Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Climate change policy ‘sidelined’ in Pakistan

Noor Aftab in the News (Pakistan): With Pakistan ranked at the top among countries facing extraordinary weather extremes in the Global Climate Risk Index, the National Climate Change Policy prepared with a big bang now stands nowhere after devolution of the federal environment ministry, it was learnt here on Monday. The index, based on data collected in the worldwide database at Munich Re, highlighted the fact that Pakistan has been facing worst impacts of climate change ranging from cyclones to glacial melting, floods and droughts.

According to some government officials, the federal cabinet now could not approve the Climate Change Policy sent by the federal environment ministry before its devolution under the 18th Amendment. “The federal environment ministry was devolved before final approval of the National Climate Change Policy so now it is up to the provinces to prepare such policies and the centre has nothing to do with it,” they said.

One of the officials, who previously served in the devolved federal environment ministry, claimed that under the 18th Amendment the provinces could only prepare their own action plans but the preparation of the national policies is still the prerogative of the federal government.

“The federal government is still responsible to deal with the issue of climate change as the 18th Amendment directs it to do so. It can not only make national climate change policy but also carry out legislation in the parliament,” he said.

The official regretted that a team of experts prepared the Climate Change Policy but now the federal government has surrendered its right to get it approved by the federal cabinet that means that all work done in this respect would go waste...

A glacier in the Swat Valley, in Pakistan, shot by Isruma, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license

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