10 climate change projects undertaken, ministry briefs Senate
ISLAMABAD: Ministry of Climate Change on Thursday informed Senate Standing Committee on Climate Change that almost ten climate change mitigation projects were in different phases of implementation with the help of foreign assistance.
The Senate body on Climate Change with Senator Sitara Ayaz in chair expressed their satisfaction and commended the endeavours of the ministry in execution of the projects.
The chairperson of the committee said, “We have higher expectations from the incumbent government to address the climate change impact issue as the Prime Minister Imran Khan has initiated a propitious Clean and Green Pakistan.”
The ministry officials while briefing the committee on various memorandum of understandings (MoUs) and international conventions pledged pertaining to climate change impacts and related issues informed that almost six conventions including Vienna Convention on Protection of Ozone Layer to Minamata Convention on Mercury reduction. They also briefed the committee about the compliance of the targets vowed under the global environment agreements.
The officials informed that under the Montreal Protocol to phase-out chemicals responsible for depleting the ozone layer by 2010, Pakistan at the first stage of phasing-out hydro chlorofluorocarbons (HCFC) completed 10 per cent in January 1 2015.
The ministry, however, was under the process of achieving 35 per cent phase-out of HCFC by January 1, 2020 as it (MoCC) was adhering to the time limits given in the protocol. While referring to the commitments made under global convention on mitigating persistent organic pollutants (POPS), the officials said MoCC had disposed of 475 tonnes of obsolete pesticides out of total 1500 tonnes with the collaboration of Bestway Cement whereas collaboration was under way with other cement manufacturing companies as well.
It was informed that under the Minamata Convention on Mercury Reduction Pakistan has to reduce mercury added products by 2020 like thermometers and other mercury devices.
“Pakistan was taking the lead in reducing Chlor-alkali products resulting mercury hazardous presence as Rs30 million investment has been made by major chemical producing industries as they replaced the perilous system on MoCC’s recommendation and awareness campaigns.”
Senator Sitara Ayaz raised her concerns over massive contribution of Coal Fired Energy plants namely Sahiwal and China Coal Power Plant and cement factories.
The officials said that the ministry’s concerned department had conducted monitoring of their emissions whereas the permissible standard was 10 mmgm and the emissions recorded were less than 1 mmgm which was harmless.
The cement industries get proper certificate for possessing the adequate technology for controlling harmful emissions by environment protection department and the matter was under the notice of the concerned departments, they added.
The chair also questioned the ministry officials regarding Markhor conservation however, the officials explained that in 1992 unrestricted hunted reduced the number of Markhors to less than 300 which after in time measures of the government the situation has improved and the specie is now existing in abundance.
“The international organizations have approached the government of Pakistan to conduct the hunting of Markhors due to their abundance and annually 12 Markhors are permitted to hunt by global watchdogs.
The hunting trophy price is approximately Rs14.3 million and the amount of hunting license and trophy is given to the local community which helps in the conservation of Markhor specie and public rehabilitation.”