The Minister of State for Environment, Chief Sharon Ikeazor, has expressed appreciation to the House of Representatives for passing the Climate Change Bill, even as she enjoined the Senate to reaffirm this position.
According to the Minister, the passage into law of the Bill will give credence and legal framework to the revised National Climate Change Policy (NCCP) and the National Climate Change Programmes for Nigeria approved by President Muhammad Buhari earlier in June 2021.
It will be recalled that the Bill was passed by the 8th National Assembly but President Muhammadu Buhari did not sign it into an Act due to some contentious issues.
But, after the passage of the Bill by the House earlier this week, the Sponsor of the Bill, Sam Onuigbo, stated that the Joint Review Committee has painstakingly addressed all the contentious clauses cited by the President that made him not to assent to it.
When passed into law, the revised Bill is expected to be of significant importance to the country as it will be in tune with emerging issues on climate change and design implementation measures that will mitigate climate change, promote low-carbon and develop high growth economic indices that would strengthen adaption towards a climate resilient development pathway and sustainable livelihoods in the country.
Ikeazor reiterates that the legal framework will help in the appropriation and formulation of policies and programmes on climate change to serve as benchmark for climate change planning, research, monitoring, evaluation and development.
According to her, economic importance of the Bill to Nigeria is enormous as it seeks to mobilise financial resources to support climate change actions as well as collaborate with the Federal Inland Revenue Service to develop a mechanism for carbon tax in Nigeria.
She expressed optimism that the passage of the bill was a clear indication of the commitment of the House to work with the Executive to implement provisions of the Paris Agreement on climate change as well as support the commitment of the President to fight climate change.
The Bill is of environmental significance as it seeks to provide a framework for achieving low Greenhouse Gas Emission (GHG), inclusive green growth and sustainable economic development by ensuring that Nigeria formulates programmes for achieving its long-term goals on climate change mitigation and adaptation.
When fully operational , the legal document will also ensure compliance for the attainment of a net-zero GHG emission target for the year 2050 to 2070 by identifying risks and vulnerabilities, building resilience and strengthening existing adaptive capacities to the impacts of climate change and ensuring that private and public entities comply with stated climate change strategies, targets and National Action Plan.