NUST launches Climate Action Plan to mitigate impacts of climate change
National University of Sciences & Technology (NUST) organised first-ever Partnership for Climate Action (PCA-2023) conference in Pakistan from February 14 to 16, 2023. Themed around the topic “Science for Sustainability,” the conference was held in collaboration with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), German Red Cross, Pakistan Red Crescent, International Federation of Red Cross, International Rescue Committee and Welt Hunger Hilfe. The prime objective was to bring together and connect youth, academia and other stakeholders to build meaningful partnerships towards addressing climate change challenges. The conference also provided an opportunity for NUST to showcase its climate resilient technologies for potential deployment and commercialisation, and closely engage with stakeholders from the Government and Development Sector to accelerate progress towards a sustainable future.
In his welcome remarks, Dr Rizwan Riaz, NUST Pro-Rector Research, Innovation & Commercialisation said that the university takes its social responsibility seriously and has aligned all its core functions to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Most significantly, he maintained, NUST has been proactively engaged in developing innovative technologies and devices to address the challenges of climate change. He also highlighted the importance of Partnership for Climate Action – a platform to share best practices, collaborate on new initiatives, and leverage collective resources to drive progress. He added that the NUST Climate Action Plan is an important step towards making a real impact.
The three-day event spanned across climate action policy simulation, youth activity, expert panel discussions, conference and exhibition, followed by the launch of Climate Action Plan and MoU signing. The Climate Action Plan formulated by NUST Research Directorate – entails strategy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions within and beyond university and mitigate the impact of climate change.
The two main panel talks on the second day provided information on national and international root causes of climate change, actions to overcome the challenges by promoting renewable energy, energy efficiency and sustainable transportation. The first panel discussion, moderated by Ms Anam Zeb of German Red Cross, focused on creating partnership for climate action, the importance of public awareness about the urgency of climate crisis and the actions needed to mitigate its effect. The panelists included Dr Imran Khalid, Director Policy & Governance WWF, Mr Ali Shah, Member NUST Climate Panel, and Ms Maheen Zahra, Oxford Policy Management Institute. The second panel discussion, moderated by Ms Ameera Adil, NUST, focused on the role of academia in climate resilience and sustainable development, the importance of green land, establishing energy efficient measures, ensure net zero campus waste, and implementation of renewable energy generation plan. The panelists were Prof Dr Salman Atif, Member Climate Panel, IGIS NUST, Mr Waqar ul Shams, Innovation and Information Coordinator AnthroInsights, Prof Ilhan Niaz, KLF Award Winner, Chairman Dept of History QAU and Dr Zainab Khalid, COMSATS Centre for Climate and Sustainability (CCCS).
The event concluded with the launch of NUST Integrated Climate Resilient Policy and Action Plan. Dr Hamood-ur-Rahman, Director Research, NUST and Ms Ameera Adil, AD Sustainability NUST, shed light on the plan that recognises climate change as a core issue for upcoming development, and devises remedial strategy to create a sustainable future for ourselves, communities and posterity alike.