Global call for climate-aligned budget allocations gains momentum

Vice President Angola  Esperança da Costa during the Africa Climate Summit day 3 Closing Ceremony. [Silas Otieno, Standard]

As the climate summit week draws to a close, the urgency of aligning budget allocations with countries' Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) has emerged as a key issue.

The NDCs, which represent nations' self-defined climate commitments under the Paris Agreement, serve as blueprints detailing their strategies for limiting global warming to 1.5°C, adapting to climate impacts, and securing the necessary financial resources to support these endeavours.

Kenya, among other nations, has exemplified this commitment by pledging to shoulder 21 per cent of its mitigation costs, amounting to a substantial UDS3,725 million, from domestic sources.

The remaining 79 percent totaling USD14,000 million, is contingent on international support. However, it is acknowledged that these estimated resource requirements remain subject to change due to evolving circumstances on the ground.

Dr. George Wamukoya, the Team Leader of AGNES (African Group of Negotiators for Climate Change), during the Afrcia XClimaet summit side event, emphasized the crucial connection between budget allocations and NDC implementation.

Dr Wamukoya underscored the pivotal role of parliaments in ensuring that financial resources align with the activities and actions outlined in a country's NDCs.

 He emphasized that parliamentary oversight holds the executive accountable for NDC implementation, thereby conveying a potent message about a nation's dedication to combating climate change.

Dr Wamukoya stated, "Parliamentary oversight is the linchpin of effective climate action, ensuring that allocated funds are judiciously employed."

Furthermore, he shed light on the indispensable role of parliamentarians in comprehending the vulnerabilities within their constituencies and ensuring that climate actions yield tangible benefits for local communities.

Professor Abubakar  Sulaiman, Director-General of the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS), emphasized the paramount importance of climate change legislation in realizing inclusive growth and sustainable development in West Africa.

He urged parliaments to assume a more proactive stance in enacting climate change legislation and stressed the necessity of passing climate acts to gain access to global climate funds.

 Professor Sulaiman also emphasized that while Africa has made strides in climate negotiations, West African nations must expedite the process of enacting climate change legislation.

He called for heightened engagement with parliaments to enrich legislators' understanding of climate change science, policy, and action, ultimately promoting good governance and climate justice.

Dr Wamukoya delivered a critique of the role of National Assemblies in advancing climate action.

 He reiterated the indispensable role of parliamentary oversight, capacity building, and regional cooperation in driving climate resilience and sustainability in Africa.

The global call for climate-aligned budget allocations resonates as a pivotal step towards addressing the pressing climate crisis, with parliaments playing a central role in ensuring that financial commitments translate into tangible climate action.

“As the world grapples with the challenges of climate change, the importance of robust climate legislation and effective parliamentary oversight becomes increasingly evident in shaping a sustainable future.” He said.

The event panellists included Professor Abubakar O. Sulaiman, Director-General of the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS), Fatoumata Dembélé, Head of the Urban Road and Sanitation Services Directorate of Bamako City Hall; and Dr Salisu Mohammed Dahiru, Director General and Chief Executive Officer of the National Council on Climate Change (NCCC).

They emphasised that legislation plays a critical role in establishing the legal framework for addressing climate change. It provides the necessary authority and structure to implement climate policies, regulations, and initiatives at local, regional, and national levels.