Climate Change: Absence of Law Scares Investors- Hon. Onuigbo
The House of Representatives has again for the umpteenth time canvassed for the signing into law the Climate Change bill that has since been passed by the National Assembly by Mr. President as its absence has in no small measure scared away investors coming into the country.
Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Climate Change, Honourable Sam Onuigbo stated this during a press conference on Climate Change Framework Bill held in Abuja.
Hon. Onuigbo, (Abia-PDP), who is also the sponsor of the bill, said the need for a strong national institution to address the effects of climate change compelled him to come up with the bill, noting that the absence of a law on issues of climate change has scared investors from investing in the country.
The vibrant lawmaker posited that to ensure the climate change issue receives a major boost with the passage of a bill for the National Council of Climate Change (NCCC), the House of Representatives recently passed a bill to provide a legal framework for mainstreaming of climate change responses and actions into government policy formulation and implementation.
According to him, the bill also proposed the establishment of a council to coordinate climate change governance and support the adaptation and mitigation of the adverse effects of climate change 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 Nations’ convention on climate change”.
“But back home, there is no law both at the national and sub-national levels and that has necessitated this bill. The early coming into force of the 2015 Paris Climate agreement reinforced the necessity of climate change legislation”.
“It will facilitate the domestication of the agreement and enable Nigeria to effectively implement its commitments, particularly the emission reductions target. But the bill will provide a framework for a federal budget appropriation process that institutionalizes transparency and accountability of climate related sources, including international climate finance”, he said.
Speaking to Economic Confidential at the end of the conference Onuigbo said “Every leader determines what happens to his subjects, and the President has given climate change a national priority by the signing the UN treaty on Climate Change and in his subsequent speeches back home,”.
Harping on the negative effects of climate change, Onuigbo said “one fact is settled, it is that the drying up of the Lake Chad from 25,000 square miles in the 1960s to about 2500 square miles today has clearly led to the loss of livelihood of many, involuntary migration, low food production and disturbing rise in insecurity in the North East region and across Nigeria”.
Onuigbo further explained that absence of a law that prescribed legal obligation for compliance with elements of a national climate policy and all other climate-related initiatives and activities had also inhibited climate change management in the country.
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.
He said it would also aid the setting up of guidelines for prescription of range of economic instruments and regulatory techniques to reduce Greenhouse gas emissions.
He urged the federal government and the Ministries, Departments and Agencies(MDAs) to consciously and deliberately make adequate budgetary provisions which are supported by coordinated practical and verifiable actions for Nigeria to attain her climate change commitments.
“A situation where the annual budgetary provisions have oscillated from N3.9billion N8.1 billion to N1.9 billion in 2016, 2017 and 2018 respectively leaves much to be desired, adding that “the only way to achieve positive result in life is to accept that challenging times need urgent and practical solutions”, he said.