June 9, 2023

Hamza Saeed


The Economic Survey of Pakistan 2022-23, recently unveiled, delineates the country’s robust efforts towards sustainable development, resilience building, and climate change mitigation.

A prime highlight of the survey is Pakistan’s ambitious National Electric Vehicle Policy (NEVP), seeking to convert 30% of vehicles to electric by 2030. This is expected to generate up to 40,000 jobs, with a potential saving of US$ 2.2 to US$ 3.7 billion in oil imports over the next decade. Bolstering this eco-friendly strategy, the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) has rolled out an interest-free scheme, aiming to provide 300,000 e-Bikes and e-Rickshaws to students, workers, and low-income communities.

The survey further emphasizes the critical role of community participation in achieving environmental sustainability. This is evidenced by Pakistan’s National Tree Planting Campaign 2022 and the Clean Green Pakistan campaign, significant community-driven initiatives to foster nationwide forestation and fight desertification. Additionally, Pakistan has signed an MoU to become a part of the Saudi Green Initiative (SGI) and the Middle East Green Initiative (MGI), reinforcing regional collaboration to tackle environmental challenges.

Reinforcing climate resilience, the Strengthening Climate Adaptation and Resilience Project has secured a grant of 10 million euros from GIZ. This funding dovetails with Pakistan’s Vision 2025 and is supplemented by substantial resources mobilized from global climate funds such as the Green Climate Fund (GCF).

To create a sustainable urban environment and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Pakistan has several urban transportation projects underway. These include the operational Green Line BRT in Karachi and the upcoming revival of the Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) project.

The Ministry of Climate Change (MoCC) has been especially active, launching various initiatives as part of Pakistan’s climate action strategy. Noteworthy among these are the preventative and control measures for forest fires, the National Clean Air Policy (NCAP) for improved air quality, and a substantive role in the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27), contributing to the establishment of the Loss and Damage (L&D) Fund and the Global Fertilizer Challenge Ministerial.

Under the aegis of the NCAP, provinces are implementing their distinct Clean Air Action Plans, tailored to unique regional needs. The updated Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) commit to a 50% reduction in projected GHG emissions by 2030, bolstered by a planned framework for Voluntary Carbon Markets (VCM) in Pakistan. To align with its NDC 2021 and Vision 2025, the MoCC is also drafting an evidence-backed strategy for realistic Net Zero targets.

In 2022, Pakistan established its first-ever National Inventory for Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (SLCP), identifying priority actions across multiple sectors. A National Adaptation Plan (NAP) is also under development, aimed at reducing the country’s vulnerability to climate impacts and enhancing the adaptive elements of the NDCs.

Additionally, the MoCC regards Natural Capital Accounts (NCA) as a vital tool for policy implementation, closely linked with the Paris Agreement, the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, and the National Forest Policy. Currently, with the World Bank’s assistance, the MoCC is conducting an NCA study for Chitral Gol and Juniper Forest in Ziarat.

In essence, the Economic Survey of Pakistan (2022-23) unveils the country’s striving to reshape its development narrative towards sustainability and resilience. By aligning its national policies with global environmental objectives, Pakistan is carving out a promising trajectory towards a more sustainable future.


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