MPs make strong case on climate change mitigation laws

MPs make strong case on climate change mitigation laws

The lawmakers have urged the executive to develop policies that will deal with the impacts of climate change.  

Justine Marona, acting chief whip of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO), flagged the energy sector as one area that needs attention.

“We have known that South Sudan’s economy depends on energy, which is the oil sector, and now much need to be done in terms of technology, a climate audit, and a review of contracts related to petroleum because now this issue is very serious,” said Marona.

She was one o the attendees at the 27th session of the conference of the parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP27) in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.

Marona said it is now time for the nations that produce oil to advance their usage of environmentally friendly technologies in the mining and oil exploration industries. He said that COP28 will necessitate that every member country highlight steps taken in accountability in crucial sectors and South Sudan must prepare.

“It is now an issue that the parliament can take over by asking the executive to make laws or by proposing laws in private members bills to see how best we can harmonise the sectors, particularly the oil sector.”

“This will take time, but I think this will make South Sudan think twice about how they can proceed forward with oil exploration and what technology is going to be deployed because it is now becoming an international issue,” he noted.

A $100 billion fund was set aside at the summit for the climate-vulnerable nations, especially the developing ones. As part of climate justice, affluent nations like the US, Europe, China, India, and the rest that are regarded as polluters are expected to give money to compensate countries with little emissions.

Marona told The City Review that while South Sudan is one of the countries affected by climate change, world leaders have favoured Somalia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan, where there is a drought.

He said they have highlighted the problem and made a case for the country, especially on drought.

“Now we are eligible to prepare ourselves to get funds from the allocation made to mitigate the impact of climate change.”

Rebecca Okwaci, Government Chief Whip in TNLA, blamed industrialised countries for impacting the weather and triggering heatwaves, wildfires, and many other effects. Okwaci said that the world could not risk a further increase in temperature.

 “So already there is damage; our countries are affected, and we know very well the emitters are those countries that started industries before us,’’ she lamented.

South Sudan feels it

South Sudan has been hit by floods and drought in the last three years causing displacement, destruction of infrastructure, livelihoods and also an increase in food prices.

Going forward, Okwaci said it is the responsibility of lawmakers to evaluate the documents that are readily available, as well as to include their participation in legislation.

The focus of the recent conference has changed from mitigation to adaptation, and some of the concepts that are emerging include the use of green energy, renewable energy, and clean energy, such as using solar energy or other energies in place of fuel.

She opined that it is time for countries like South Sudan to demand financial contributions from emitters who have harmed the environment in order for the impacted nations to adapt to the new challenge.

 “It is no longer agriculture only but how do you do agriculture and animal production in the middle of floods and in the middle of displacement of people.

“We are going to do legislation and we are also going to do our oversight responsibility as parliament and by oversight we need to look at the policies,’’ she said.