Question hour: Govt yet to counter the ‘danger’ of climate change

Published: February 23, 2016
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A file photo of Zahid Hamid. PHOTO: PID

A file photo of Zahid Hamid. PHOTO: PID

ISLAMABAD: The Minister for Climate Change Zahid Hamid told the National Assembly on Monday that “climate change is the biggest danger for Pakistan as the country was the worst hit due to global warming.”

Hamid was replying to MNA Sajida Begum regarding the steps taken by the government to control major threats the country was facing. He added that the country’s exposure to climate change impacts have aggravated further.

However, the information shared with the house was months old as the minister discussed the planned climate change policy saying that it would be implemented in consensus with the provinces. The government had formulated a national climate change policy in 2012 but has yet to implement it. Provincial implementation committees on climate change were formed in 2015 though at a time when the country is most vulnerable, no province except Azad Jammu and Kashmir has been able to develop a ‘climate change action plan’.

In a meeting held in August 2015, it was decided that the provinces would nominate focal persons for future correspondence on climate change. An implementation committee was also notified for reporting actions to be taken in priority areas and it was also decided that provinces, relevant ministries and divisions would submit short, medium and long-terms plans for climate change. However, the situation has not changed much as the minister restated old information to the house and reiterated the government’s stance to push for improvement to counter the danger.

MNA Tahir Iqbal asked about the measures taken by the government to control excess gases harmful for the environment. The minister replied that measures would be taken once the framework with the provinces was finalised.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 23rd,  2016.

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