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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Biden’s Climate Bill: What Nations Like Pakistan Stand to Gain

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As the world grapples with climate change, many nations are looking to the Biden administration’s climate bill as a potential solution. The Bill aims to tackle global warming comprehensively, and its effects could be felt far and wide by countries like Pakistan. This article will discuss Biden’s Climate Bill briefly and explore the impacts of Biden’s climate bill on Pakistan and other nations, analyzing what these countries stand to gain from such an ambitious piece of legislation.

Biden’s Climate Bill

President Joe Biden’s climate bill is being hailed as a landmark piece of legislation that could have sweeping impacts on the environment. The Bill, officially titled the “American Jobs Plan,” is a comprehensive proposal to reduce emissions and invest in clean energy technologies. It calls for $2 trillion in investments over ten years to achieve “a carbon pollution-free power sector by 2035.”

The plan includes investments in renewable energy sources such as solar and wind and environmental justice programs to help disadvantaged communities disproportionately affected by pollution. Biden’s bill also calls for modernizing public transportation systems and electric grids, promoting green infrastructure, funding research and development into renewable energy sources, expanding access to clean water, and investing in resilient infrastructure. In addition to this spending, it would set employer incentives for reducing carbon emissions and meeting clean energy goals.

In short, if implemented in its true spirit, this Bill will put America on a path to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, as president Joe Biden said at a union hall in Pittsburgh.

“If we act now, in 50 years, people are going to look back and say: ‘This was the moment that America won the future.”

As a global leader, Biden’s bill also seeks to support developing countries and low-income communities disproportionately affected by climate change by providing them with the resources and finances necessary to mitigate its negative impacts. It will enable these countries to prioritize their health and well-being in the face of extreme pollution.

The Climate Bill also looks at how these developing nations can better manage their natural resources by funding research projects that promote sustainable agriculture practices, efficient water use, and reforestation programs.

Challenges Faced by Pakistan

Pakistan, a South Asian country, faces numerous climate challenges. Global warming’s adverse effects have been felt significantly in the region because of its diverse geographical landscape. From soaring temperatures to unexpected floods and cyclones, Pakistan is vulnerable to extreme weather due to a lack of preparedness and adaptation measures. In addition, the country has also seen an increase in erratic rains and prolonged droughts, leading to water shortages for human consumption and irrigation for agricultural lands.

The impacts of climate change are particularly severe in mountainous regions such as Gilgit-Baltistan, where Glacier Lake Outburst Floods (GLOFs) occur due to melting glaciers that cause severe damage downstream. Alongside this, the sea level rise along Pakistan’s coastline is leading to saltwater intrusion into coastal areas, affecting agricultural production and the livelihoods of locals who depend on fishing for their income.

With a population of nearly 200 million and an annual growth rate of 2.3%, Pakistan is the sixth most populated country on Earth. It depends on agriculture for its livelihoods, food security, and export earnings. But with uncertain weather patterns, the country is experiencing reduced crop yields, and food commodities are at their highest price in history. In other words, climate change has caused an overall decrease in food security.

Initiatives Taken by Pakistan to mitigate Climate change Issues:

Pakistan is one of the countries most affected by global warming, with temperatures expected to rise further in the coming years. The government of Pakistan has responded to climate change by implementing various policies, such as the National Climate Change Policy of 2017, which sets out the government’s commitment to reduce emissions and promote climate resilience.

This Policy gets updated every five years, which recently came in October 2022. The new Policy document incorporates requirements of the Paris Agreement on climate change, Sustainable Development Goals, and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. Accordingly, measures such as disaster preparedness, economic development, capacity building, technology transfer, and the strengthening of institutions have been included in the Policy as essential elements.

Another milestone was achieved in this regard as at the ‘U.N. Climate Ambition Summit’ in December 2020, the Prime Minister of Pakistan declared that Pakistan’s energy production would become 60 percent ‘clean’ and renewable by 2030 and that thirty percent of the country’s passenger and heavy-duty vehicles will be electric.

He also committed no longer pursuing imported coal power plants and the “Ten Billion Tree Tsunami Forestation Initiative.” These ambitious targets, if achieved, will provide the country’s pathway to decarbonizing the economy and meeting its NDC emission reduction goals.

Climate change monitoring and impact assessment should be conducted scientifically, particularly in low-elevation plains and glacier zones.

Additionally, coastal areas should have climate-resilient infrastructure, and the government should start projects to produce wind power along the Sind coast deltaic region. Moreover, the insurance industry should be encouraged to support farmers whose livelihoods are increasingly threatened by floods, droughts, and tropical cyclones.

However, while the government has taken steps to tackle climate change, much more must be done to ensure the country is prepared for the challenges ahead. To this end, the government should focus on strengthening early warning systems, improving water management, and promoting sustainable agricultural practices, among other measures.

Moreover, it should ensure that the most vulnerable communities get access to the resources they need to mitigate the effects of climate change. By taking these measures, Pakistan can reduce the impacts of climate change and ensure a more resilient and prosperous future for its citizens.

“Climate Change Bill Brings New Hope for Pakistan”

Now you might be wondering how Biden’s climate bill can help Pakistan to mitigate the effects of climate change and why the USA would be interested in doing so. The answer, however, is simple if not thoroughly straightforward.

First, The Biden’s administration has identified climate change as a foreign policy priority, recognizing Pakistan’s climate vulnerability. President Biden has prior experience with the US-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue, which included renewable energy as a key theme. In the wake of the present scenario, there is the hope of bringing back the US-Pakistan Clean Energy Partnership and introducing a new dialogue, intending to exchange information and invest in clean energy technologies.

Secondly, though The USA has left Afghanistan, they continuously monitor the situation. They want stability in Pakistan since Pakistan is its most reliable ally in the region, and climate change threatens this.

“The U.S. intelligence community recognizes the stability risks at play. In 2021, the National Intelligence Council identified Pakistan as one of 11 countries — neighboring India and Afghanistan were also among them — “of great concern for climate change” and said that “building resilience” would likely be “especially helpful in mitigating future risks to U.S. interests.” (by Michael Kugelman September 9, 2022)

Finally, John Kerry, the U.S. climate envoy, has previously stated that the U.S. is not in a position to compensate for losses and damage caused by the climate crisis. Yet, they can assist in the shape of training or other educational programs to equip provincial and local governments to adopt better policies for Climate Adaptation that are more comprehensive. Moreover, they can also offer financial assistance in short-term projects.

However, to reap the maximum benefits, we should develop a comprehensive and transparent system of funds utilization where the funding bodies can quickly assess how well their funds are being utilized for the specific project. It will not only foster trust but also encourage other countries eager to fund projects for climate resilience.

Conclusion: A Brighter Future

To sum up, with all discussion, we may safely assume that this new climate bill suggests that the United States, under the Biden administration, is prepared to utilize its vast financial resources to reduce its global emissions and aid less developed countries in reducing their carbon footprint and enhancing their energy efficiency. Pakistan must create policies and development projects to take advantage of U.S. aid.

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The Author is a teacher by profession, and holds interest in writing and education.

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