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Initial Civil society views on the Draft Climate Change Bill, 2017

Preamble
The civil society is pleased to present initial views based on partners consultations about the
Draft Climate Change Bill and the Baseline Report. So far, our partners have consulted with
some private sector actors (ACTADE, SEATINI & UMA), Farmer groups (PELUM & CAN-U),
selected communities (CARITAS & CAN-U) and Special interest groups (IUCN).
The civil society welcomes both the Draft Climate Change Bill, 2017 and the Baseline Report
and takes note of the proposals contained therein serving as basis for consultations. We
commend the Ministry for progressive implementation of key interventions under Environment
and Natural Resources section of the Second National Development Plan (NDPII) i.e.
establishing an appropriate Legal framework for Climate Change Policy implementation and
compliance.

General observations
We are concerned of the general omission of the latest universal treaty under the
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) known as the
Paris Agreement and SDG Goal 13 (Climate Action) from the list of references yet
Uganda recently ratified it and consequently communicated Nationally Determined
Contributions (NDCs) in effect of the Agreement.
We are concerned of the annexing of international convention and protocol to the draft
climate change Bill instead of the national policy documents such as National Climate
Change Policy and Costed Implementation Strategy (2015); National Climate Change
Indicators etc.
We note the limited scope contained in the purpose of the draft Climate Change Bill,
skewed to meeting international obligations and only mainstreaming and ignoring key
aspects of institutional framework, provision of roles, establishment of key mechanisms
related to reporting, financing etc. so as to provide for policy implementation and
compliance.
We further note some inconsistencies in the interpretation section of the draft Bill, for
example reference to specific sections of the UNFCCC instead of providing for specific
meaning of terminologies applied in the draft bill for purposes of clarity and reference
to national circumstances.
We note the absence of reference to role of civil society and research and scientific
community such as MUCCRI etc.
We request for a rationale for the a new provision for development of the Framework
Strategy on Climate Change under Section (11). We note the inconsistence with the
National Climate Change Policy and its Strategy which is supported to be a living
document revised and updated over time. Although a framework strategy is provided
for by some countries such as Philippines, Uganda has already developed a well
consulted Policy and costed implementation strategy but has not been fairly
implemented.

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Detailed views

Institutional Framework & Governance


1. Section 7 (1) of the Draft Bill establishes a National Climate Change Advisory
Committee whose functions are clearly spelt out in Section 8. Section 7 (3) provides for
members to this committee. To ensure wider representation and bring on board
additional members who can add value, it is proposed to include in the membership of
the committee, a representative of the youth, a representative of cultural and
traditional institutions. Therefore membership of the committee should be increased to
include: Representative from National Youth council, Ministry of Education and Sports
and Ministry of Gender Labour & Social Development. The requirement provided for in
Section 7 (2) that the members shall not be below the rank of Commissioner or of its
equivalent should not be applicable to the representative of the youth, the
representative of cultural and traditional institutions, and the representative
of CSOs

2. The National Advisory Committee on Climate Change (NACCC) should be mandated to


appoint technical committees to assist in executing other roles, for example, committee
on climate finance, committee on greenhouse gas inventory and emissions reduction,
and committee on adaptation and resilience and guide the functionality of lower
governance structures: climate change desk officers (sector and local government
level)

3. The civil society notes that there are wide views on the required institution for
climate action (1. Strengthen the CCD, 2. Establish a Directorate, 3. Establish a
Commission & 4. Establish a Climate Change Authority). The CSO therefore
recommends for a detailed analysis of the required appropriate institution for
Coordinating National Climate Change response as stipulated in the NDPII.

4. There is need to decentralize some key roles and responsibilities relating to climate
action at the local government level.

Implementation frameworks

5. Section 11 (1) provides for the development of a Framework Strategy on Climate


Change. Section 11 (5) provides for mandatory information that should be included in
the Framework Strategy. It is proposed that the draft bill should give effect to
mandatory regular updating of climate change policy and costed
implementation strategy and further provide for special measures and initiatives to
address adaptation needs of the most vulnerable communities and persons including
the elderly, the women and the resource dependent communities.

6. Section 6 (1) of the Draft Bill requires the Climate Change Department to prepare an
annual report on climate change for consideration by Cabinet and Parliament. Section
6 (2) provides the major contents for that report. It is proposed that among the
contents, there should be a specific section detailing special measures and initiatives
carried out to make the most vulnerable communities and persons resilient to effects
of climate change

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7. Multi-stakeholder CC accountability and public participation forums: In
addition to the immediate fore-going recommendation, it is proposed that Ugandas CC
law should establish an annual multi-stakeholder climate change platform at both the
national and district local governments for mutual accountability between duty bearer
and the general public. These forums would also be very important in terms of
promoting public participation in decision-making and access to climate change
information. (Composition details).

8. On composition of multi-stakeholder forum, the bill should provide for a schedule on


composition of the multi-stakeholder forum

9. The bill should mandate all the MDAs and non-state actors to mainstream
climate change into their planning and budgeting frameworks and processes.

10. The bill should have a provision for the extractives sector (oil & gas, minerals)

11. Provide for an establishment of an adaptation goal to promote Ecosystem-based


approaches to adaptation, Community-based approaches to adaptation, Gender-
responsive adaptation approaches, National Adaptation planning processes, GALS
methodology, Pro-poor and rights based approach, guided by the available science
and, as appropriate, traditional knowledge, knowledge of indigenous peoples and local
knowledge systems, in conformity with Ugandas priority climate change response i.e.
Adaptation. It is important to recall that Ugandas approach to climate change
adaptation is to strengthen the countrys resilience.

Financial arrangements

12. The draft CC Bill does not provide for a climate change fund (an independent fund with
independent governance structures and systems). Additionally, the bill should provide
for channelling of financial resources from the central to the local government. The
climate change fund is clearly envisioned by the national climate change policy as a
source of predictable and sustainable funding of climate change activities and
initiatives. In East Africa, the Kenya CC law makes provision for a CC Fund (See S.25).
In line with the East African Climate Change Policy which calls for harmonisation of CC
policies, laws and strategies, it is proposed that Ugandas CC Bill should establish an
autonomous CC Fund and provide it with clear sources of funding. The fund should
serve both public and non state actors.

13. Among the Sources of funding should include a percentage of money from the oil
revenue, national budget allocation, levy (carbon tax) basing on the Polluter Pays
Principle, explore instruments such as equity & green bonds

14. Provide carbon trading mechanism (instead of limiting only to CDM which is currently
limited to the Kyoto protocol by 2020) to tap into opportunities provided for in the
Paris Agreement under Art. 6

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15. A percentage of resources in the climate change Fund should be ring-fenced and
should go to fund mitigation and adaptation activities by the most vulnerable
communities and persons including the elderly, women and forest adjacent
communities

Other matters (Litigation & MRV)

16. Right to public participation in decision-making: The draft CC Bill is weak with
respect to the question of public participation in CC decision-making. Good governance
demands that the general public and persons likely to be affected by decisions
meaningfully participate in the decision-making processes. In East Africa, the Kenya
climate change law guarantees the right to public-participation (S.24). It is thus
proposed that Ugandas climate change law should provide for the right to public
participation along the lines of the Kenyan climate change law. The provision on public
participation should be crafted in a manner that allows public to challenge decisions
taken where there has not been meaningful participation.

17. Access to Information: Although Uganda has a specific access to information law
that equally applies to climate change information, it is good practice to have a section
in the CC specific law guaranteeing access to climate change information in accordance
with the Access to Information Act

18. Right to petition court in defence of climate change adaptation and


mitigation: It is proposed that just like Kenyas climate change law (See S.23),
Ugandas CC law should provide for the right of any person to apply to court where a
person or entity has acted in a manner that has or is likely to adversely affect efforts
towards mitigation and adaptation to the effects of climate change. Court should then
be given powers to issue such orders as it may deem fit. According to the Kenyan CC
law, the Court may make an order or give directions that it considers appropriate to
(a) prevent, stop or discontinue an act or omission that is harmful to the environment;
(b) compel a public officer to take measures to prevent or discontinue an act or
omission that is harmful to the environment; or
(c) provide compensation to a victim of a violation relating to climate change duties.

19. Offences and Liability for Directors: The draft CC Bill does not impose liability on
Directors for offences committed by the companies. Where an offence is committed by
a body corporate, every director or officer of the corporation who directed, authorized,
assented to, acquiesced in or participated in the offence, or who failed to take
reasonable care to prevent the corporation from committing the offence, is guilty of an
offence, whether or not the corporation has been prosecuted or convicted. A number
of CC laws of different countries take this position. (See for instance S. 33(2) of the
Kenyan CC law and S.50(4) of Ontarios Act respecting greenhouse gas).

20. Strengthening the Penalties for climate change offences: It is proposed that
the penalties of climate change offences should be strengthened by providing
minimum sentences instead of the maximum sentences. The challenge with
prescribing maximum instead of minimum sentences is that it gives a lot of discretion
to the judicial officers in determining the final penalty to impose in a particular case.

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In many cases, judicial officers give very lenient sentences which would not be good
for climate justice. Repeated offenders should serve twice the penalty of the offence
committed

21. Expand the jurisdiction of the proposed court under the National Environment Bill to
address climate change offences as well

22. On MRVs there is a mismatch with existing practices and what is provided for in the
bill. E.g. we have performance indicators, costed implementation strategy of the NCCP.
We propose that MRVs should be multi-level based. We need a robust MRV framework
in place.

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