STAFF REPORT ISB: While 2015 proved to be positive in terms of some landmark decisions taken both nationally and internationally to deal with climate change, the country also had a fair share of challenges.
The government reinstated the Ministry for Climate Change (MoCC) in a bid to pay more attention to climate related issues and deal with them effectively.
Countries across the globe reached a historic agreement at the UN climate change conference in Paris in December after negotiating for two decades. They adopted an international accord aimed at transforming the worlds fossil fuel-driven economy, within decades, and slowing the pace of global warming.
Two earthquakes struck the country in last two months of 2015. The first one, onOctober 26, killed 300 people, injured more than 1,000 and turned thousands homeless in most parts of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.
The issue of municipal and hospital waste management remained unaddressed in the federal capital during the year. Air and water pollution continued to rise across the country in absence of an integrated environmental monitoring system due to negligence, and shortage of funds and technical staff.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif took notice of poor condition of forests in the country and directed the ministry to initiate prompt remedial measures. As a result, first forest policy was drafted, which is yet to be finalised. Provinces finally notified their respective committees for implementation of National Climate Change Policy in April but after formation of committees no further progress could be made in this regard.
The Islamabad High Court (IHC) constituted an environmental commission to report about condition and factors degrading environment in Islamabad.