• Says Climate Protection Against Harm, Legal Duty of All

• Says failure to address climate change effectively cripples developing countries efforts towards Sustainable Development Goals

• Advocates for Inclusive Participation of Vulnerable Population, Communities


By Samson Yaki & Mahdi Waziri Isa


The Director General of National Institute of Advance Legal Studies (NIALS), Professor Muhammed Tawfiq Ladan, has called for concerted efforts to cushion the effect of climate change on the environment.

Professor Ladan made the call at a joint workshop On Rule Of Law And Climate Justice jointly organised by National Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS), Attorney General Alliance-Africa (AGA-Africa) and the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA), in Abuja recently.

Speaking on the topic: Climate change phenomenon: policies and legal framework, Professor Ladan said, climate protection against harm is the legal duty of every actor, saying that Governments, corporate entity, CSO, lawmakers, academia and the media must play their role in order to avert danger and further avert effect on climate change on human beings, plants, animals.

He added that National Government, seeking to promote and enjoy economic development must embark upon aggressive economic development for the common good of all but it must be in a sustainable manner.

He further added that in the whole world no legal instrument provides for rights to safe climate, and it is only Portugal that made an attempt in one sentence to discuss the environmental rights and justice of their citizens.

Professor Jauro DG NESREA

“We must ensure to keep the average increase in global temperature within 2 degrees Celsius and make a concerted effort to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

“There’s need for protection of the climate against harm and stable climate and this is where the role of duty bearers come in, to provide empowerment to others so that they can attain climate justice.

“There has to be inclusive participation of the most vulnerable population, people in the local communities, they should be given a voice because they are the ones suffering more. The government should provide for adaptation measure, litigation or loss and damage measure, for compensation.

“Therefore, for rule of law to prevail they should be given the platforms for participation. There’s need to have access to climate information and how we can collectively survive.
“Unfortunately, the institutions that supposed to take actions on the climate change are not doing anything, hence, the need to have a legal framework.

“The Climate Change Act 2021, has provided that all MDAs must have climate change desk for ensuring integration of climate change activities into their core mandate. It also provides clear responsibility for private sectors, especially those in coal, cement, oil, mining and other manufacturing companies, therefore NBA should engage them on climate change.

A cross section of Participants at the workshop

“Failure to address climate change effectively will compromise the ability of many developing countries to reach the SDGs, SDG 13, specifically urges actions to combat climate changes and its impacts. The targets under the goal include strengthening resilience and adaptive capacity in climate change related hazards, natural disasters in all countries integrating climate change measures and national polices, strategies and planning; improving education, awareness raising institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and mechanism for testing capacity for effective change related to effective management in least developed counties and small island developing states including children, women; youth and local and marginalized communities.”

“ECOWAS climate action is fully embedded in the organization’s founding treaties. Although it is not a Contracting Party to the Paris Agreement, its action at the regional level is to support and supplement that of its Member States, which are committed by the Paris Agreement to Participate in the global response to fight climate change.

“This climate action is carried out in compliance with its powers and the fundamental principles provided in the revised Treaty and in particular, the principles of solidarity and inter-state cooperation, policy harmonization and programme integration, promotion and strengthening of good relations with neighbors and fair and equitable sharing of the costs and benefits of cooperation and economic integration”, Prof Ladan said.

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