OrderPaperToday – The Senate today passed the Climate Change Bill, 2019, during plenary.
The Bill sponsored by Samuel Ifeanyi Onuigbo (APC, Ikwuano/Umuahia North /Umuahia South) of the House of Representatives, seeks to provide legal backing to Nigeria’s efforts to mainstream Climate Change actions into the country’s sustainable development plans.
Recall that the key provisions of the climate change bill as passed earlier by the House of Representatives in July contains several mainstreaming moves to mitigate effects of claimte change.
Upon the passage of the Bill, Onuigbo, in his statement, hailed the senate for the concurrence.
He said that “in 2015, world leaders, civil society organizations, businesses, experts, etc., gathered in Paris and adopted the flagship global accord on Climate Change— the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. Our President, His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR was one of the world leaders as he was in attendance.
“That action is now informally referred to as the “Promise of Paris”. Promise because what was done was for countries and organizations to commit to ambitious targets that will help keep the global temperature to 1.5 degrees post-industrial era. In 2021, a little over five years after the Promise of Paris, Climate Change conversations have shifted to clear-cut verifiable and ambitious actions to tackle Climate Change.
“The administration of President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR has since his Inaugural Address on May 29, 2015, shown commitment to tackle Climate Change. This, Mr. President has shown in his many assertions at Climate Change conferences and other international meetings. Mr. President has also gone further to show action by approving the revised National Climate Change Policy of Nigeria, this year.”
Additionally, the lawmaker stated that as legislators, it is their duty to complement the executive’s efforts through oversight or by making laws that will help realize the goals and visions of the Government. “This was what gave birth to the Climate Change Bill which I sponsored. The Bill seeks to provide legal backing to Nigeria’s efforts to mainstream Climate Change actions into the country’s sustainable development plans. Thankfully, through the combined efforts of the legislature and the executive, the Bill was reviewed and on July 8, 2021, it was passed by the House of Representatives. Immediately afterwards, it went through First Reading at the Senate on July 14, 2021,” Onuigbo said.
He went further to say he was pleased that the Bill has, on October 13, 2021, been given concurrence by the Senate. As such, it will now be transmitted to President Buhari for assent.
Furthermore, Onuigbo expressed his “deep appreciation to the President of the Senate, His Excellency Senator Ahmed Lawan CON, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, His Excellency Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ovie Omo-agege, the Deputy Speaker, Rt. Hon. Idris Wase, the Honourable Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Honourable Abubakar Malami SAN, and the Honourable Minister of State for Environment, Chief Sharon Ikeazor for the leadership they have exercised in this journey.”
He likewise extended his “sincere gratitude to my colleagues in the House for their support. I would also like to acknowledge the contributions of my colleagues who are members of GLOBE Nigeria and Climate Parliament Nigeria. I commend them especially for the unrelenting support and commitment they have shown. My appreciation also goes to the Clerk of the National Assembly, Clerks of the Senate and the House of Representatives. I appreciate their sense of awareness of the importance of this Bill and consequently giving it the attention it requires.
Finally, he thanked “members of the media, the international community especially the British High Commission, the US Embassy, Climate Parliament, my team, technical experts, young Nigerian climate activists. Onuigbo said they also deserve commendation for their relentless efforts to ensure that this important piece of legislation is passed and assented to. “The journey to save our planet is not yet over,” he said.
In concluding, the lawmaker added that “as the leader of the Senate, Distinguished Senator Yahaya Abubakar Abdullahi, said on the floor of the Senate today, while making the argument for the expeditious passage of the Bill by the Senate, Mr. President needs to assent to the Bill as quickly as possible. This in view of COP26 which the President will be a part of. Nigeria participating in COP26 with a Climate Change Act will be the country’s loudest statement of ambition. It is my hope that assent will follow as soon as possible. May God bless us all.”