Key conference: Climate change bill in its final stages, says minister

Council will be established as a powerful decision-making body: Zahid Hamid


Our Correspondent November 02, 2016
PHOTO: ONLINE

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Climate Change (MoCC) Zahid Hamid said Pakistan’s climate change bill was in its final stages and would be presented before parliament soon.

He issued this statement at a reception hosted by the Ambassador of France to Pakistan, Martine Dorance, at her residence on Monday evening. The event marked the successful completion of the French Presidency of COP-21 and assumption of COP-22 by the Kingdom of Morocco.

The upcoming Climate Change Conference is to be held in Marrakesh from 7 to 18 November.

Explaining the salient features of the proposed bill, Hamid said a Pakistan Climate Change Council will be established and remain a powerful decision-making body. He added it would be chaired by either by the prime minister or a person nominated by him.

The federal government may appoint federal, provincial and chief ministers as well as chief secretaries as members, but the number must not exceed 30. Of these, 20 must be non-government officials, including representatives of the chambers of commerce and industry, non-governmental organisations, scientists, researchers, technical experts and educationists.

Also, chairmen of the National Disaster Management Authority chairman and Pakistan Climate Change Authority shall be members, while Ministry of Climate Change (MoCC) secretary will be secretary of the council.

MoCC would act as the council secretariat. People, other than ex-officio members, would be appointed for three-year terms. According to the proposed bill, the council would hold meetings as and when necessary, but these will not be less than two in a year.

Functions and powers of the council, under the proposed bill, would be to coordinate and supervise the enforcement of the provisions of the act and guide mainstreaming of climate change concerns into decision-making.

The federal government shall also notify the Pakistan Climate Change Authority to exercise powers and perform functions assigned to it under this act and the rules and regulations made thereunder.

The authority shall be a corporate body with perpetual succession and a common seal. It is capable of suing or being sued, acquiring or disposing movable and immovable property, borrowing money and entering into contracts.

While the headquarters would be in Islamabad, it may establish offices in other places as and when required.

The authority shall comprise the chairperson, member adaptation, member mitigation, member climate finance, member coordination and one member from each province. Candidates will be nominated by the respective provincial government and appointed by the federal government.

Sources privy to the matter told The Express Tribune that provinces expressed reservations over the establishment of the Pakistan Climate Change Authority.

“The Paris agreement did largely come up to expectations. The global community was able to agree on ways and means to combat climate change, including holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 degree centigrade above the pre-industrial level and to pursue efforts to limit the same to 1 degree centigrade,” Hamid concluded.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 2nd, 2016.

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