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Research

How can the national implementation of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change in Uganda be made consistent with the long-term objective in Article 2 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development?

For a least developed country like Uganda with a low adaptive capacity that highlights its vulnerability and its dependence on agriculture, climate change is no longer solely about the environment but also about the economy and so, of particular interest is how she can balance her national implementation of the Paris Agreement in the context of its long-term objective and the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development.

There has been much publicity on the adverse effects of climate change and what it means for the global environment but the emissions have continued to rise alarmingly. These effects are attributed to anthropogenic activities like economic expansion that continue to alter the composition of the global atmosphere to the detriment of the inhabitants. The threat of climate change and its adverse effects necessitated the establishment by the United Nations of a climate legal regime comprising the 1992 Climate Change Convention, the 1997 Kyoto Protocol and the 2015 Paris Agreement, with the latter in force since November 4, 2016. The developed country Parties undertook to take the lead in climate change action including the provision of funds and transfer of technology to developing country Parties (including Least Developed Countries) as a way of encouraging them to engage in climate change action in their own backyards. However, the efforts to effectively confront climate change have been hampered by the United States of America’s declaration of withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, and has left the other developed country Parties with much to do in terms of ensuring that the implementation goes ahead.

For a least developed country like Uganda with a low adaptive capacity that highlights its vulnerability and its dependence on agriculture, climate change is no longer solely about the environment but also about the economy and so, of particular interest is how she can balance her national implementation of the Paris Agreement in the context of its long-term objective and the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development. Is it something she can achieve considering the state of her development and other pressing domestic issues like poverty and unemployment? Uganda has been a beneficiary of funding from United Nations under the legal regime’s financial mechanism but there are no guarantees that such financing will always be available as and when she needs them. Her oil and gas reserves offer her an alternative source of funding once production starts but could this be achieved without compromising the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and the path to a fossil-fuel free economy?

This study will among others analyze how Uganda can minimize her reliance on foreign funding for climate action and determine whether and how she can move from fossil fuel dependence. It is hoped that the recommendations of this study will be a vital contribution on the alternative legal strategies Uganda can generate to ensure that her national development strategies are climate proof.

Mr J.I. (Ivan) Mugga LLM

Faculty of Law

Dep. Public International Law and European Law