China-backed coal projects raise heat in Pakistan

The environmental impact of China-led coal-fired power generation projects in Pakistan is once again a hot topic of debate, weeks after a meeting of government officials from both sides.

A raft of Chinese power projects, including coal-fired ones, have begun to ease the acute electricity shortages that dogged Pakistan’s industries and consumers until five years ago. At one point, power cuts lasted for more than half a day in the country’s major cities. Now, blackouts have been reduced by half or even more, according to a government official.

Yet, environmentalists are up in arms and blame China for exporting pollution.”It is China exporting messy projects to Pakistan,” one environmental activist in the southern port city of Karachi said. “Rather than relying on coal-fired plants on their own soil, the Chinese have decided to export these problematic plants to Pakistan.” more

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