Lahore:The Lahore High Court on Monday summoned chairman of Climate Change Commission along with report on performance of the commission. Justice Mansoor Ali Shah of the LHC while holding proceedings on the petition for implementation of the National Climate Change Policy 2012, remarked that to save new generations from devastation of climate change the projects remain only on papers. It is very common to witness hue and cry for building dams but practically nothing is done, the judge remarked. Appearing before the court, a project director of Glacier Monitoring Research Centre submitted that from June to September this year glaciers melted more than in previous years due to increase in temperature in Pakistan. He said the melting of glaciers was constantly being monitored. He said more water is wasted than it is restored due to shortage of dams. He said for electricity on cheap rates, construction of big and small dams was necessary but due to shortage of funds and rifts among masses, dams could not be constructed.
The judge remarked that it was the responsibility of the government to form policies but the government was not seeming to take any such policy. He said the courts could not remain silent on public issues. He said our own institutions were responsible for melting glaciers more during last year. He said the next generation would not forgive us if we do not do anything to stop climate change.
The court already had constituted a 20-member judicial commission on climate change with Dr Pervaiz Hassan as its chairman.
Petitioner Asghar Leghari had stated in his petition that he had approached the court for enforcement of his fundamental rights. “An overwhelming majority of scientists, experts, and professional scientific organisations related to earth sciences agree that there is sufficient evidence that climate change is real. No one can deny the devastating effects of the increase in frequency and intensity of climate extremes. Further, most of the experts agree that its major cause is human activity, including a complex interaction with natural environment. Social and economic changes are increasing the heat and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. This is increasing the global temperature and in turn causing climate change,” the petitioner stated. He said that the climate was a highly complex system comprising the atmosphere, the hydrosphere, the land surface and the biosphere, and the interactions between them. “For Pakistan, climate change is no longer a distant threat.
We are already feeling and experiencing its impacts across the country and the region,” he said. He added that the country had experienced devastating floods during the last three years. “These changes come with far reaching consequences and real economic costs. In order to address the threat of climate change, the National Climate Change Policy 2012 and the Framework for Implementation of Climate Change Policy (2014-2030) was announced by the Ministry of Climate Change. However, no implementation on the ground has taken place,” he said.