Background to the Climate Change Act
The Climate Change Act 2021 was signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari on the 18th of November 2021. The Act is a great step in the right direction, especially in making Nigeria live up to expectation in actualizing its commitment to Paris Agreement, Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), Kyoto Protocol, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), UN SDGs and other standards and guidelines relevant to climate change adaptation and mitigation.
The passage of the Bill by the National Assembly and sign off by the president further shows Nigeria commitment to reducing carbon emission and building resilience to the negative consequences of climate change. This was part of the pledge made by the President at the just concluded Conference on Climate Change (COP26) that was held in Scotland from October 31 to November 13, 2021. The president stated that Nigeria would achieve net-zero emission by 2060.
The Act is expected to change the way individuals and organizations relate with the environment. Thus, it will re-orient them to doing the right things in the protection and preservation of the environment. The Act is asking both the private and public entities to take climate change concerns into serious considerations.
It demands of everyone to commit time, money, and all the resources available to them in reducing carbon emission and promoting sustainable economic growth and development.
The Objectives of the Act
The Climate Change Act aims at providing a framework for the attainment of low carbon emissions, promotion of inclusive green growth and sustainable economic development by ensuring that Nigeria develops climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies; ensure the close out of climate change action and incorporates it into national development priorities. The Act also aims at the mobilization of finance, and other resources necessary to ensure that climate change policies and actions are integrated with other related policies and set a target for the year 2050 – 2070 for the attainment of net-zero emission. The Act is also aimed at identifying risks and vulnerabilities, especially ensuring that private and public entities abide by stated climate change strategies, targets, and National Action Plan.