Minister for Climate Change Sherry Rehman on Friday criticised the federal and provincial environment protection agencies as ineffective.

“The 30 to 40 staff in Pakistan Environment Protection Agency (Pak-EPA) are unaware of their ineffective responsibilities,” said Ms Rehman while responding to a question in National Assembly from MNA Tahira Aurangzeb who asked about problems of environment pollution with regard to producing energy from coal.

The minister lamented that despite significant potential in renewable energy, Pakistan relied 68 per cent on costly imported dirty energy (coal) to meet its requirements.

“Pakistan can meet all its energy requirements by harnessing wind energy alone. We must move beyond energy produced from coal and also transition into energy efficient vehicles to lessen emissions.”

She said currently six out of 11 coal power plants were operational in the country which only made the air people breathed injurious to health.

“It is imperative that ministries of industries, petroleum and power focused more on clean energy, especially when Pakistan has committed to the international community to switch to 60pc renewable energy by 2030,” Ms Rehman added.

Later, chairing the second meeting of the PM’s Task Force on global warming and heatwave, the minister expressed concern over ongoing fires in Balochistan,

“The fire that is ravaging Sherani district in Zhob is getting out of hands and ineffective provincial government needs to take cognizance of its repercussions. The pine nut trees are burning and three deaths have already been reported. NDMA has provided a helicopter for the mission, now the provincial government need to apprise the federal government about what is being done there,” she said.

Minister for National Food Security Tariq Bashir Cheema along with secretary information, NDMA and provincial secretaries attended the meeting.

The meeting was convened to apprise the minister of the functioning of the task force.

During the meeting, the minister was informed about the establishment of the central coordination unit. This unit would ensure inter-provincial coordination allowing the federal government to stay updated on the current climate change situation throughout the country.

Another task achieved by the climate change ministry since the first meeting was the setting up of an IT portal which would be completed by May 31.

The ministry had also received information on actionable decisions from the provinces.

The meeting included updates on the ongoing information sharing and vigilance on heatwave.

Further, livestock departments were advised to adopt a proactive approach in providing the needed information on heatwave and water scarcity affecting the livestock.

The Ministry of Water Resources was directed to provide information on the current water situation in the country to take informed decisions.

Provincial chief secretaries provided information on the water situation of their regions.

The chief secretary Sindh reported high water stress still faced by the region.

The issue of shutting down tubewells to preserve groundwater was also discussed.

Lining of canals and other water bodies was stressed and information on the water availability in each province was requested from the provincial chief secretaries.

This news was originally published by DAWN.

By Web Team

Technology Times Web team handles all matters relevant to website posting and management.