The meeting of Climate Change CAUCUS was held on Tuesday. Senator Sherry Rehman chaired the meeting; that was attended by Senator Ayesha Raza Farooq, Senator Faisal Javed, Senator Nuzhat Sadiq, Senator Sitara Ayaz, Senator Mian Muhammad Ateeq Shaikh, Dr. Sikandar Mendhro and senior officers of the Ministry of Climate Change along with its attached departments and agencies. Minister of State for Climate Change, Ms Zartaj Gull was present at the meeting as well.
The meeting commenced with a briefing by EPA Sindh. Numerous issues including air quality and smog were discussed. EPA Sindh informed the Committee that special attention was being paid to develop mangroves in Sindh. The Committee was informed that as per agreement 3 percent of profits by corporate companies operating in different areas are to be utilized on the local community. Secretary Climate Change, Hassan Nasar Jamy, suggested that 1 percent of this fund must be allocated to environmental protection in the area.
While discussing the efforts of EPA Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the Committee was informed of billion trees that have been planted in Garhi Chandan, while lauding the efforts of the Agency, the Committee enquired about its efforts to curb deforestation in the province.
EPA Punjab briefed the Committee about ongoing measures to maintain environmental quality standards and reduce smog. Chairperson Committee, Senator Sherry Rehman was of the view that sub-committees for all four provinces be formed to look at matters of importance intricately. She said that the Ministry lacks a policy framework and coherent response to grave risks in Pakistan. The Minister of State for Climate Change, Ms. Zartaj Gull asserted that it was imperative that a uniform policy be formulated to deal with issues of environment more effectively.
The Committee showed displeasure regarding EPA’s work being random and unorganized and asserted that for things to move forward it was imperative that the Ministry be prioritised. The need for international compliance and allocation of funds to meet targets was stressed. Chairperson Committee, Senator Sherry Rehman advised Parliament to go plastic free.