Climate Change: Stakeholders Set Agenda for Compliance Protocol in NigeriaFrom left Prof, DG NIALS, Muhammed Ladan and DG NESREA, Prof Aliyu Jauro

…Demand full Implementation of the 2021 Climate Change Act

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By Ed Malik, A | |
posted March 30, 2023

The global clamor for environmental responsibility was given a strong voice and an urgent call for judicial compliance protocol at a two-day workshop in the city of Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

Various speakers and participants made submissions urging the government and relevant stakeholders to take urgent steps toward addressing the challenges and dangers posed by the reality of climate change effects in Nigeria.

The workshop which anchored its theme on “The Rule of Law and Climate Justice”, was organized by the Attorney General Alliance Africa (AGA-Africa) Programme, in collaboration with the Nigeria Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS) and the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA).

In his remarks, Director General (DG) of NIALS, Professor Muhammed Ladan, who identified the oil and gas, mining, and automobile industries as the major drivers of climate change in the country called on the federal government including all regulatory agencies to in line with the Paris Agreement, 2015 and the national laws, ensure that companies in the industries comply with laid down corporate responsibility action.

From left, Ladan, Jauro and Prof Muhammad Shuaibu Immediate Past President, National Association of Law Teachers and Dean of Law, Bayero University, Kano

According to Prof Ladan, the law provides that all MDAs have desk officers on climate change, while the private sector particularly, those in oil and gas, coal, mining, and automobiles provide information about efforts they are making in ensuring that their products, operations, services, are within the climate goal targeted at reducing carbon emissions.

Citing the intergovernmental panel report which warned against crossing the threshold of 1.5 degree Celsius in other to avert further global warming that triggers climate change, the DG called on participants to harness efforts, especially in the area of climate justice.

He disclosed that Section 20 of the Constitution and Section 1, 22 to 25 of the Climate Change Act 2021, “provides for a basis of litigation against our government and against our corporate entities in the oil and gas, coal and automobile sectors, so we should be ready for litigation.

“We are not encouraging that but we are saying that they should go back and read their obligation under the Act so that they will advise themselves as to how best they can do their part in terms of climate action or reduce carbon emissions”.

On his party, the Director General of NESREA, Prof Aliyu Jauro, disclosed that the agency is working with other regulators to reduce carbon emissions in the country, adding that in some instances, companies have been sealed up until they comply with climate laws.

Prof Jauro further disclosed that the agency is also engaging with the judiciary to get their understanding and cooperation so as to get a speedy trial of offenders, thereby serving as a deterrent to others.

While observing that the workshop was timely as it would sensitize all relevant stakeholders on their respective responsibility when it comes to climate justice, he urged participants to come up with concrete solutions on how the country can achieve climate justice.

Similarly, Ebelechukwu Enedah of PUNUKA Associates and Solicitors, who spoke on behalf of AGA-Africa, stated that the workshop was aimed at creating awareness about climate change issues and also creating synergy with the different organizations and agencies that are working in the area.

“We need to have a concerted effort in dealing with this issue”, she said, “we are to ensure the preservation of the climate and our environment, we have to ensure that justice is being done in that area.

She also emphasized the need for all to work responsibly toward ensuring a safe and clean environment for future generations which falls within their fundamental

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