Uganda risks losing out on access to climate change interventions financing should it fail to submit its nationally determined climate change action plan to United Nations (UN) in two days.
All parties to the Paris Agreement are required to submit their climate change action plans to UN by October 12.
And countries that fail to comply will not have their plans discussed during the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, UK, at the end of the month.
The nationally determined contributions (NDC) are action plans derived during the Paris Agreement, which embody efforts by each country to reduce national emissions and adapt to the impact of climate change.
The Paris Agreement under Article 4, paragraph 2 requires each party to prepare, communicate and maintain successive NDCs that it plans to achieve. The measures include domestic mitigation measures, with the aim of achieving the objectives of such contributions.
The UK COP26 regional ambassador for Africa and the Middle East, Ms Janet Rogan, told a press conference at the residence of the British High Commissioner in Kampala on Thursday that there has been a process to update the nationally determined contributions.
“I urge government to submit Uganda’s NDCs to the UN by the deadline of October 12 so that it can be included in the UN’s synthesis report to be discussed at the COP26 in November,” Ms Rogan said.
The Paris Agreement requests each country to outline and communicate their post-2020 climate action plans, known as their NDCs to the UN and translate it into all the six UN official languages.
The NDCs are submitted every five years to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Secretariat.
Officials from the Ministry of Water and Environment were not available to explain why Uganda has not yet submitted its NDCs.
Both Minister Sam Cheptoris and deputy Beatrice Anywar were inaccessible for a comment on the issues.
But the acting commissioner for climate change, Mr Bob Natifu, only said it is work in progress.
Ms Rogan said every country is suffering the impact of climate change and that a lot needs to be done to mitigate it.
“Here in Uganda, we are seeing changes in rainfall pattern, deforestation, soil degradation but also in some places drought.
We need to adapt our ways of living and working to take account of these changes and also prevent further bad changes from happening,” she said.
She said all these adaptation measures require a lot of funding, but said many countries have failed to access the climate finances because of too much bureaucracy.
“As the chair of the conference, we are pushing the developed countries to reach the target of $100 billion every year to developing countries that we promised at the Parish Agreement in 2015. We have not yet met that target, but we are pushing very hard to ensure that target is met in November at COP26 in Glasgow,” she said.
“We also want to make sure that finance is accessible. We have heard and it is very frustrating that many countries are not able to access climate finance that has been made available because the processes are very complicated, take too long and are very heavy,” she added.
During her three-day visit in Uganda, Ms Rogan said she had a chance to see firsthand some of the climate challenges faced by Uganda, and discuss the specific actions Uganda can take to tackle them.
Her visit will include meetings with the Minister of Finance, State minister of Environment, other senior government representatives, the Parliamentary Climate Change Committee, and members of civil society.
Ms Rogan will also visit a UK Export Finance-funded project under the Ministry of Water and Environment, which is being implemented by UK Company Nexus Green. They will design and install solar-powered irrigation and water supply systems at 687 sites across the country.