Climate Change: Analysis Of The Nigerian Climate Bill And Effect Of Implementation.

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We humans are inhuman to our nature. Human influences the climate drastically. Climate is a victim of human activities and now, we are victims of climate change. Studies have shown that since the 1800s human activities have been the main driver of climate change. Climate change is a global issue threatening human existence, it could impact not only human health but also patterns of human settlement, energy use, transportation and other aspect of infrastructure that affect our quality of life. The United Nations FCCC defines Climate change as “a change of climate that is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere”. The temperature of the earth rises by the releasing of greenhouse gases(GHG) containing substance like carbon, methane, hydrogen and so on, into the atmosphere, the GHG traps the heat that will otherwise bounce back to space and the earth gets warmer resulting to climate change. The injurious effect of these unusual change in climate is endless. Few of many is: The rising of sea, which lead to floods , increase in ocean acidification, melting of ice glaciers. The battle against climate change is a strive for survival. If we don’t fight climate change, climate change might end us. Little surprise when Barack Obama remarked that “ No challenge poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change”

Nigeria is in a dilemma when it comes to the issue of climate change, her major source of economy is the energy sector which has proven to be one of the cause of carbon emission, her plans to enlarge gas market is at odds with Paris Agreement 1.5°C and at the same time she is vulnerable to climate change. The 2017 climate change vulnerability index rank Nigeria as one of the ten most vulnerable countries in the world. The IEA has also propounded that no new oil development is needed if we are serious about the world reaching net zero emission in 2050.

Nigeria has had to take the bold step of committing herself to mitigation of climate change. The most noticeable bold step taking by the Nigerian is the use of legal instrument to meet net zero target. The step is in line with the Latin maxim Salus populi suprema lex which means “welfare of the people shall be the supreme law” In other words law shall be use for the general good of people. Law has been use consistently over the years in battling crises like this.
The Nigeria Climate Change bill has recently been enacted into law on November 18, 2021, following the UN conference (COP26) held in Glasgow on October 13. The Act set a long term emission goal and requires the identification of interim targets. These are expressed in 5 years carbon budget which will be ratified by the FEC, the five year budget is for the long term achievements of net zero GHG between national planning, woman affair, agriculture. The council is the main body that help implements all the 2050- 2070. The climate change bill (now enacted) is divided into eight parts, each section majors on key aspect of the act. The Act provides for nine different objectives (a-i). Which is mostly talking about low green house gas emission and mainstreaming climate change action in line with national development priorities.

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The Act is to apply to Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and public and private entities. This emphasis on the importance of all hands to be in deck in low GHG target. Worthy of notice on the Act is the establishment of National Council On Climate Change in Part 2 of the act, the council shall be headed by President as chairman and Vice President as Vice Chairman and Minister of finance, budget and climate change policy, and even the finance resources needed for climate change policy is mobilized by the council. The council help take care of the bureaucracy in the Nigerian government.

The act made provision for the contribution of Civil Society Organization in the implementations of policy regarding climate change. An administrative arm of the council is provided by part 3 – A Secretariat. This body does the extra work of monitoring, verification and reporting on the extent to which the national emission profile is consistent with the cabin budget. Also, the Action plan provided for in the Act is reviewed frequently by the Secretariat.
The six geo political zones in Nigeria is recognized and six coordinators from these zones are to be appointed by the council has provided for in Section 11. This will bring the council closer to the people in different zones and progress regarding low emission in various zones shall be monitored closely and reported. The importance of “fund” for the formation and implementation of climate change policy is reiterated by a provision in part 4 for “a climate change fund” and it shall be use for cost of administration of council and most importantly funding innovative climate change mitigation and adaptation project subject to approval of council.

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The way to achieve low carbon emission is lucidly provided for in the instrument and referred to in the act as “Action Plan”. The action plan shall be prepared by the Secretariat and shall provide for activities aimed at ensuring that emission profile is consistent with the budget, which is to “Keep average increase in global temperature within 2°C and pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre industrial levels” , the action plan identify actions for adaptation and mitigation against climate change. Such actions will include, reduction in deforestation, planting of more tall trees, collection of tax from big companies involve in petroleum and gas energy, reduction of long travelling, and so on.

The enacting of the Climate Change bill is a ray of light or twilight on the horizon. However, there is still much work to do, this include taking note of the influence and effect of its implementation in the country. Sam Onuigbo, the sponsor and coordinator of the technical committee that revised the bill talk on the big deal of an oil dependent nation enacting a law in support of net zero target. Apparently the enactment of the bill will have both positive and negative effect in the country when its implementation begins.

The most apparent effect of the implementation is the achievement of global target of net zero carbon emission by 2060 and saving the whole of mankind from total extinction. The world needs all cooperation in its achievement of its target .From the action put in place by the proposed bill, proper implementation of all activities needed to reduce the GHG that causes climate change will help save the world.
The implementation will help in showing the world Nigeria commitment and support towards the importance of reduction of carbon emission and the priority of saving the earth. It strengthens her stands in the international world and fulfilment of international obligation. President Buhari has at COP 26 committed Nigeria to net zero by 2060

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Research has shown that about 60% of the Nigerians are oblivious to the Injurious effect of climate change and hence, consistently partake in activities that increases carbon emission. Implementing the bills will help create massive awareness and encourage private individuals to fight alongside the government and the world in achieving net zero target.

The act will have as much negative effect as the positive effect in the country. The implementation of the bill will encourage corruption from those in power, particularly the council involve in the implementation of climate change policy. The climate change fund managed by the council can be manipulated for selfish gains. It is common in Nigeria to use serious issue endangering populace for personal benefit. Instances of that is the Corona virus menace and how records of money, donation collected by Nigerian government does not correlate with her effort in managing and eradicating the virus. The implementation will also create too much economic hardship for the country. It is nothing new that Nigeria national economy is based on her mineral resources consisting of petrol and coal, an effort in reduction of GHG gas emission will have massive dip in her marketing of petroleum and coal product and in turn reduce her Gross Domestic Product.

The race has started and notwithstanding some negativity that comes with the enforcement, Nigeria most maintain her stance and remain focus on the bigger picture, which is surviving. We sometimes forget we are only a small part of nature and what we give to nature is what is given back to us. Now, isn’t the time to look back. The Climate Emergence Is A Race We Are Losing But It Is A Race We Can Win!!!

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