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Group to review Nigeria’s climate change bill, environment regulations

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The newly established Federal Government’s Climate Change Legal Working Group (CC-LWG) members with environmentalist, Dr. Newton Jibunoh during their programme in Lagos.

Towards providing a platform for stakeholders to assess current legal framework relevant to climate change governance, the Federal Government has set up a Climate Change Legal Working Group (CC-LWG) for the country.

The CC-LWG will serve as an advisory body to the Department of Climate Change (DCC) of the Federal Ministry of Environment being the National Focal Point for the implementation of Climate Change activities in Nigeria and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) negotiations.

One of the key areas, the group will focus is the review of existing and emerging laws, regulations and instruments that are climate change related and provide advice and recommendations as appropriate. They will also undertake a comprehensive review of the Climate Change Bill passed by the National Assembly (but assent withheld by the President) and making it consistent with government’s vision to ensure speedy passage.

Since the adoption of the Paris Agreement in 2015 and its coming into force in 2016, global attention has focused on the development of a rulebook that will provide the modalities, guidelines and procedures (MGPs) for its full implementation.

UNFCCC 24th Conference of Parties (COP24) in Katowice, Poland in December 2018 adopted the Paris Agreement Rulebook that will operationalize the many mechanisms and schemes under the framework agreement.

Getting prepared for the operationalization of the Paris Agreement is important for developing countries in terms of a good understanding of the rules of engagement, the kind of policy and legal framework required.

Speaking at the inauguration of CC-LWG and two-day workshop on the Legal Preparedness for the Implementation of the Paris Agreement ahead of the UNFCCC COP 25 organized by Department of Climate Change of the Federal Ministry of Environment with the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Lagos, Director, DCC, Dr. Peter Tarfa called for the strengthening of existing institutional and legal framework for effective coordination of climate change activities and programmes.

He lamented overdependence on external funding, lack of infrastructural and institutional framework for research, data collection, organization and sharing.

Other issues he raised in the programme facilitated by Environmental Resources Centre (ERC), as challenges undermining fight against climate change include lack of a conducive office accommodation and office facilities for a more efficient job delivery for the unit; lack of a comprehensive climate change policy document to provide the basis for articulation of national programmes and action plans; and low provision of sustainable funding through budget allocation.

Tarfa who was represented by Asma’u Jibrin, advocated for improved and sustainable funding through budget allocation; implement provisions of a National Action plan towards a low carbon development pathway for effective response to climate change obligations.

Huzi Mshelia of ERC said: “For Nigeria to be able to fully comply with the rules and benefit from support under the Agreement, decision-makers and practitioners need to understand the emerging regulatory framework and its implications for the domestic law and policy.”

According to him, the body will identify likely impediments to the domestication of the rules and make recommendations that would strengthen and enhance the implementation of its commitments under the Paris Agreement as contained in the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and develop a road map for continuous capacity building on the Paris Agreement Rulebook.

Other areas, he said the CC-LWG will focus includes, providing legal advisory services to the government on the UNFCCC process and support the Focal Point and thematic negotiating teams; and undertaking continued analysis of Conference of Parties (COP) decisions and their implications for Nigeria.

Ahead of the likely resolution of the issues on Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, the body will deepen the knowledge gap and capabilities on the emerging carbon markets. The role of domestic enabling environment- regulations, practitioners and project developers on the emerging markets.

Besides, the committee will formulate and design capacity building and knowledge sharing interventions for members of the LWG on a continuous basis through South South Cooperation.

The Legal adviser to the African Group of Negotiators (AGN) to the UNFCCC, Prof. Seth Osafo, said the meeting would enhance the capacity of lawyers from the federal and state levels in climate change issues.

“So, when, for instance, they go to the international negotiations on climate change, they will be able to support their national delegation when it comes to addressing legal issues within the negotiation,” he added.

He was optimistic that, after the COP25 preparatory meeting in November; the country’s delegation would have been better equipped for Santiago.


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