Nigeria: Legislative Agenda On Climate Resilience

AGORA moderator's picture

Under fresh moves to have legislative backing for the Nigeria's Intended National Determined Contributions (INDCs) and ensure National Assembly embrace the global fight against climate change, environmentalists and other stakeholders, last week held talks with the lawmakers to develop an efficient oversight framework for the Paris Agreement.

The one-day round table on "Pursuing Legislative Agenda To Enhance Nigeria's Climate Resilience," was organized by the Climate Change Department of the Federal Ministry of Environment with the support of the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Speaking at the programme, the Senate President, Abubakar Bukola Saraki said, global prosperity and development are increasingly threatened by climate change and natural disasters, adding, "these emerging trends would impact negatively on the poor and vulnerable in the world".

Saraki represented by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Ecology, Alhaji Bukar Abba, said that human activities are responsible for the greenhouse gas emissions. "The resultant effect will rock the foundations of human societies, food and health, security, infrastructure and eco-system sustainability.

He noted that post-2015 national legislation was required to optimize effective implementation of the commitment and contributions made by the Nigerian government through the INDC in Paris/ COP21.

To deliver this mandate, Saraki identified action plans aimed at implementing its goals, saying at the end of 2016, there would be a comprehensive review of the existing national legislative in order to access its consistency with Agreements as they affect Sendai Agreement and SDGs.

He said " In 2017, parliament would put forward amendment to existing law and develop new legislation to ensure that it is based on nationally appropriate and consistent to Paris Agreement; the implementation of robust mechanisms to monitor performances towards delivery of both national and international obligations'.

Earlier, Chairman of the House Committee on Climate Change, Sam Onuigbo noted the National Assembly's resolve to ensure Nigeria meet its National Determined Contributions (NDCs), through pragmatic legislative interventions and appropriate executive policies and actions on the Agreement.

He said, "to this end Nigeria is expected to ratify the Paris Agreement and initiate programmes to actualize NDCs. It is absolutely necessary that parliament would factor these into 2017 budget proposal in order to accommodate some new challenges."

UNDP Country Representative, Pa Lamin Beyai, told the lawmakers that the new global climate regime presents -the legislature must be equipped with the requisite knowledge to make laws that will facilitate successful implementation.

His words: "Aside legislating, an effective framework for over sighting is also important. Thus it is crucial that the National Assembly be better equipped to appreciate the impact of climate change on the economy, the imperative of reducing ecological scarcity and environmental risks and why adequate budgetary appropriation for climate responses and activities is required/

"It would serve to ensure the efficient use of scarce resources that would lead to job creation, poverty reduction and prosperity that leaves no one behind, all of which are pillars of the green economy and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

"A new legislative approach that will ensure effect climate governance has become an imperative. There will be no governance without a good understanding of parliament's role in ensuring that a climate-resilient and compatible development to enhance economic growth is put in place," he added.

By Chinedum Uwaegbulam and Cornelius Essen