Carbon tax, national budget contributions to form part of Benin Climate Change Act

Benin
The draft Climate Change Act will provide a framework for key climate decision-makers in Benin to more effectively identify priority adaptation and mitigation actions. Photo: UNDP Climate Change Adaptation
 
Benin is making steady progress on the formulation of a new national Climate Change Act, which includes a range of progressive features for the West African nation, such as the creation of carbon and environmental restoration taxes, allocation of a percentage of national budget to fund national climate change efforts, and the creation of a Higher Council for Construction and Energy Efficiency.
 
The draft Climate Change Act is aligned with the constitution, national laws and regulations on the environment and climate, as well as with international agreements and conventions such as the UNFCCC, Kyoto Protocol and Paris Agreement. Once approved, it will provide a framework for key climate decision-makers in Benin to more effectively identify priority adaptation and mitigation actions, define and monitor projects, and clearly outline how much public spending should be allocated to climate projects. 
 
The draft law has gone through many review stages to ensure quality, impact, and relevance since drafting began in mid-2016. The first major review was undertaken by a national high-level technical and academic panel comprised of the Presidents of Benin’s National Chamber of Notaries, Order of Ushers, Bar Association, Law Commission of the National Assembly, as well as the Secretary General of the Network of Parliamentarians on Climate, the Director of Codification of the Ministry of Justice, the Director of Legal Studies of the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court, the Ministry Staff in charge of climate change, and university professors specializing in law or climate change. 
 
Then, the draft law was reviewed by experts from the Technical University of Denmark (through their collaboration with UN Environment). Denmark has also gone through its own process of creating and adopting specific climate legislation, so experts drew from their own country experience. 
 
In October 2017, the Parliamentary Network on Climate organized a seminar to introduce parliamentarians to the key features of the draft bill and prepare them for official voting to formally pass it into law, which is expected to take place in March 2018. 
 
Complementing the law, the UN Environment / UNDP/ WRI GCF Readiness Programme has supported the Government of Benin’s efforts to develop a national Climate Change Policy, which has been approved by the Steering Committee and has also been forwarded to the Council of Ministers for comments. The policy covers climate change governance, sustainable ecosystem management in cities and territories, strengthening of human and social capital, research, development and technology transfer, and resource mobilization for climate change activities.