The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a flagship project under the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), has been playing a pivotal role in promoting green development in Pakistan, highlighting China’s commitment to harmonious coexistence of human beings and nature, Pakistani officials and experts said.
Talking to Xinhua, Convener of National Parliamentary Task Force on Sustainable Development Goals, Romina Khurshid Alam, said the cooperation between Pakistan and China under the CPEC in the fields of energy, transport, agriculture and industrial production has helped Pakistan boost green, low-carbon sustainable development.
Besides assisting Pakistan in overcoming energy crisis and infrastructure upgrading through the CPEC, Chinese companies in Pakistan have been strictly following international and local standards on safety and environmental protection, Alam said.
In implementing infrastructure projects, ecological factors have been fully considered and a number of green and clean energy projects including solar, wind and hydropower have been completed across the Asian country over the past several years, reducing carbon emissions and contributing to economic development, environment protection and improvement of living standards of the locals, said the official.
Citing the example of recently completed 720-megawatt Karot hydropower project, Alam said that a comprehensive biodiversity management plan was developed for construction and operation stages of the project to protect environment and wildlife around the project site.
Pakistan and China have further stepped up their cooperation in green energy for the benefit of the region under the CPEC, helping Pakistan mitigate the adverse impacts of climate change, said Hassan Daud Butt, senior advisor at the China Study Center of the Sustainable Development Policy Institute, an Islamabad-based think tank.
“Pakistan is one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change, with the country facing the worst climate-induced catastrophic floods recently. As the CPEC is making progress, it can help the country to tackle the climate change issue by increasing investment in renewable energy, green building construction, decreasing energy loss, and innovative practices such as green finance and other measures,” Butt told Xinhua.
Calling the CPEC a game changer and a green corridor, Shakeel Ahmad Ramay, chief executive officer of the Asian Institute of Eco-civilization Research and Development, said that the flagship project of the BRI is people-centric, environmentally friendly, inclusive and green and sustainable initiative.
China has been utilizing new technologies and making investments in BRI partner countries to support green development. Pakistan can learn from the Chinese experience and technology to realize its vision of high-quality green and sustainable development, Ramay told Xinhua.
“The CPEC has changed the landscape of Pakistan and has accelerated growth while bringing about socio-economic benefits for the people of Pakistan … China’s commitment to promoting carbon-free global economy is commendable,” he said.