The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Thursday allocated $300,000 of grant funds to Pakistan to undertake pre-feasibility study for early retirement of coal and fossil fuel plants under the Energy Transition Mechanism.

The ADB announced this grant for Pakistan at COP26 in Glasgow.

Pakistan is among three other countries in Asia (Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines) where ADB is providing such assistance.

The ADB also assisted the government in the development of the Alternative and Renewable Energy Policy 2021, which reinforced the government’s commitment to achieving a renewable energy capacity of 30 percent by 2030.

“We have a clear climate direction now,” explained Special Assistant to the PM on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam, who is leading the Pakistan delegation to the COP.

Read The Glasgow climate test

“By 2030 we aim to shift to 60% renewable energy and 30% electric vehicles and completely ban imported coal. We are opting for nature-based solutions with our Recharge Pakistan, Protected Areas Initiative, and 10 Billion Tree Tsunami Programme. It’s a nature positive pathway.”

A strong political ownership is needed to make this energy transition happen in Pakistan, according to Abid Suleri, the head of the Sustainable Development Policy Institute based in Islamabad, also attending the COP26 along with a delegation of parliamentarians, including Senator Faisal Javed and MNA Riaz Fatyana.

They plan to set up an ‘Energy Transition Council’ at an all parties caucus in parliament upon their return to Pakistan to ensure the transition towards renewable energy.

Earlier at COP26 Jean Su, energy director at the US Center for Biological Diversity’s Climate Law Institute cited that 21 countries and five multilateral financial institutions would eliminate public financing for international coal, oil and gas projects.

“This is a historic commitment,” she said, with the potential to shift $18 billion per year from fossil fuels to renewable energy investment. “All of us know very clearly that we have no time any longer for fossil fuels,” she said. “This is the end of an era.”