PR No.158 Historic Day, The Senate of Pakistan approves Pakistan Climate Change Act Islamabad: March 17, 2017

The Pakistan Climate Change Act has been passed by the Senate of Pakistan in its sitting on Friday, March 17th, 2017.   The Federal Minister for Climate Change and Law & Justice, Senator Zahid Hamid introduced this legislation in Senate of Pakistan. The layout report of Senate Standing Committee on Climate Change was presented by Senator Samina Abid on 16th March, 2017 in the Senate of Pakistan. The National Assembly has already approved this Act.

With the passage of the PCCA, Pakistan has become one of the very few countries in the world to have not only a dedicated climate change ministries but also its associated institutions.  The Pakistan Climate Change Act 2016 was drafted by Ministry of Climate Change to tackle the challenges of climate change and secure global funding for implementing projects related to climate change adaptation and mitigation.

During the debate in the Senate prior to the approval, the move to promulgate the Climate Change Act was appreciated by the opposition which acknowledged its importance. Senators Sherry Rehman and Azam Swati said this law was need of the hour.

Under the Climate Change Act; the Pakistan Climate Change shall be established; the council will be chaired by the Prime Minister of Pakistan and would include Chief Ministers and Ministers holding the Environment and Climate Change portfolios of all Provinces and Federating Units. The Council will have 30 other members, of which 20 would be non-official members including representatives of commerce and industry, scientists, researchers, technical experts, educationists, representatives of non-governmental organizations concerned with climate change

Under the Act, the Pakistan Climate Change Authority would be established to implement government policies related to climate change. The Authority shall also help all Provinces and Federating Units to implement climate change policies and initiatives through mutual consultations.

Pakistan is ranked seventh among countries most affected by and vulnerable to climate change disasters in spite of being ranked 135th among the countries in global green house gases contribution. Pakistan is facing many adverse climate change impacts in the form of floods, glacier melting, droughts, heat waves, sea intrusion and, most recently smog. This law would help to combat climate change issues in Pakistan and allow the country to access global climate finance more vigorously.