Social Protection Resource Centre

UNCTAD and SPRC Conference on Green Industrialization in Pakistan

The Social Protection Resource Centre and United Nations Conference on Trade and Development jointly hosted a two day conference, “Green Industrialization in Pakistan: Integrated Policy Strategies for a Sustainable Future”, on October 17th and 18th 2023 at Serena Hotel, Islamabad.

The event observed the launch of UNCTAD Pakistan Project on Resilient, Green and Transformative Development in Asian Belt and Road Countries. The fundamental premise of these efforts is to bring about synergy in climate policy and the cluster of trade, industrial and investment policies of the country by engaging inter-sectoral stakeholders. Amongst the speakers, representatives of relevant ministries, experts, academia and industry leaders were brought together to deliberate upon the green transformation of Pakistan’s economy.

The four sectoral studies produced on account of this project revolved around the challenges in green industrialization in Pakistan particularly in manufacturing, agriculture, textile and transport sector. The studies were presented for receiving academic and practitioner input. The study on Binding Constrains of Green Industrialization in Pakistan by Dr. Safdar Sohail highlighted that while considerable knowledge and policy frameworks exist on larger sectors, the smaller sectors like detergents, cooking oil etc are left uninvestigated. The findings shared by the authors were well received by the participants and discussants. The findings from the study Decarbonizing Transport Sector in Pakistan, by Dr. Syed M. Hasan unveiled the nexus between urban development and transport policy, with transport sector having highest implications on high carbon emissions. The study on Greening Textile Industry by Dr. Abid Raza Khan presented an analysis of policy landscape vis a vis environmental footprint and prospects for circular economy solutions. The need for efficient utilization of water and land resources was iterated while highlighting the gaps in policy framework. Given the significance of agriculture sector in Pakistan’s economy and its correlation with high vulnerability to climate change, the paper Role of Agriculture in Green Industrialization by Dr. Ajaz Ahmed, highlighted green transformation solutions for agriculture sector.

This auspicious gathering of concerned individuals from diverse backgrounds also marked the launch of the Green Industrialization Development Collective, an initiative of the SPRC to foster collaborations for innovation and research on the adoption of clean technologies, circular economy and reimagining governance and policy landscape for cross-sectoral synergies.

The last session of the conference featured an interesting and timely debate on International Climate Finance opportunities and challenges for Pakistan. The session was Chaired by the honourable Additional Secretary UN, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Syed Haider Shah. The key insights from the study Preparing Pakistan to Avail Loss and Damage Fund (L&DF) for Green Transformation by Dr. Safdar Sohail were also presented. The panel discussion provided definite answers to optimal usage of resources and accessing climate finance for resilient and just transformation of industry. Cautions were also raised for adopting those technological solutions that are climate sensitive.

The eminent speakers included Dr. Safdar Sohail, Executive Director at SPRC, Dr. Richard Kozul-Wright, Director United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, Geneva; Dr. Gul Unal, Senior Economist at UNCTAD, Switzerland; Mr. Syed Haider Shah, Additional Secretary UN, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Pakistan; Mr. Bilal Anwar, CEO of the National Disaster Risk Management Fund, Mr. Abbas Raza Shah, CEO of Engineering Development Board, Ministry of Industries and Production, Government of Pakistan; Dr. Amanullah Khan, Joint Chief Economist at Planning and Development Board, Government of Punjab; Dr. Syed M Hasan, Associate Professor, Department of Economics, LUMS; Mr. Muhammad Sajjad Moghal, CEO of Classical International Trading; Mr. Ahamd Ammar Yasser, Chief of Party, Pakistan Private Sector Energy Activity, UNIDO; Mr. Omar Masood, CEO of Urban Unit, Government of Punjab; Dr. Nadeem Javaid, Professor of Economics & Strategy, Karachi School of Business and Leadership, Karachi, Mr. Mohsin Chandna, DG Debt, Ministry of Finance, Government of Pakistan, Mr. Khalid Mahmood, ED, Master Textile, Lahore, Mr. Abid Raza Khan Assistant Professor, Punjab University; Dr. Ajaz Ahmed, Director Research, SPRC and Dr. Bashir Ahmad, Director CEWRI, Pakistan Agriculture Research Council.