Pakistan is considering cutting its GHG emissions by 30% from 2008 levels by 2025, the Thomson Reuters Foundation reported on Wednesday, as Ethiopia submitted its own INDC to the UN.
Senator Mushahidullah Khan, Pakistan’s climate change minister, told the news agency that Pakistan would present its INDC to the UN by Sep. 30.
He added that the country would pursue the reductions through increasing renewable energy output, cutting electricity loss during transmission, using water more efficiently in agriculture, minimising farm soil tillage and investing in biogas energy.
Pakistan’s emissions, which were estimated at around 148 million tonnes of CO2e in 2008, are rising by an average 6% annually.
Media reports suggest that Pakistan may also look to curbing deforestation, replacing coal- and oil-fired industrial power units with waste-burning ones, converting its diesel-power water tubewells to run on biogas, and launching a domestic carbon market to help meet its target.
Thomson Reuters added that the country’s proposals to be set out in its INDC are expected to be conditional on more international financial assistance through a range of channels including the Green Climate Fund.
LOCAL CARBON MARKETS
The country’s Ministry of Climate Change, which was revived this year following international pressure after it was downgraded to ‘division’ status in 2013, is planning to set up “local carbon markets”, Pakistan financial daily Business Recorder reported earlier this week.
Arif Ahmed Khan, Secretary at the Ministry of Climate Change, said Pakistan wants to set up local markets under its ‘Carbon Neutral Pakistan’ initiative to help it reach its INDC target.
“Pakistan can also lure foreign investment in emission cuts in the coming years if we succeed in setting up carbon markets to facilitate industrialists and people from other sectors,” Khan said, according to Business Recorder.
“We are planning to hire relevant specialists and experts on the subject to materialise our goal of setting up the carbon markets and making them operational.”
Further details were not provided.
Pakistan has struggled to reap major benefits from the CDM, having just 34 projects registered under the scheme that have received a total of just over 5 million CERs to date, according to UNEP-DTU.
That is fewer than projects in Colombia have received – a country with a fraction of the population of Pakistan.
Local media in Pakistan reported in February that the government had shut down its CDM division, which was launched in 2005, due to “poor performance and non-serious attitudes of bureaucrats”.
ETHIOPIA TO USE MARKETS
Meanwhile, Ethiopia submitted a comprehensive INDC on Wednesday that included GHG cuts of 64% below BAU levels by 2030 and an intention to sell carbon credits over the 2020-2030 period.
The fast-growing African nation emitted 150 million tonnes of GHGs in 2010 and will aim for its emissions to be 145 million tonnes by 2030 compared to the 400 million tonnes it expects its emissions would be without such action.
Most reductions will come from improving farming practices and protecting or re-establishing forests, with other cuts coming by expanding power generation from renewables and using more efficient technologies in the transport, industry and building sectors including cleaner cookstoves.
It added that implementing the INDC fully would cost an estimated $150 billion, despite 80% of the abatement potential costing less than $15 per tonne of CO2e.
“Ethiopia supports the development of effective accounting rules under the UNFCCC to guarantee the environmental integrity of market mechanisms,” the INDC said.
Rules are yet to be crafted on how to account for emission reductions occurring in one country and used for compliance by another under the new UN climate pact due to be signed in December in Paris. But if Ethiopia sold carbon credits it is likely that part or all the reductions they were generated from would not be counted towards its commitment to avoid double-counting.
Among the richer nations that would be likely buyers of the credits, the EU and US have no provision for using international market mechanisms in their INDCs. However, Switzerland and Japan have said they intend to source international carbon credits to meet their post-2020 climate goals.
Ethiopia, classed as a Least Developed Country with per capita emissions of 1.8 tonnes of CO2, has already removed fossil fuel subsidies to enable new renewable generation for the 77% of its population currently lacking access to modern energy sources, its INDC said.
“The full implementation of Ethiopia’s INDC is contingent upon an ambitious multilateral agreement being reached among Parties that enables Ethiopia to get international support and that stimulates investments,” it added.
By Mike Szabo and Ben Garside – firstname.lastname@example.org