Addressing challenges: Govt plans to establish climate change council
ISLAMABAD: The government is planning to introduce a bill to address the impact of climate change and meet the country’s obligations under international conventions. The proposed bill aims to help in comprehensive adaptation and formulation of mitigation policies and projects to address the issue.
Under the proposed bill, a ‘Pakistan Climate Change Council’ would be established. It would be chaired by the prime minister or a person nominated by him. The Federal government may appoint federal and provincial ministers, chief ministers, Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan chief secretaries as members of the council but the number should not exceed 30, of which at least 20 shall be non-officials, including representatives of chambers of commerce and industry and non-governmental organisations, scientists, researchers, technical experts and educationists. National Disaster Management Authority chairman, Pakistan Climate Change Authority chairman, Ministry of Climate Change (MoCC) secretary, who shall also be secretary of the council, would be its members.
MoCC would act as the council secretariat. Members 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 not less than two meetings shall be held in a year. It may constitute committees of its members and entrust them with such functions as it may deem fit and the recommendations of the committees shall be submitted to the council for approval. The council, or any of its committees, may invite any technical expert or representative of any government agency or non-governmental organisation or other person possessing specialised knowledge of any subject for assistance in the performance of its functions.
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. Under the proposed bill, the federal government shall also notify the Pakistan Climate Change Authority to exercise the powers and perform the functions assigned to it under this act and the rules and regulations made thereunder. The authority shall be a body corporate with perpetual succession and a common seal and shall be capable of suing and being sued, acquiring or disposing of movable and immovable property, borrowing money, and entering into contracts.
The headquarters of the authority would be in Islamabad, however, it may establish offices at 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 to be nominated by the respective government. The members would be appointed by the federal government. If the office of the chairperson falls vacant, the senior-most member shall act as chairperson till his successor is appointed.