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Energy crisis can be overcome by using Swedish green tech

The energy crisis and environmental challenges could be overcome by using Swedish green technologies, speakers said at a seminar held at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) on Monday.

Swedish Ambassador Lars Hjalmar Wide attended the seminar based on Swedish greentech experience and expertise and how Pakistan could benefit from them in the short-, medium- and long-term.

The Swedish ambassador said that proactive pursuit and practice of stringent environmental policies in Sweden have encouraged research and development in water purification, sanitation, sewage and wastewater treatment, waste management and waste-to-energy, production of bio-fuels, as well as generation of renewable energy from wind, biomass and solar power.

Research data shows that Sweden is the first country in Europe to meet the renewable energy targets, set by the European Union (EU) for 2020, eight years ahead of the schedule, he said, adding that renewable energy accounted for 49.6 percent of total energy used in Sweden at the end of 2012.

“Sweden’s successful experience and knowledge of implementing green technologies could be used by Pakistan to develop a sustainable civic and industrial infrastructure and realise rapid economic growth.”

“There is a strong correlation between economic growth and reduction in waste, greenhouse gases, making optimum use of natural and human resources and the production and conservation of energy to meet the environmental and human development challenges in a changing world,” Wide said.

Farooq Iftikhar, president of the LCCI, said that the business community in Lahore and the surrounding areas, as well as across the country, is keen on acquiring economical and reliable alternative energy solutions to sustain their operations.

Charlotte Kalin, chief executive of the Chamber Trade Sweden (CTS) said that transparency, sustainability and responsibility in trade and business ventures are the three major characteristics being sought by the Swedish companies when looking for resellers and partners.

“Swedish green technologies could play a positive role in realising sustainable socioeconomic growth in compliance with the global labour, human, child and women rights regulations and environmental standards,” Kalin said.

Mohammad Jehanzeb Khan, secretary Energy, Punjab, said a comprehensive energy plan is being prepared and will be implemented in the coming months to maximise the use of renewable energy in the province.Sweden could certainly play a major role in introducing, promoting and implementing environment-friendly projects, he added.

Javed Akbar Bhatti, chief executive of the Punjab Board for Investment and Trade (PBIT), said that Punjab offers lucrative opportunities for joint ventures and investment in green technologies that could create thousands of new jobs and small businesses in the existing and upcoming economic zones of the province.

Yawar Mian, chief executive of Capital Business Sweden, said that by using Swedish green technologies, Pakistani government and companies could overcome several development challenges, including the energy crisis and protecting the environment.

Jonas Rottorp, expert from the Swedish Environmental Research Institute (IVL), said that Pakistan seems to have all the necessary resources to generate more energy than it requires.“The agricultural diversity of Pakistan provides many natural resources and raw materials to set up high value added smart industries to produce innovative globally user-friendly products. There is definitely a big economic opportunity here that we would like to see becoming a reality,” Rottorp said.

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