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ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court issued notices to the Attorney General of Pakistan and the advocate generals of all the four provinces and the Islamabad Capital Territory directing them to submit a detailed report regarding climate change challenges faced by them and the initiatives taken by their respective governments.

The court also issued notices to Hammad Naqi Khan, director general/CEO World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Abid Qaiyum Suleri, executive director Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) for their independent expert opinion relating to the instant matter.

A three-judge bench, headed by Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah and comprising Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhel and Justice Athar Minallah issued the notices on the petition of the Public Interest Law Association of Pakistan.

The petitioner had submitted that climate change is a serious existential threat to Pakistan. Considering its critical importance, the Pakistan Climate Change Act, 2017, was promulgated on 31.03.2017 with the objective of providing comprehensive adaptation and mitigation policies, plans, programmes, projects, and other measures required to address the effects of climate change and for matters connected therewith and ancillary thereto.

His grievance was that Section 5 of the Act envisages the establishment of the Pakistan Climate Change Authority, and without the absence of such Authority, the entire Act has been rendered ineffective. It was also submitted that the Pakistan Climate Change Fund under Section 12 of the Act has also not been set up. Further, unless the Authority is established the said Fund cannot be managed under Section 13.

Pakistan’s commitment to equitable and effective global climate governance is also evident in its multifaceted approach at COP-28. The nation not only emphasized the financial aspects, calling for simplified access procedures to climate finance and expressing a preference for grant-based financing but also actively reached a historic agreement on the operationalisation of the loss and damage fund and funding arrangements.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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