Policy Briefs 2024
CLEARING THE FOG: TACKLING PAKISTAN'S SMOG CRISIS
The persistent smog in Pakistan, particularly in urban centres, is posing a serious health risk to the population. The use of fossil fuels to meet energy requirements and the burning of waste and crops emit smog-causing pollutants in the air. Administrative and bureaucratic lags from both federal and provincial governments, along with costly measures for transition to eco-friendly fuel, have impeded air quality management efforts. To effectively tackle the smog crisis, a mixture of short and long-term policies are required:
1. Removing taxes from renewable energy sources (e.g., solar power systems) while imposing taxes on non-renewable energy sources (e.g., diesel generators) for domestic and commercial consumption.
2. Limiting the use of private transport by extending public transport networks and commercial centres, and transitioning to eco-friendly fuel to limit the emission of smog-causing pollutants from vehicle exhausts.
3. Providing subsidies and cash incentives to farmers for adopting eco-friendly farming practices and working with international partners to develop an eco-friendly waste disposal system.
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