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FG plans legal framework for climate change implementation 

By Victor Gbonegun
30 November 2020   |   4:01 am
The Federal Government has pledged to provide appropriate legal framework for implementing the Paris climate change agreement. The Minister of State for the Environment, Mrs. Sharon Ikeazor, who made this known in Lagos...

Minister of State for the Environment, Sharon Ikeazor

The Federal Government has pledged to provide appropriate legal framework for implementing the Paris climate change agreement. The Minister of State for the Environment, Mrs. Sharon Ikeazor, who made this known in Lagos, explained that the country needed crete policies and laws to reduce vulnerability and build resilience against climate change and its effects on the humans and the entire ecosystem.
  
Ikeazor spoke at a technical workshop organised by Environmental Resource Centre (ERC) and Department of Climate Change (DCC), Federal Ministry of Environment,on Development of Appropriate Legal Framework and Related Advisory Services Under the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) Partnership’s Climate Action Enhancement Package (CAEP).

Represented by the Director of Legal Services, Federal Ministry of the Environment, Helen Obayagbo, the minister disclosed that the legal working group on climate change, which comprises all relevant departments and agencies of government, private sector, non governmental organisations and academia would strengthen the country’s delegations in international climate meetings and negotiations through provision of vital legal services. 

According to her, the working group would also provide technical support to the government at federal and state levels as well as other policymakers. 
 
She observed that climate change is caused by GreenHouse Gases (GHGs) continually emitted into the atmosphere, resulting in rise in global temperature, and extreme weather conditions as a result of heat waves.

The minister warned that it would be disasterous for any country to deny the realities of climate change because media reports have shown that many countries, including Nigeria have experienced the negative impacts such as desertification, water shortage, disease outbreaks, hurricanes, tornadoes, bush fires, rise in sea levels and flooding. 

“Nigeria is already feeling the impact of climate change across all regions. It is imperative that the country comes up with policies and laws capable of reducing the nation’s vulnerability to climate change and build resilience 
 
Speaking at the workshop, the Director, Environment Resource Centre, Mr Kolawole Falase, said the forum would further develop a legal framework of the climate change bill, which has been submitted to the National Assembly for a while.

According to him, Nigeria, being one of the signatories to the Paris climate change agreement, is yet to have a legal framework for the implementation of the bill.

Falase noted that everything has been put in place to ensure that relevant stakeholders develop the right framework, which would be re-presented to the National Assembly and forwarded to the president for assent. 

The NDC Partnership Nigeria in-Country facilitator, Mr Ishaku Huzi Mshelia, stated that NDC is a support group of international agencies to Nigeria, which is saddled with the responsibility to implement the Paris climate agreement.

He said the support activities would enable Nigeria to meet the commitment of the Paris agreement. Mshelia said, “Most of the things happening in terms of Paris agreements are policy based and policy is not law. Policy can change overtime. If it is not locked into law, the subsequent government might change it. Nigeria does not have a stand-alone policy that is why lawyers and policy makers are coming together to help propose appropriate legal framework to be able to address climate change.”