KARACHI – The country can immensely benefit from the clean development mechanism (CDM) for climate change mitigation and adaptation, said Minister for Climate Change, Rana Farooq Saeed Khan, as he launched the CDM Guide Book for Pakistan, and inaugurated a CDM cell at the Climate Change Ministry.

United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNDIO) representative for Pakistan, Engr Shadia Yousif Bakhait, was also present on the occasion.

In a statement issued on Thursday, the minister said the CDM – a reward system for reducing carbon dioxide emissions in the atmosphere – offered massive economic and environmental benefits for a country like Pakistan if climate change mitigation and adaptation projects were implemented.

“The CDM guide book would contribute positively to the public and private sectors in promoting the understanding of the CDM portfolio,” said the minister while adding, “At a time when Pakistan accounted for more or less 0.5 per cent of the total carbon emissions and ranked among top 10 countries reeling under the worst kind of climate change impacts, climate change mitigation and adaptation were inevitable to tackle the global warming effects.”

Khan told a press conference, “To achieve this, the CDM provides great opportunity for the climate change-vulnerable Pakistan under which Pakistan can apply for selling carbon credits in the international market by implementing the CDM projects to not only achieve economic gains but also mitigate climate change impacts on different social and economic aspects.”

Speaking on the occasion, Climate Change Ministry Secretary, Mahmood Alam, said, “I am sure that the guide book would be instrumental in actualising the national clean development mechanism potentials for reducing greenhouse gases on the one hand and earning carbon credits through selling of certified emission reductions in the carbon market on the other.”

He said that Pakistan was grappling with the acute energy crises domestically and the fossil fuel based energy generation projects were one of the biggest source of greenhouse gases (GHGs) emissions in the atmosphere. Therefore, any intervention involving projects that helped cut GHGs emissions would not only lessen the burden on national grid, but would also help in reducing adverse effects of the global warming.

The secretary said that the launch of the clean development mechanism project, Institutional Capacity Enhancement for clean development mechanism in Pakistan, had reduced in grant of host country’s approval of 55 projects, out of which 14 had been registered by the UN CDM Secretariat.

Moreover, a total of 54 projects are in pipeline for getting the host country’s approval from the ministry. “So far, the registered CDM projects are contributing in reducing the GHG emissions by 3.2 million tons of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.”

Sharing details of the CDM project, Director-General (Environment) Jawed Ali Khan said the CDM project had been funded by the Royal Norwegian government in order to benefit from the clean development mechanism opportunities under the Kyoto Protocol of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

He lauded the UNIDO’s efforts to create an enabling policy framework through strengthening capacities of the CDM cell, collaborative ministers and private sector for identification, assessment and evaluation of CDM projects in line with the sustainable development goals of Pakistan.

“The CDM project has significantly supported the activities of climate change mitigation projects through CDM business development and contributed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It has also improved the management of CDM process by building up capacity at local levels to prepare Project Design Documents (PDDs) and CDM market establishment”, he said.

Jawed Khan further said the CDM project had also helped create awareness and understanding about climate change issues among the decision and policy-makers that resultantly enhanced the implementation capacities for mitigation and adaptation to climate change efforts in the country.

Besides, the project has also helped the ministry’s officials to develop skills and know-how for climate change dialogues at the regional and international level to boost international cooperation in addressing the issues of climate change.

Earlier, UNIDO’s country representative, Engr Shadia Yousif Bakhait, said the CDM guide book had been published in recognition of the immense clean development mechanism potential in the country that was already facing ruinous climate change impacts in shape of natural disasters like floods, earthquake and rise in temperature.

Giving details about the areas the guide book deals with, she said the it discussed the entire area of CDM project development right from building up basic understanding of the CDM mechanism to the sharing of complete knowledge of the CDM Project development along with details of the UNFCCC requirements and analyses of the CDM activities in Pakistan and comparison with the neighbouring countries.

Bakhait further said the guide book also explored the potential of CDM in Pakistan and provided a detailed study of three major sectors, cement, sugar and oil and gas sectors, in which there was a large potential to develop CDM projects in Pakistan.