Roundtable Conference on “CPEC & Climate Change-Pakistan towards a Climate Compatible Paradigm”

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The roundtable conference titled “CPEC & Climate Change-Pakistan towards a Climate Compatible Paradigm” was organized by Dr. Saleem Janjua, Policy head, Urban Development division, and team members on 20-12-2017 at The Marriot, Islamabad. The roundtable conference was a collaborative activity of Centre of Excellence-China Pakistan Economic Corridor (COE-CPEC) and Global Change Impact Studies Centre (GCISC), Islamabad.

Climate change is the defining challenge of our time. The resilience and sustainability of the modern world require that the key issues posed by the climate change are well addressed with suitable adaptation and mitigation strategies. Countries around the world are adopting measures and implementing policies to minimize the impact of climate change. Pakistan, despite being a low GHG emitting country, is being severely impacted by climate change for the last four decade

CPEC projects have a multi-billion dollar portfolio, and the completion of these projects is expected to boost economic growth. However, this revival of economic growth through CPEC can be hampered by climate change, and climate vulnerability of Pakistan can also impact the development and economic activity under CPEC. Conversely, in the absence of ancillary policies or measures, CPEC projects could also contribute to the exacerbation of Pakistan’s vulnerability to and impact upon climate change. As such, it is important to undertake a systematic and comprehensive review of the potential effects of climate change on planned investmen0ts and vice versa. With this background, the objective of this roundtable conference was to assess the current state of knowledge on the subject, identify data and research gaps, and provide guidance for future policy research on climate related threats to the ongoing and planned CPEC developments.

The Roundtable Conference was structured into three sub sessions.

Session I-Setting the Baseline: The session was addressed by Dr. Saleem Janjua, Head of Policy COE-CPEC. He discussed the CPEC portfolio (energy, infrastructure, mass transit and other projects) in detail. The session formulated the base line of the next sessions, and encapsulated CPEC portfolio to the audience.

Session II- Potential impacts of CPEC on climate change and the concept of low carbon development: The session was addressed by Prof. Ahmad Ali Shah, Director CESTAC-Fatima Jinnah Women University, Rawalpindi.

Session III-Potential impacts of climate change on CPEC projects, and the concept of climate resilient development. The session was addressed by Ms. Fauzia Bilqis Malik, Regional Head, IUCN, Islamabad.

The roundtable conference concluded with a discussion among speakers and participants. The audience of the roundtable conference consisted of academia, practitioners, policy experts, and subject specialists. Pakistan vulnerability to climate change, and how to make development under CPEC portfolio climate resilient were discussed. The roundtable conference concluded with suitable recommendations/suggestions by the audience. COE-CPEC and GCISC aim to work in close coordination for putting these suggestions/recommendations into action.

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