacated.

Decline in Carbon Emission

Malik Amin Aslam the Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Climate Change has informed the carbon emissions in the country came down by 9% from 2016 to 2020. The reduction in emissions is due to the government’s policies and nature-&-technology-based initiatives, such as the Ten Billion Tree Tsunami and the Protected Areas Initiative, which have helped mitigate the harmful effects of climate change.

According to him, Pakistan’s carbon dioxide emissions for 2018 remained 489.87 metric tons. He expressed the hope that the Billion Tree Afforestation Project and the Ten Billion Tree Tsunami Programme, once completed and implemented fully, would remove around 500 metric tons of carbon dioxide by 2040. He also reiterated the government’s promise of shifting 60% energy needs to renewable sources with a goal to ban coal import by 2030.

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