Separate climate change law: Apex court issues show cause notice to govtThe Supreme Court on Wednesday issued a show cause notice to the government for not formulating a separate law dedicated to oversee all the matters related to climate change.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued a show cause notice to the government for not formulating a separate law dedicated to oversee all the matters related to climate change.
Responding to a writ filed on Tuesday by advocate Padma Bahadur Shrestha demanding a separate act for governing climate change issues and pressing for effective implementation of the existing programmes, a single bench of Justice Deepakraj Joshi has asked the government to furnish its response in writing in 15 days mentioning the reasons behind failing to do so.
According to Shrestha, the apex court had put the case on priority considering the urgency of the matter.
In his petition, Shrestha said that the existing laws and provisions neither address nor incorporate wide-ranging issues particularly related to climate change.
According to Shrestha, the existing Environmental Protection Act, 1997, which is the major law for protecting the environment, has failed to cover climate change.
“The EPA, not even mentioning about the adverse effect of climate change, its mitigation, adaptation measures and failing to include legal provisions for making accountable for responsibility of its impacts, indicates that it cannot protect human, environment, wildlife, flora and fauna and physical properties from impacts of climate change,” reads the writ.
Shrestha in his writ petition has also pointed out that, though the government has already taken some steps for fighting against the adverse impacts of climate change by formulating programmes and polices like National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA) 2010, National Framework for Local Adaptation Plan for Action (LAPA) 2011, Climate Change Policy, 2011, their poor implementation has kept Nepalis at the greater risk.
“Nepal is already facing adverse impacts of climate change and will face worse conditions in the days to come. However, we are not doing much to minimise the impacts and help people adapt with it,” said Shrestha, adding, “At first we don’t have enough policies that address the grave issue of climate change. Even those existing provision and programmes are poorly implemented.”
The writ argues that the Climate Change Policy 2011 doesn’t cover the issues of climate change in detail, hence a separate act for governing all-encompassing areas of climate change is required.
“For dealing with a globally alarming issue like climate change, a policy will not be enough. It doesn’t make the state accountable enough to protect its citizens from a major problem like climate change,” added Shrestha, who is also the environmental law committee coordinator with the Nepal Bar Association According to the writ, programmes under the NAPA and LAPA will not be sufficient while combating climate change, which needs widespread efforts for minimising effects on climate change vulnerable communities.
Besides, the writ has also asked for setting up climate change mitigation units at all the local levels of all 75 districts as implementation of various programmes under NAPA and LAPA has been sluggish.