Federal Minister for Climate Change Zahid Hamid held a press conference to brief about newly passed Climate Change act He said the adverse impacts of climate change are of immense concern for Pakistan. Pakistan is among top ten countries most affected by Climate Change. He informed the journalist about proposed new institutional architecture for climate action. The day of March 17, 2017 was a historic, red-letter day not just for the Ministry of Climate Change but also for the entire climate movement in Pakistan.. Pakistan will be one of the few countries in the world with a law specifically dedicated to climate change. There are only few countries who has this legislation This was the day when the Pakistan Climate Change Bill was unanimously passed by the Senate The new law establishes three important institutions: (1) the Pakistan Climate Change Council; (2) the Pakistan Climate Change Authority; and (3) the Pakistan Climate Change Fund.
The Pakistan Climate Change Council will be chaired by the Prime Minister and will include the Chief Ministers, concerned Federal Ministers, Provincial Environment Ministers, Chief Secretaries of AJK and Gilgit Baltistan and up to30 other persons of which 20 shall be non-officials, such as representatives of the Chambers of Commerce and Industry and non-governmental organizations, scientists, researchers, technical experts and educationists.
He also informed that the Council shall be the apex policy-making body. Its functions include: approval and monitoring implementation of comprehensive adaptation and mitigation policies, plans and projects to meet Pakistan’s obligations under international conventions and agreements andapproval of guidelines for the protection and conservation of renewable and non-renewable resources, species, habitats, and biodiversity in general.
The second institution established by the Act is the Pakistan Climate Change Authority, which has already evoked much excitement and interest. The Authority shall comprise the Chairperson, Member (Adaptation), Member (Mitigation), Member (Climate Finance), Member (Coordination) and one Member from each province to be nominated by the respective Provincial Ministers-in-charge. The Chairperson and members shall be scientists, academicians, professionals, serving or retired government servants, industrialists, agriculturists or other technocrats with at least fifteen years’ experience in fields related to climate change and the environment, with a distinguished service record.The Authority will be entrusted with a host of functions and duties, including: formulation of comprehensive adaptation and mitigation policies, plans, and projects designed to meet Pakistan’s obligations under international conventions relating to climate change within the framework of a national climate change policy.
It would also be responsible for the establishment of institutional and policy mechanisms for implementation of federal and provincial adaptation and mitigation policies, plans and projects, including plans for renewable energy and clean technology, measures for energy efficiency and energy conservation; and awareness-raising and capacity-building program.
The Authority will also advise the Government regarding appropriate legislative, policy and implementation measures. He also informed the audience that the Authority will be manned by top professionals appointed strictly on merit. He also highlighted that the third institution established by the Act will be the Pakistan Climate Change Fund, into which will be paid donations, endowments, grants, and funds raised by execution of projects of the Authority. The Fund will be managed by the Authority, and shall be utilized inter-alia, for expenditure incurred by the Authority in performance of its functions, for financial assistance to suitable adaptation and mitigation projects, for sustainable development of resources, and research. He also informed about the REDD Plus Program (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation).He said that in order to get due share in 100 billion international funding, we need formulate projects of international standard. Ministry of Climate succeeds to get approval of 37 million for GLOF projects. He also informed that Pakistan would host preparatory meeting of Bishkek Summit on snow leopard. The Ministry is also strengthening Global Change Impact Study Centre to offer research of International level on climate Change.
While answering to questions, he said wildlife protection is included in Green Pakistan Program .He also mentioned that in future forestation along roads will be included in the highway projects. He also said that we will also work on Marine Protected Areas in Pakistan in next month.