Pakistan’s Climate Change Committee Calls for Urgent Measures to Tackle Smog

Thu Dec 21 2023
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ISLAMABAD: The Senate Standing Committee on Climate Change directed the Ministry of Climate Change and Environmental Coordination to devise an enhanced strategy to combat lingering smog in major cities despite existing policy efforts.

The committee, chaired by Senator Seemee Ezdi, addressed the pressing issue of smog in Punjab cities during a meeting at the Parliament House.

Ministry officials provided insights into the factors contributing to air pollution, emphasizing traffic pollution as a significant contributor.

They outlined legal and institutional frameworks for smog prevention, acknowledging weaknesses in monitoring and enforcement. Despite ongoing efforts, committee members expressed concern about the persistence of smog and suggested a reassessment of the Air Quality Index monitoring.

Addressing climate change financing, the secretary of MoCC&EC highlighted that funding priorities for mitigation and adaptation, ranging from 34% to 66%, have been initiated. The Global Stocktake (GST) of COP28 now includes the recognition of ocean and coastal systems-based mitigation.

Moreover, the committee appreciated Pakistan’s role in COP28, where it was elected for the Loss and Damage Fund and took active stances on climate change financing and mangrove preservation.

The secretary presented Pakistan’s transparent stance, emphasizing the Prime Minister’s focus on achieving economic growth in an environmentally sustainable manner, equity principles, transparency in climate finance, access to means of implementation, and the early operationalization of the Loss and Damage Fund during COP28.

Senator Seeme Ezdi, the committee chairperson, stressed the significance of the Mangroves Alliance for Climate and commended the remarkable 300% increase in the mangrove population in Sindh since 1990. The MoCC&EC secretary added that Pakistan leads in this alliance, having already signed an enhanced MoU for 15 million hectares with the UAE.

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