Rep Sam Onuigbo
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.
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.
In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the sponsor of the bill, Rep. Sam Onuigbo (Abia-PDP) said the need for a strong national institution that would address the effects of climate change motivated him to come up with the bill.
He expressed concern that 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 has 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 both 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 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 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 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,’’ he added.
Onuigbo, who disclosed that the bill would be transmitted to the Senate for concurrence on Wednesday, expressed confidence that it will also be assented to when transmitted to the President.
“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.
The House of Representatives adopted the committee report on Climate Change on October, 26, 2017.