The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, has urged Parliaments to pass climate-friendly legislations to help efforts to reduce climate impact, especially on vulnerable nations.
He said as Parliaments, it was incumbent on members to pass effective legislations and develop policies to meet the real needs of their constituents against climate impact.
“As lawmakers, we must ensure that adequate resources are allocated for the implementation of key policies and decisions to avoid the creation of white elephants in our respective statute books,” he said.
Mr Bagbin made the call when he addressed the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) Global Parliamentary Group (CPG) annual dialogue on the sidelines of the 145th Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) ongoing assembly in Kigali on Tuesday.
The passing of key climate change legislation, the Speaker said, must not be a “box-checking exercise” but one intended to serve the interest of the people by ensuring proper funding mechanisms.
“We can have a lot of ideas but ideas without funding are mere hallucinations. It is imperative that we pass evidence-based legislations and develop such policies that speak to the real needs of our constituents as that is one sure way of obtaining funding for our ideas,” he said.
The CVF GPG, a non-treaty organisation set up in 2009, is focused on climate change policy in countries that are at the frontlines of climate emergency and is under the presidency of Dr Emmanuel Marfo, MP for Oforikrom and the Chairperson of the Environment, Science and Technology Committee of Parliament.
The environment today, Mr Bagbin said, was threatened by climate change, depletion of fossil fuels and natural resources undermined growth potential and posed existential issues for countries the world over.
In this regard, he urged Parliaments to consider efforts to mobilise other key actors to create more awareness of climate impacts; a consideration he said would enhance the readiness for all key players to act in a concerted manner to confront today’s climate change demands.
“In unity, as we are told, lies strength; we can achieve a lot more together than if we leave national institutions, state and global actors to operate in silos,” he said.
According to the Speaker, CVF member states were more impacted as a result of their inefficient adaptive capacities that were exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing geopolitical crises which had further “pushed our vulnerable communities into deeper impoverishment.”
The Chairperson of the Committee on Land, Agriculture, Livestock and Environment of the Rwanda Parliament, Marie-Alice UweraKayumba, said her country had highlighted the devastating impact of climate change on vulnerable nations, including Rwanda.
Therefore, she encouraged legislators to leverage on the diverse tools available to them to “lead our societies onto the path of climate prosperity.”
“Both adaptation and mitigation strategies to combat impact of climate change called for our legislative support and our policies and functions must serve as a reliable foundation for serving the rights and demands of our countries’ various stakeholders,” added.
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