Minister for Climate Change Zahid Hamid on Wednesday said Pakistan was among the top five countries having a dedicated law on climate change which would help the country progress and achieve sustainable growth.
Addressing a press conference, the minister said the Pakistan Climate Change Act 2016, which was passed by the National Assembly and then by the Senate on March 17, would create certain institutions which would help the country evolve measures to mitigate and adapt to impact of changes in weather conditions triggered by unsustainable development around the world.
Zahid Hamid said Pakistan was now the seventh most vulnerable country to impacts of climate change.
“We needed the Climate Change Act to mitigate and adapt to the unstoppable adverse effects of changing climate,” said the minister.
Zahid Hamid said with a law specifically dedicated to climate change, the approval of Pakistan Climate Change bill was a historic, red-letter day for the entire climate movement of Pakistan.
He said the new law established three important institutions, the Pakistan Climate Change Council, Pakistan Climate Change Authority and Pakistan Climate Change Fund.
Explaining the new institutions, Zahid Hamid said that the Pakistan Climate Change Council would be chaired by the prime minister and will include chief ministers, provincial environment minister, chief secretaries of AJK and Gilgit Baltistan and representatives of non-governmental organisations, scientists and researchers as its members.
He said the council would approve and monitor implementation of comprehensive adaptation and mitigation policies and may direct any government agency to prepare and implement climate change projects.
He also explained the functioning of the Pakistan Climate Change Authority, which will formulate a comprehensive adaptation and mitigation policies, plans and projects designed to meet Pakistan’s international obligations.
The authority will advise the government regarding appropriate legislative, policy and implementation measures and actions related to disaster preparedness and raising awareness in relevant sectors affected by climate change.
The minister repeated that given the projected economic growth trajectory, emissions in Pakistan were expected to increase from 405 metric tons carbon dioxide to more than 1, 603 metric tons of CO2 in the next 15 years.
“We have sought $40 billion from the international community to reduce emissions by 20pc in the future and another Rs14 billion annually for mitigation and adaptation measures against challenges posed by the climate change,” said Zahid Hamid.
Shahid, Jamal. ‘Pakistan seventh among countries vulnerable to climate change’. Dawn, March 24, 2017.