Modelling the Nexus of municipal solid waste sector for climate resilience and adaptation to nature-based solutions: A case study of Pakistan

Asif Iqbal, Abdullah Yasar, Abdul-Sattar Nizami, Imran Ali Sultan, Rafia Haider, Amtul Bari Tabinda, Aman Anwer Kedwaii, Muhammad Chaudhary, Muhammad Usman Ghori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Municipal solid waste management is a major concern in developing economies, requiring collective international efforts to achieve carbon neutrality by diverting waste from disposal facilities. This study aims to highlight the importance of the waste sector as it has the potential to significantly contribute to climate change and its toxicity impact on the local ecosystem. Out of the total municipal solid waste generated, only 78 % is collected, either open dumped or thrown in sanitary landfills. The waste sector's ecological impact value is calculated for the Earth's regions, and it is very high at >50 % in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. This sectoral impact value is mainly responsible for greenhouse gas emissions and degradation of the local ecosystem health. Current business‒as‒usual practices attribute 3.42 % of global emissions to the waste sector. Various scenarios are developed based on waste diversion and related emissions modelling, and it is found that scenarios 3 and 4 will support the policymakers of the regions in attaining zero carbon footprints in the waste sector. Our findings conclude that cost-effective nature-based solutions will help low‒income countries reduce emissions from disposal sites and significantly improve the local ecosystem's health. Developed economies have established robust waste‒handling policies and implementation frameworks, and there is a need for collaboration and knowledge sharing with developing economies at the regional level to sustain the sector globally.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere31235
Number of pages20
Issue number11
Early online date24 May 2024
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2024

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