The law voted by Parliament on 27th April 2021 will provide a comprehensive framework for climate action in Uganda. The new legislation will facilitate national participation in climate change mechanisms, provide institutional arrangements for coordination between different departments and agencies, and enhance financing for climate change. No ministry budget can pass parliament without a certificate that it includes substantial investment on climate change. This “substantial investment” will be determined by an independent advisory committee comprised of academics and experts.
Uganda ratified the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in 1994, the Kyoto Protocol in 2004 and the Paris Agreement in 2016. The new bill will domesticate and give force of law to those international commitments. Thus, Uganda will be able to implement climate change response measures in line with resolutions from international conventions.
The bill tasks the Ministry of Education and Sports to integrate climate change education and research into the national curriculum, as a means of raising awareness about climate change.
A series of Climate Parliament roundtables in East Africa led to the establishment of the informal Parliamentary Forum on Climate Change in Uganda, chaired by Hon. Lawrence Biyika Songa, which brings together legislators who are motivated to take action on climate issues and promote the transition to renewable energy. This Forum is in effect the Climate Parliament group in Uganda and it currently includes more that 200 members.
In 2016, with support from GIZ, the Forum sent a delegation of Ugandan MPs to a Climate Parliament roundtable held in Marrakesh, Morocco, during the UN Climate Summit (COP 22). After that event, a formal Committee on Climate Change was created, also chaired by Hon. Songa. This Committee was instrumental to the drafting and passing of the Climate Change Bill. Hon. Biyika Songa has stated: “The interaction with the Climate Parliament gave us a boost and a lot of information that we used to engage the government.”