United Nations is leading a global initiative on ‘Sustainable Energy for All’ to mobilize action from all sectors of society in support of three interlinked objectives to be achieved by 2030: providing universal access to modern energy services; doubling the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency; and doubling the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix. Given the worst type of energy crisis that we face, we do need to explore alternative energy sources. The import of fuel is not only costing much to the exchequer, but its consumption is also harming the environment due to emission of greenhouse gases.

Due to various reasons, including hike in the international oil prices and geo-political factors, dependency on imported oil is not sustainable in the long run. Pakistan, with its ideal location, has vast potential of producing solar and wind energy, which can be tapped optimally for socio-economic development. Renewable resources comprising of wind, solar, hydropower and biomass and geothermal when developed optimally, would not only save enormous foreign exchange, but will contribute to efforts with regard to climate change.

A number of countries have already taken initiatives towards enhancing supply of low-carbon resources. France is switching to electric vehicles through its program ‘Renault-Nissan Leaf’. In the aftermath of Japan’s nuclear disaster at Fukushima in March 11, 2011, Germany decided to close down its entire nuclear power plants and switch over to a strategy relying on greater energy efficiency. We should chart a roadmap to put in place effective policies supportive of developing cost-effective technologies relating to renewable energy. The fossil fuel resources in the world are fast depleting. Not foreseeing future is simply not making development sustainable in future for the next generation.

JAVED IQBAL,

Lahore, April 9.