Call for Climate Change Act

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BY PRIVELEDGE GUMBODETE
ZIMBABWE has been urged to introduce a law specifically focusing on climate change to show its commitment to help mitigate the effects of climate change.

This was highlighted in a report by the Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (Zela) which was released yesterday and is titled The Urgent Need for a Climate Change Act in Zimbabwe.

Zela said despite government showing willingness to support climate change activities, the country, however, did not have a specific Climate Change Act.

“While Zimbabwe has shown its commitment to addressing climate change both at the international and national level, the enactment of a Climate Change Act is the missing link,” said Zela executive director Mutuso Dhliwayo.

“Commitments at the international level only become part of national legislation if they are domesticated due to the principle of sovereignty and also based on section 327 of the Constitution.

“At the international level, Zimbabwe is a signatory of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, The Kyoto Protocol and The Paris Climate Agreement. Despite the existence of several laws, policies and strategies related to climate change at the national level, there is need for a fundamental grounding in the form of a Climate Change Act.”

Dhliwayo said the different national laws, policies and strategies related to climate change include the country’s Constitution, the Environmental Management Act, the National Climate Policy, the National Climate Change Response Strategy, the Renewable Energy Policy, the National Adaptation Plan and the Long-term Greenhouse Gas Emissions Strategies (2020-2050), among others.

“However, despite all these efforts, a fundamental grounding in specific, holistic climate change legislation in the form of a Climate Change Act, is still missing. This will ensure that efforts are actually implemented on the ground. By enacting a Climate Change Act, Zimbabwe will be following in the footsteps of several countries that have followed their commitments at the international level through the adoption of policies and then complete the cycle through the enactment of a specific Climate Change Act. These include Kenya, Uganda and Nigeria which have Climate Change Acts of 2016, 2021 respectively,” he added.

Dhliwayo said the Act would provide for a regulatory framework for holding government and the private sector accountable for emissions that contribute to climate change and prevent other harmful activities that result in greenhouse gas emissions.

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