ISLAMABAD (our reporter):- Pakistan will likely witness an increase in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the waste sector with the rapid growth of population and urbanization, says the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

In its latest report titled ‘Waste Sector Inclusion in the Revised Nationally Determined Contributions of Pakistan’, ADB revealed that Pakistan annually generates around 28 million tons of municipal waste.

The country, according to the report, requires a measurement, reporting, and verification (MRV) system to improve the accuracy of historical and projected emission estimates and track progress toward GHG mitigation.

The MRV system would bring information together into a sustainable and functional system by identifying institutional arrangements for coordinating the participation of stakeholders and giving them defined roles and responsibilities to ensure the smooth flow of information. Transparent output for planning and tracking action can thus be produced.

The report lays emphasis on the Updated Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to provide a particular focus on the waste sector by studying its quantity, composition, and disposal methods. The waste sector has limited data in Pakistan and challenges in improving data management on waste generation and estimating GHG emissions are considerable.

It also underlines the significance of a streamlined institutional arrangement for the sector to bring information together into a sustainable and functional system with defined responsibilities and coordinated participation with stakeholders.

The bank highlights the importance of exploring opportunities for waste-related mitigation. It says that alternative approaches to solid waste management are available and could reduce GHG emissions. It explains, for example, that using anaerobic decomposition to produce renewable energy from organic waste could directly reduce GHG emissions.

Similarly, recycling aluminum could reduce the need to produce it, conserving energy and indirectly reducing emissions. The estimation of GHG emissions from solid waste disposal, biological treatment of solid waste, and incineration and open burning of solid waste begins with the collection of activity data from waste generation, composition, and management.

As per the report, the generation of solid waste generation is the common basis for these activity data. It says that very little biological treatment or disposal at engineered landfill sites is done in the country.

ADB stresses an urgent need to generate more accurate and segregated data to improve the accuracy of the waste emission estimates. Providing data at the national level requires data to be collected from over 500 local councils—a challenging task in light of the limited technical capacity available. However, various ongoing donor-funded projects in the urban sector could provide much useful information and capacity building on the links between solid waste management options and GHG emissions.

The report emphasizes taking the contribution of the municipal waste sector to overall GHG emissions seriously. Given the quantities of waste generated and the current disposal scenario, there is a strong case for focusing on improved data management and mitigation technologies in deciding disposal options.

According to ADB, the sector has the potential to help the country meet its emission reduction commitments, especially since the waste sector gives rise to methane emissions, with high global warming potential, and the existing system is quite basic.

By adminmy

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