Denmark to help Pakistan with green transition: Ambassador Jakob Linulf

Islamabad: Ambassador of Denmark to Pakistan Jakob Linulf said this week that Denmark will continue to help Pakistan with green transition.

In an interview, the Ambassador shared insights into Denmark’s extensive efforts to aid Pakistan in climate change adaptation and green transition.

Ambassador Linulf, with his vast experience in trade, business promotion, climate, and energy sectors, has been instrumental in fostering cooperation between the two countries.

He said Denmark, consistently topping the Climate Change Performance Index, has become a global leader in climate change adaptation and mitigation.

Ambassador Linulf emphasized Denmark’s commitment to sharing its knowledge and technology with Pakistan to accelerate its green transition.

He highlighted Denmark’s transformation over the past 40 years, where the country has shifted its energy mix to predominantly wind, hydro, and biomass. This transformation is a blueprint Denmark aims to share with Pakistan, working closely with Pakistani ministers of energy and climate change to transition from oil and gas to renewable energy.

A cornerstone of this collaboration is the Danish Energy Transition Initiative (DETI), signed in 2021. This initiative involves the exchange of knowledge and technical assistance to Pakistani authorities from their Danish counterparts.

While embassies play a role, Ambassador Linulf stressed that technology transfer is largely driven by the private sector, which possesses the necessary commercial viability. Danish companies, known for their energy efficiency and renewable solutions, are ready to implement these technologies in Pakistan.

For this cooperation to be effective, the Ambassador pointed out that Pakistan needs stable regulatory frameworks and policies, mirroring the consistent political vision that facilitated Denmark’s energy transition.

Ambassador Linulf acknowledged the complexity of a green transition in a diverse and populous country like Pakistan. He noted that while Pakistan has immense potential, essential frameworks and policies are still lacking, which are crucial for advancing the green transition.

Discussing the need for investor interest in Pakistan’s energy sector, Ambassador Linulf highlighted the importance of long-term economic stability and planning.

He noted that the high costs of setting up energy infrastructure necessitate a stable economic and regulatory environment to attract investors.

On the topic of carbon trading, Ambassador Linulf mentioned that Pakistan is yet to enter the carbon market, emphasizing the need for a proper framework to support both mandatory and voluntary schemes. Denmark is assisting Pakistan through training initiatives and working with local authorities to establish this framework.

The Ambassador pointed out that while there is significant potential, such as in heavy energy-consuming industries and reforestation projects, Pakistan still has a long way to go, with only the mangrove project being a notable effort so far.

Denmark’s collaboration with Pakistan exemplifies a strategic partnership aimed at fostering sustainable development and addressing the pressing challenges of climate change.

Denmark is also leading the world in renewables and today, it generates a remarkable 67% of its electricity supply from renewables, of which wind energy contributes an impressive 46.8%, while biomass contributes another 11.2%.

The year 2024 marks seventy-five years of the Pakistan-Denmark relationship. Today, there are around 52 Danish companies with business interests in Pakistan. They include major companies like A.P. Møller/Maersk, DSV, F.L. Smidth, Beierholm, Eldan Recycling etc. In 2022, Pakistan exported goods worth $177 million to Denmark, whereas Denmark exported $124 million of goods including medical and pharmaceutical products.

Other than trade and commerce, the Danish Government through the IFU and the DANIDA Sustainable Infrastructure Finance has assisted Pakistan in the construction of more than fifteen projects, including two wastewater treatment plants in Faisalabad and Lahore.