In a resolute bid to confront the pressing issue of climate change, subject matter experts came together in a cross-industry dialogue to understand challenges and learning opportunities for Pakistan. The event, organised and hosted by Telenor Pakistan at their Karachi office, furthers the company’s commitment to advance sustainability efforts and promote collaborative approaches towards addressing climate change.
The panel, comprising representatives from Reon Energy, Sapphire Group’s Renewable Energy & Infrastructure Business; Linked Things and S. Mehboob & Company shared their insights on the ever-accelerating pace of climate change, its far-reaching consequences, and the evolving roles of businesses. Delving deeper, they explored renewable energy initiatives and technologies, underscoring the pivotal role of stable economic indicators and policies in empowering the private sector towards sustainable futures. A key takeaway from the discussion: by prioritising the reduction of carbon emissions and the promotion of renewable energy, businesses can contribute to the resilience and adaptation efforts crucial for combatting the impact of climate change in Pakistan.
Given Pakistan’s vulnerability to climate change, this discourse takes on even greater urgency. The nation grapples with extreme climate events such as heatwaves and floods, which have inflicted substantial damage, exacerbated poverty rates, and stifled economic growth. Escalating temperatures and shifting rainfall patterns further amplify the gravity of the situation.
This dialogue exemplifies Telenor Pakistan’s continued dedication to fostering collaboration across diverse sectors, addressing shared safety, health, and environmental concerns. Guiding Telenor Pakistan’s climate efforts are its ‘science-based targets’. These targets are aligned with what the latest climate science says is necessary to meet the ambitions of the Paris Agreement and translate to the ambitious goal of reducing Telenor Pakistan’s GHG emissions by 50% by 2030, with a 2019 baseline. Put into practice, this involves substituting diesel generators with solar solutions at base stations and procuring renewable electricity – where available.
Ms Tone Elisabeth Aastveit, Head of GRC (Governance, Risk and Compliance), HSS (Health Safety and Security) & Sustainability at Telenor Asia, said: “We believe it is important for businesses to take climate action at scale, which is to transition as quickly as possible to the use of renewable energy. Telenor has embarked on corporate power purchasing agreements in many markets we operate in and believe that by creating demand and rewarding renewable energy generation, it will support a greener energy eco-system. Good policy frameworks will encourage more companies to play their part.”
Khurrum Ashfaque, Chief Operating Officer at Telenor Pakistan, concluded the event by thanking all panelists for their participation and reiterating the urgency for action towards climate change. He said: “Today’s deliberations have unveiled the stark urgency of addressing climate change, encompassing not only businesses but society as a whole. Pakistan’s abundant renewable energy potential, including wind, sunlight, and hydropower, is a beacon of opportunity to address its vulnerabilities.”