Call for a climate change law

ZIMBABWE has been urged to introduce a law specifically focused 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 law in Zimbabwe.

Zela said that despite the government’s willingness to support climate change activities, the country however does not have a specific climate change law.

“While Zimbabwe has shown its commitment to tackling climate change both internationally and domestically, the enactment of a climate change law 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 on the basis of Article 327 of the Constitution.

“At the international level, Zimbabwe is a signatory to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Climate Accord. Despite the existence of several laws, policies and strategies related to climate change at the national level, a fundamental foundation in the form of a climate change law is needed.

Dhliwayo said that the various national laws, policies and strategies related to climate change include the country’s constitution, environmental management law, national climate policy, national climate change response strategy, on renewable energies, the national adaptation plan and the long-term plan. Greenhouse Gas Emissions Strategies (2020-2050), among others.

“However, despite all these efforts, there is still a lack of a fundamental basis in specific and holistic climate change legislation in the form of a Climate Change Act. This will ensure that efforts are effectively implemented on the ground. By enacting a climate change law, Zimbabwe will follow in the footsteps of several countries that have met their international commitments by adopting policies and then complete the cycle by enacting a specific climate change law. These include Kenya, Uganda and Nigeria, which passed climate change laws of 2016 and 2021 respectively, he added.

Dhliwayo said the law would provide a regulatory framework to hold government and the private sector accountable for emissions that contribute to climate change and prevent other harmful activities that lead to greenhouse gas emissions.

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