In a brief encounter with EnviroNews at COP26 in Glasgow on Friday, November 5, 2021, Ike Ekweremadu, Chairman, Senate Committee on Environment, expressed optimism that, having been passed by the legislative chambers, President Muhammadu Buhari would give his consent to the Climate Change Bill
What are you taking away from this summit?
I think the greatest take away from this COP26 is the launch of the Green Grid. I think it is the greatest take away here because, for us as Africans, we see opportunity to contribute to world development and also to benefit thereof because with the energy superhighway it is most likely that there will be energy sufficiency across the globe.
So, I am happy also that Nigeria has indicated interest in being part of it. I am a member of the Climate Parliament, we deliberated on it last night and everybody was excited that Nigeria and Kenya in Africa are going to partner with rest of the world including the United States of America to drive this initiative which is going to be a mega revolution.
And I believe that here it is also an opportunity for our policy makers to be able to network sufficiently in terms of funding of our projects and policies in the environmental sector.
I am sure that you are aware that Nigeria has not shown sufficient interest in terms of funding in that ministry and its agencies. So here is an opportunity for those of us here to attract investments and supports from our global partners and the international community on how to drive some of these initiatives because climate change is real, but we have not been able to show sufficient commitment in terms of budgetary provisions to this ministry and its agencies.
So, this is an opportunity for us to find alternative funding and opportunities for this ministry and all its agencies. So hopefully we are going to see major improvements in the activities in the climate and environmental sector.
What is the role of the law in terms of fashioning a legal framework in addressing climate change challenges and attracting investments?
Before you can get funding or support, you must have the necessary frameworks and these frameworks have to be in terms of policy, it must be well outlined and articulated and attractive as well. Then we must also have a legal framework for us to drive these policies.
So, I am happy that today we have been able to pass the Climate Change Bill, so it is awaiting the President’s assent. Hopefully, the assent will be accelerated now that the President is here and saw what is happening in different parts of the country and he must have interacted with his colleagues, heads of states. So hopefully going back to Nigeria, the President will be able to sign it.
We are also going to put pressure on the executives to ensure immediate implementation, making sure that all the necessary agencies that have to be set up are set up immediately so that they will be able to take off.
I believe we are backwards, many years back so we need to fast forward and fast track the processes and policies so that we can be able to get these things on track, so that we can begin to see some improvements in the environmental and private sector.