Pakistan’s per capita CO₂ emissions (excluding LULUCF) have risen from 0.78 to 0.92 tCO₂ per capita between 2000 and 2016. While this is low compared to the world average of 4.8 tCO₂ per capita (in 2016), the government’s current baseline projections have emissions growing at 9.6% p.a. out to 2030. With an expected population growth rate of 2% p.a. over this period, the country’s per capita emissions would more than double by 2030.
Studies suggest that economic growth has been a major driver of Pakistan’s energy-related carbon emissions., A switch from fossil fuel to renewable based energy and the development of indigenous clean technology industries, such as the burgeoning electric vehicle industry, could help to both reduce energy-related emissions and drive economic development.
The China Pakistan Economic Corridor, which the government cites as a major driver of GDP growth, currently has coal-fired power plants making up 65% of the 12.6 GW of the capacity from energy projects, while hydro makes up 27% and wind and solar make up 8% combined., This comes despite Prime Minister Khan’s announced moratorium on new coal and pledge for a 60% renewable share in the 2030 energy mix., Efforts should be made to re-focus investment on renewable technologies, and away from coal, in both energy and related sectors.
1.5°C compatible pathways indicate that the share of unabated fossil fuels in primary energy, which currently stand at around 62%, should be cut to around 46% by 2040 and reach less than 17% by 2050. As is stated in the country’s updated NDC, the government recognizes that off-grid and renewable resources are the least cost preferred option to address ongoing issues of access to energy. Beyond cost, decarbonising the power sector, and meeting increased demand, through the use of renewable energy has significant co-benefits for health and employment.,,
Despite Prime Minister Khan’s recently announced moratorium on new coal, the government’s current plans to expand electricity generation capacity rely heavily on coal-fired power plants, placing the country on a path that risks stranded assets, increases energy dependency and would likely lock in a carbon intensive pathway.,,,