In environmentalist, Mr Hamzat Lawal, has urged President Goodluck Jonathan to sign the Climate Change Bill into law to enhance the nation’s commitment to reducing the impact of the global environment phenomenon.
Lawal told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recently in Abuja, that a climate change law would assist the country to develop its national target on reduction and mitigation.
He recalled that France had asked countries signatory to the Climate Change Convention to submit their national target on adaptation and mitigation measures by the first quarter of 2015.
The environmentalist said this decision was reached in 2013 at Conference of Parties (COP) 19 held in Warsaw, Poland.
He said that Nigeria should intensify its efforts by signing the Climate Change Bill ahead of COP 21 coming up in Paris, France, by 2015.
“This bill has been passed by the 6th National Assembly. It was passed and harmonised and sent to the president to sign it into law.
“This will give a positive signal to international organisations and it will also give a positive signal to Heads of States and Government in the African region.
“It will send a signal that Nigeria is a taking a bold step and taking the lead towards climate change mitigation and adaptation,’’ he said. Lawal, an environmental activist, also advocated for the formulation of a workable policy and framework to address the impact of climate change.
According to him, the good thing about the National Climate Change Bill is that it is going to be under the Presidency. Urging Nigeria to begin to prepare for COP 20 holding in Lima, Peru, in December, the environmentalist said: “It is the best time for government to rally round different stakeholders, bring journalists, civil society organisations, different Ministries, Departments and
Agencies (MDAs) and academia to discuss the national target.” He however observed that funding allocated for COP 20 in the 2014 appropriation was inadequate for the Ministry of Environment to engage with different actions in this process. He also noted that the government was not mobilising the private sector enough.
According to him, the private sector has a huge role to play in this kind of negotiation as well as setting the pace for national policy on climate change.
Lawal, therefore, stressed the importance of involving private sector in the climate change negotiation processes, citing the example of gas flaring in Niger Delta.
“We need to let them understand the environmental degradation of gas flaring and the need to discuss how best to address it,’’ he said.