Towards the implementation of the Paris Climate Change Agreement 2015: Opportunities and Challenges for the Network of Universities Legal Aid Institutions (NULAI) Nigeria
AbstractThe Paris Climate Change Agreement 2015 represents a vindication of environmental multilateralism given that for the first time in the history of international climate change law, over 196 sovereign states voluntarily subscribed to be bound by a treaty for the mitigation of climate change. The Nigerian government has ratified the Paris Agreement, and subsequently undertakes in its National Determined Contributions (NDCs) to adopt some measures for the mitigation of climate change. The usefulness of the Paris Agreement 2015 in mitigating climate change in Nigeria is contingent on the actual implementation of the Agreement, including the Nigerian NDCs. The Paris Climate Change Decision 2015 recognises and, emphasises that non-party stakeholders including civil societies have some vital roles to play in the successful implementation of the Agreement. This paper examines the role that the Network of Legal Aid Institutions (NULAI) Nigeria can play in the successful implementation of the Paris Climate Change Agreement 2015 in Nigeria, in the light of the recognised role of civil societies in this context. It argues that NULAI can use the instruments of litigation, street lawyering and advocacy to catalyse the successful implementation of the Agreement in Nigeria. On the one hand, it argues that there are possible limitations to the role of NULAI. One such defect is the absence of any justiciable right emanating solely from the Paris Agreement 2015 and, Nigerian NDCs. Another limitation is the low level of awareness of the international climate change law among student law clinicians and staff within the Nigerian universities. The paper concludes by making recommendations on how to surmount the identified problems. A key recommendation is the use of human-right based approached litigation to secure the enforcement of the provisions of the Nigerian NDCs and, the establishment of climate change focused law clinics.
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