While addressing the workshop "Forging Partnership for Climate Change Compatible Development" organized by LEAD, Minister Zahid Hamid said the legislation was passed to meet the country's obligations under international conventions relating to climate change and address its effects.
Hamid said Pakistan is ranked seventh among countries most affected by and vulnerable to climate change disasters in spite of being ranked 135th among the countries in global green house gases contribution. Pakistan contributes only 0.8 in global greenhouse gasses.
Pakistan is facing many adverse climate change impacts in the form of floods, glacier melting, droughts, heat waves, sea intrusion and most recently smog. This law would help to combat climate change issues in Pakistan and allow the country to access global climate finance more vigorously, he added.
He added the country is likely to produce four times more greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and would need $40 billion to mitigate the effects.
The minister said the extreme climatic have resulted in tragic loss in live and colossal damage to economy, indeed they have significantly impeded out effort to promote sustainable growth and development and to ensure economic prosperity of the region.
Under the Climate Change Act, the Pakistan Climate Change Council shall be established and the council will be chaired by the Prime Minister of Pakistan and would include Chief Ministers and Ministers holding the Environment and Climate Change portfolios of all Provinces and Federating Units, he added.
Zahid said the Council will have 30 other members, of which 20 would be non-official members including representatives of commerce and industry, scientists, researchers, technical experts, educationists, representatives of non-governmental organizations concerned with climate change.
Under the Act, the Pakistan Climate Change Authority would be established to implement government policies related to climate change. The Authority shall also help all Provinces and Federating Units to implement climate change policies and initiatives through mutual consultations.
Pakistan Climate Fund shall be utilize for financial assistance to sustainable adaptation and mitigation projects and measures design to combat the adverse effects of climate change, minister said.
Zahid Hamid said the bill has been developed with the support and participation of governmental and non-governmental stakeholder in climate change arena. it is also in accordance in international best practices and standards.