Munich Personal RePEc Archive

National economic and environmental development study: the case of Pakistan

Ahmed, Vaqar and Malik, Amin Aslam Khan and Ramay, Shakeel and Munawwar, Zuhair and Pervaiz, Amir (2011): National economic and environmental development study: the case of Pakistan.


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Pakistan is a developing country bracing for significant economic growth and development in the future. In this regards, the country is poised to shift towards an increased reliance upon its indigenous coal reserves to fuel its development in the 2010-2050 time frame. Although this will significantly raise its projected greenhouse gas emissions, the present study has identified numerous measures which can be taken to shift this future development pathway on to a lower carbon and more climate friendly trajectory. The country, however, requires this shift to be supported through the access and transfer of appropriate technologies and finance. The ensuing “additional” financial needs for mitigation for a cleaner development future range from between U$ 8 billion and U$ 17 billion. These have been identified in this report along with a potential of 18% and 40% reduction of emissions between below “Business As Usual” scenario which is possible with a shift towards cleaner technologies. These clean development investments, however, need to be made in the near future as otherwise the energy future of Pakistan will get locked into the lower cost - higher carbon options. This mitigation costing estimate will, however, need to be refined and focused further as Pakistan identifies not only the specific technologies that it needs for this low carbon shift (through carrying out the “Technology Needs Assessment”) but also the programmatic, sectoral as well as project specific NAMAs (Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions) in the near future. Pakistan is also highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and faces immense associated challenges in coping with its unavoidable effects and economic implications. This study has highlighted the need to treat adaptation to climate change as a primary development issue for Pakistan. The potential impacts and sectors demanding prioritized adaptation have been identified in this study and the, associated, costs of adaptation have been estimated utilizing three diverse modeling methodologies – using GDP projections, per-capita figures and “flood” disaster modeling. The resulting adaptation cost figures range from between U$ 6 billion to U$ 14 billion/year that Pakistan would have to spend at an average in the 2010-2050 time frame to cope with the effects of climate change while it will be also left to, unavoidably, bear significant “residual damage” costs induced due to climate change. The top-down adaptation costing analysis applied in this report is aimed at providing a reasonable first approximation that can be refined over time as relevant and reliable local data becomes available especially from research focusing on sector specific adaptation costing. Most significantly the report reinforces the fact that the issue of climate change is, thus, not only an environmental issue challenging the country but an issue which will directly impinge upon the country’s economic, financial and development future as it deals with its extreme vulnerability to climate change. The significant climate costs identified in this study inextricably shows that climate change is an issue which Pakistan can ill afford to ignore in the future. Finally the report has identified the major financing options available for climate change related activities in Pakistan as well as the significant unilateral climate resources, U$ 4.5 billion in 2007-2009 alone, that the country is already committing to climate change without getting any global recognition for its efforts. In future, global financing will need to augment and leverage such national financial commitments. Also, as climate finance becomes increasingly available at the global level, it would be essential to enact appropriate assimilative national capacity in Pakistan to direct this finance towards nationally identified priorities as well as channelize it transparently and efficiently through consolidated financial mechanisms like a National Climate Change Fund which has been proposed through this study.

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