The House of Representatives on Wednesday, passed a bill to provide a legal framework for mainstreaming of climate change responses and actions into government policy formulations and implementation, through third reading.
The bill also proposed the establishment of a council to provide for the coordination of climate change governance, as well as support the adaptation and mitigation of the adverse effects of climate change in the country.
Section 1a provides that the bill shall be applied in all sectors of the economy for the sustainable development of Nigeria and enable Nigeria to meet international climate change obligations, including the SDGs, international treaties and agreements under the United Nations Framework Conventions on Climate Change, including the Paris Agreement, as well as pursue growth that Forster availability of clean energy.
Going by the provisions of the House Standing Order, the bill is to be transmitted to the Senate for concurrence.
The report of the House Committee was adopted on 26th October, 2017 by the Committee of the Whole.
In an interview with journalists, Sam Onuigbo (PDP-Abia) expressed confidence that the harmonised bill, when passed by both chambers, would be assented to by the President.
Onuigbo explained that the need for a strong national institution to address the effects of climate change, compelled him to come up with the bill.
He expressed concern that the absence of a law on issues of climate change scared investors from investing in the country.
“Today, there is no law on climate change, all we have are policies and that have been a serious setback for the country, as far as climate actions are concerned.
“Climate change is a global issue that cuts across the world and that is what informed the move of the United Nation’s convention on climate change. But back home there is no law at the national and sub national level and that has necessitated this bill.
“The early coming into force of the 2015 Paris Climate agreement reinforced the necessity of a climate legislation.
“It will facilitate the domestication of the agreement and enable Nigeria to effectively implement its commitments, particularly the emission reductions target,” he said.
Onuigbo further said that the absence of a law that prescribed legal obligation for compliance with elements of national climate policy and all other climate related initiatives and programmes had also not helped in climate change management in the country.
“But this bill will provide a framework for a federal budget appropriation process that institutionalises transparency and accountability of climate related sources, including international climate finance,” he said.
The lawmaker added that the bill intended to balance institutions and approaches responsible in addressing climate challenges across economic sectors and through public and private participation.
“Setting up of guidelines for prescription of a range of economic instruments and regulatory techniques to reduce Green House Gas emissions.
“Pursue high economic growth rate at a low carbon trajectory at the same time reduce environmental risks and ecological scarcity in an inclusive manner, and growing new jobs.
“Every leader determines what happens to its subjects, and the president has given climate change a go by the signing of the UN treaty on Climate Change and his subsequent speeches back home,’’ he added.
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