ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal Tuesday said that 10,000 Megawatt electricity would be added to the national grid by year 2018.
The government has acquired land amounting to US$ one billion for Diamer Bhasha Dam from its own resources, he said while speaking as chief guest at the inauguration of opening session of the US Embassy’s Conference on Water-Energy-Food Security Nexus at SCEE Auditorium, National University of Science and Technology (NUST) here.
He said that time has come to seriously take up and resolve the issues including food, water and electricity.
The Minister said that Pakistan and the US have started a knowledge corridor to further enhance their cooperation in the education sector.
He opined that future challenges could be overcome by imparting quality education to the youth.
Ahsan Iqbal said that the entire world particularly Pakistan is facing difficulties due to climate change.
Earlier, Ahsan Iqbal along with the US Ambassador David Hale and Rector NUST Engineer Muhammad Asghar inaugurated the Water, Energy, Food Security Nexus Conference at NUST.
The conference was designed to bring together experts to discuss the impact of climate change, population growth, economic development, and increased consumption on water, energy, and food security all over the world, and to develop possible solutions to some of these issues.
Ambassador Hale said: “Water, energy, and food: three basic components of life complex processes are at work to bring us those essential elements, and demographics and climate change are straining those processes.”
“Together we need to generate new ideas, new partnerships, and innovative solutions to this challenge,” he added.
The two-day conference brought together policy experts, scientists, and members of private sector businesses to discuss the links between water, energy, and agriculture.
Participants considered solutions on how to develop clear government policies and effective use of resources to ensure food, water, and energy security.
The conference highlighted continued cooperation between both nations in key areas of water, energy and food security discussed during the meeting of US President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in October 2015.
Engineer Asghar said: “The importance of cooperation across borders to address global issues such as water and food security cannot be understated.”
“These are issues that cross borders, and the solutions can benefit all people, regardless of where they live,” he added.
The United States and Pakistan had a history of energy cooperation and continue to work together to help attract private sector investments in natural gas and clean energy sources such as solar, wind, geothermal, and hydro.
Both nations pressed for an ambitious agreement on climate change at the Conference of Parties 21 in Paris in December, and continue to work together on such issues through the Clean Energy Partnership and the Strategic Dialogue.