Green Development: Pakistan key takeaway from Two Sessions
Pakistan and China are all-weather friends and strategic partners. Whenever Pakistan seeks assistance to fix its economic woes and multiple challenges, China always comes up with solutions. Treasuring Chinese ability and strategy, Pakistan is looking at China to gain environmental wellness and improve green development.
At the start of 2021, Prime Minister Imran Khan said loud and clear that “Pakistan’s economic future is now linked to China and the country is eager to learn from China on green development.
It is fortunate that the “Two Sessions” annual gatherings of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and National People's Congress have spotlighted green development plan beside laying down many key priorities and action plans on GDP growth, job creation, CPI ascendency, research & development funding, trade deals and others.
For Pakistan, time is ripe to comprehend the nitty-gritty of China’s vision on green future disseminated on important “Two Sessions”. It needs to pick its best takeaways from the two sessions that may fit to its national goals and programs on climate and environment spectrum. The deliberations during the two sessions are very exclusive as the gatherings are occurring at special time when 2021 year is marking the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China, the start of the country's 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) and its efforts to realize the long-range objectives for development being set for the year 2035.
Premier Li Keqiang in his government work report 2021 delivered to parliament revealed an “action plan” that will be drawn up this year to meet the 2030 target, in which he promised to improve the country’s energy mix and ease the country’s dependence on fossil fuels. Over the 2021-2025 period, China will also aim to cut energy intensity by 13.5% and carbon intensity - a ratio measuring how much carbon is emitted in growing the economy - by 18%.
The “action plan” will not only work for China but also for all those developing countries especially Pakistan that have been aspiring to mitigate their vulnerability to environmental hazards.
Environmentalist Javed Shah termed “Two Sessions” and their array of short-term and long-term priorities on Green Development as shining guidelines for Pakistan.
“China’s Green vision is also of global significance, he said, because it will offer other developing nations to have an alternate path to prosperity rather than just following in the footsteps of developed countries.
“To achieve a fundamental improvement in environmental quality by 2035, China is on path to take production and lifestyles green throughout all areas of society. Aside from strengthening law and policy support for green development during the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) period, China will strive to promote green finance and encourage green technological innovations. Green buildings will also be promoted. These action plan discussed by deputies in NPC and CPPCC put forth many lesson for Pakistan-decision makers to set their own environmental policies accordingly, he added.
Pakistan parliament—National Assembly and Senate—is positioned to hammer out laws taking advantage of China pragmatic philosophy on green development reverberated during two sessions.
In the shape of CPEC, a signature project of Belt and Road Initiative, Pakistan has already joined hands with China to initiate green development programs.
The Pakistani government had already launched an ambitious Protected Areas Initiative under the umbrella programme ‘Clean Green Pakistan’, which aims to expand the country’s protected area from 13 percent to more than 15 percent by 2023 and create 5,000 green jobs across the country.
The climate change ministry had initiated several flagship programmes including the world’s largest Ten Billion Tree Tsunami Programme, Clean Green Pakistan, Protected Areas Initiative, Plastic-Free Pakistan and Recharge Pakistan Initiative.
Chinese ambassador to Pakistan Nong Rong said his government was fully committed to extending support to the green vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan and his remarkable green initiatives, including Green Stimulus and post-Covid-19 green recovery for restoring livelihood of the people affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
He also pointed out that Prime Minister Imran Khan’s vision of green Pakistan was perfectly aligned to Chinese President Xi Jinping’s vision of green China. “We as a Chinese government see a huge scope and opportunities of working jointly to promote the common green vision for enhanced environmental sustainability and climate resilience against adverse impacts of the climate change.”
Yasir Habib Khan is special correspondent of Gwadar Pro. He is also founder and president of Institute of International Relations and Media Research (IIRMR). T