By Andrew Kaggwa, NECJOGHA
The National Climate Change Bill is now law after President Museveni assented to it four months after it was passed by Parliament.
The Act intends to give force of law to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) which was operationalized by the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement to which Uganda is a signatory.
Highlights of The National Climate Change Act
- Within one year after the commencement of this Act and in accordance with the Framework Strategy on Climate Change, develop a National Climate Change Action Plan.
- The National Climate Change Action Plan shall be reviewed every after five years.
- Each district in Uganda shall develop a District Climate Change Action Plan one year after the development of the National Climate Change Action Plan.
- The Act orders the District Environmental and Natural Resources Committee to integrate climate change matters within the development of plans, projects and budgets of the district for approval by the council.
- The Act provides for climate change mechanisms. Participation in climate change mechanisms that include Compliance Emissions Trading Mechanisms, voluntary Emissions Trading Mechanisms, among others.
- The Act also provides for measurement (in tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent) of the reductions and removal of Greenhouse gas emissions.
- Clause 10 still under Part V looks at prescribing a national base year, reference level and targets for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions for each year, including targets for each lead agency through the Minister in charge of Water and Environment, in consultation with the Committee.
- Clause 20 under Part VI provides for financing for climate change which shall be provided by the Minister responsible for finance, taking into account viable climate change financing mechanisms at National level and international climate financing mechanisms in the Paris Agreement.
- Still on Financing the Act has amended the Public Finance Act 2015 requiring the minister responsible for climate change in consultation with the National Planning Authority to issue a certificate certifying that the Budget Framework Paper is climate change responsive and contain adequate allocation for funding climate change measures and actions.
- Clause 21 in Part VI provides for incentives for climate change actions to persons engaged in implementing response measures for adaptation and mitigation.
- Clause 22 under Part VII provides for duties to be imposed on individuals and private entities by the Minister to prepare a Mitigation and Adaptation plan in the fight against climate change.
- Clause 25 in Part VII provides for litigation against defaulters of climate change, in that a person may apply to the High Court for relief against the Government, an individual or private entity whose action or omission threatens or is likely to threaten efforts towards adaptation to or mitigation of climate change.
- Clause 29 provides for the integration of climate change education and research in the national curriculum.
- On regulation, apart from other penalties, the Act allows court to forfeit of anything used in the commission of an offence related to climate change.