To date, Uganda does not have any climate change related laws.

National Climate Change Policy ( 2015 / Mitigation and adaptation Framework )

As the document outlines, “the goal of the policy is to ensure a harmonised and co-ordinated approach towards a climate- resilient and low-carbon development path for sustainable development in Uganda”. The policy notes that the level of knowledge on climate change and its impacts remains low in Uganda. Therefore, it seeks to raise awareness of…read more

National Policy for Disaster Preparedness and Management ( 2010 )

Serves as the framework policy for disaster and risk management and preparedness in Uganda, including disasters caused by climate change. Details the mechanisms and structures aimed at effective management of disasters including: vulnerability assessments, mitigation, preparedness, and response and recovery. Explicitly sites climate variability, climate change, and environmental degradation among the increasing vulnerabilities Uganda faces…read more

The Renewable Energy Policy for Uganda ( 2007 )

The Renewable Energy Policy follows the commitment in the National Energy Policy 2002 to develop the use of renewable energy resources in Uganda. The Government's overarching policy vision for renewable energy is to make modern renewable energy a substantial part of national energy consumption, where modern renewable energy is understood to mean renewable energy resources…read more

National Environment Management Policy (NEMP) ( 1995 )

The NEMP recognises that Uganda faces a number of environmental issues including: soil degradation, deforestation, loss of biodiversity, increasing pollution and environmentally related diseases. These problems are compounded by poverty, low amounts of environmental awareness and low levels of technology. The NEMP aims to address these issues by establishing a more comprehensive and integrated approach…read more

Economy-wide

NDC Laws and National Policies

Not Applicable

Economy Wide | Not Applicable | Target year: N/A | Base year: N/A

Source: NDC

There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Energy

NDC Laws and National Policies

40% efficiency saving over traditional cooking stoves

Clean Cooking And Heating: Efficient Cookstoves

61% total energy consumption from renewable by 2017

Renewable Energy | Base Year Target | Target year: 2017 | Base year: 2017 | Source(s): The Renewa... (2007 / Executive)

Additional 1100 MW renewable energy capacity compared to BAU by 2030 (in the supply side of energy)

Energy: General | Target year: 2030

3200 MW renewables in the electricity generation capacity by 2030

Renewable Energy | Target year: 2030

Source: NDC

Agriculture

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Buildings

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Coastal Zones

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Cross-Cutting Area

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Disaster Risk Management (DRM)

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Environment

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Health

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Industry

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

LULUCF

NDC Laws and National Policies

21% forest cover in 2030

LULUCF/Forestry: General | Target year: 2030

There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

12% wetland coverage by 2030, resulting in 260,000 ha of new or restored wetlands

Wetlands | Target year: 2030

Source: NDC

Social Development

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Tourism

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Transportation

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Urban

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Waste

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Water

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Uganda’s approach to climate change is highly linked to its international engagement with climate change politics. Having ratified the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol, the country is also party to important multilateral agreements such as the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), the Ramsar Convention, the Convention on Biological Diversity (UNCBD) and the Montreal Protocol. Uganda submitted its First National Communication to UNFCCC in 2002 and its Second National Communication in 2014. As a Least Developed Country, it submitted its National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA) to the UNFCCC in 2007 and is eligible for funds granted specifically for countries that share its economic status, including the Least Developed Country Fund (LDCF).

International co-operation on climate change and environment issues is at the core of Uganda’s approach to tackle climate change. Yet, despite being rather active at the international level, domestic legislation and policy are still underdeveloped; Uganda lacks a comprehensive and overarching legislation that provides the basis for domestic action on climate change, but rather has a number of relevant official plans, policies and institutional bodies relating to climate change.

Uganda created a Climate Change Unit (CCU) in 2008, which was elevated to the Department of Climate Change (DCC) in 2014. The DCC is directly under the office of the Permanent Secretary within the Ministry of Water and Environment (MWE). The main objective in establishing the CCU and later the DCC was to strengthen implementation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol. The DCC functions as the national focal point for climate change under the UNFCCC. Current efforts of the DCC are focused on expanding its own technical capacity by increasing the number of skilled personnel it employs, developing a National Climate Change Policy that identifies priority activities, developing climate change awareness materials and implementing the National Climate Change Policy. Also within the Ministry of Water and Environment, the Climate Change Policy Committee works as a Steering Committee for all climate change projects, providing the Minister with advice on climate change.

Attempts to increase institutional capacity to deal with climate change have been promoted by the Legislature. In 2008, the National Parliament created the Parliamentary Forum on Climate Change (PFCC) addressing the “need to enhance the legislative, oversight, budgeting and representation roles of parliamentarians as a mechanism for mainstreaming climate change concerns into the national and global development frameworks”. The Forum is sponsored by local and international agencies, in particular by DFID/UKaid and GIZ.

The Comprehensive National Development Planning Framework (CNDPF) policy, approved in 2007, provided for the development of a 30-year Vision to be implemented through six five-year National Development Plans (NDPs). The resulting Uganda Vision 2040 is the long-term term development blue print for the country that aims to transform Uganda from a predominantly low-income country to a competitive upper middle income country in thirty years. The First National Development Plan (NDP I), for the period 2010/2011 – 2014/2015, came into effect in 2010/11, but the Uganda Vision 2040 was officially launched in April 2013. The Vision 2040 recognises that climate change affects all sectors of the economy, making preparedness through adaptation and mitigation strategies across all sectors necessary to ensure resilience to the adverse impacts of climate change.

Uganda is in the process of developing a Second National Development Plan (NDP II) for the period 2015/2016 – 2019/20120. Both the NDP I and draft NDP II recognise that continued development through the use of natural resources will be constrained and impacted by climate change, and thus emphasise the need to integrate climate change into the development agenda. The NDP aims to develop the national capacity for co-ordinating and implementing climate change adaptation policies, particularly the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, as well as ensuring development planning is “climate proof”. This is to be done by developing and reinforcing the legal and institutional frameworks surrounding climate policy as well as redefining climate change as a development issue. Other key sectors such as agriculture, fisheries and water resources promoted the need to integrate climate targets in their on-going development plans. The NDP also aims to promote energy efficiency by strengthening the institutional and regulatory framework for energy as well as promoting the use of renewable and atomic energies. This includes plans to develop four large hydropower projects as well as a smaller hydropower plant.

Prior to Vision 2040, in 1998, the government adopted the Vision 2025, a policy guideline of objectives and visions for a long-term national development strategy. Covering various policy areas, the document emphasises the need to address sustainability, conservation and regeneration of both man-made and natural capital, dedicating a full section to forest resources, identifying deforestation as one of the key problems contributing to land degradation. With regards to energy policies, the document call for the further development of clean energy sources and technologies as a means to reduce the emission of GHG and other pollutant gases. 

Energy Supply

About 93% of energy needs are met by bio-mass, which, according to the First and Second National Communications, is the dominant energy supply for households, agro-based industries and other small scale industries such as lime, brick and tile making. Electricity consumption only accounts for about 1% of energy use, as only 12% of Uganda’s 36m people are connected to the electricity grid. Subsequently, the remaining 6% of the energy supply is oil. Approximately 32% of total installed electricity generating capacity comes from fossil fuels, 65% is from hydroelectric facilities, and 3% is from other renewable sources.

Between 2007 and 2009, Uganda implemented the first phase of a Renewable Energy Feed-in Tariff (REFIT). The goal of the REFIT is to offer cost-based compensation to private sector renewable energy producers, providing price certainty and long-term contracts that help finance small-scale renewable energy investments. The first phase resulted in a lack of private investment and revisions to the REFIT were implemented in 2012.

In 2013, the REFIT scheme was complemented by the development of a new renewable energy development-financing programme: Global Energy Transfer Feed-in Tariff (GET FiT). GET FiT’s purpose is to address the key barriers to private investment in the sector, namely: low FiTs for renewable energy, the perception of high risk for new starts, and the lack of long-term commercial financing with acceptable terms and conditions. The programme hopes to direct more than EUR300m (USD376.5m) of private capital into renewable energy development and to fast-track up to 15 small-scale projects promoted under the REFiT scheme. The government expects the programme to add around 125MW to the electricity grid over the next three to five years.

Uganda also created a Biofuel programme and a Modern Energy Service Programme, in 2011. The Biofuel programme aims to support investments in the production and use of ethanol, biodiesel, methanol and biogas. Specifically, the programme obligates all dealers in petroleum products to blend fossil fuels with biofuels, up to 20%. The Modern Energy Service Programme will promote renewable-energy-based technology for households, institutions, commercial buildings and small-scale industries. In particular, these services will be for cooking, lighting, machinery and ICT.

Energy Demand

In 2002, Uganda set out an Energy Policy with the aim of meeting energy needs for social and economic development in an environmentally sustainable manner. The Energy Policy gives a detailed analysis of both supply and demand side sectors and develops policy objectives accordingly. Moreover, it outlines short- and medium-term action plans in order to realise these goals. The broad objectives of the policy centre on increasing the growth of the energy sector and, coincidentally, increasing economic growth and development more generally; increasing access to energy resources in order to alleviate poverty; and to manage energy-related environmental impacts. The Government hopes to achieve this final objective by promoting environmental considerations amongst both energy suppliers and consumers as well as by establishing a monitoring mechanism to evaluate the compliance of producers with broad targets for the reduction of emissions.

As part of its strategy to enhance the consumption of renewables along the guidelines of the 2002 Energy Policy, the Promotion of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Programme (PREEEP) was created in 2008. It aims to improve access to modern energy services through renewable energies and to promote energy efficiency in various sub-sectors through the establishment of energy-efficiency standards and the promotion of more efficient firewood stoves. Uganda also has an Energy Advisory Project, which aims to provide information about energy efficiency to energy users and promote the use of efficient equipment in manufacturing and in the home. It furthermore seeks to assess the efficiency gains that could be made in transport and agricultural sectors and sets efficiency standards for various stakeholders.

REDD+ and LULUCF

Between 1890 and 2005, forest cover experienced an estimated annual loss of 88,000ha/year, declining from 35% to 15% of total land area. Some significant causes of forest degradation and deforestation include: institutional weaknesses, shortcomings in forestry governance, the increasing agrarian population that pressures forestlands and resources, charcoal and timber production, livestock grazing, and firewood harvesting.

In 2011, Uganda submitted a Readiness Preparation Proposal (R-PP) to the Forest Carbon Partnership Fund with the aim of developing strategies to address the drivers of deforestation and forest degradation, guiding it to become ready for REDD+ by 2014. Formulated in co-ordination with the Ministry of Water and Environment and the National Forestry Authority, the proposal seeks to realise this goal through a number of key objectives. These include promoting sustainable forest management and conservation, piloting test processes for stakeholder engagement in implementing REDD+ initiatives, as well as developing the various logistical, procedural and institutional mechanisms that will facilitate the implementation of the REDD+ Strategy.

Forests and forestry are central in the economic and social development of Uganda; as a result, outside of climate change motivated REDD+ strategy, several policies and actions plans relating to forestry have been developed. The Ugandan Forestry Policy (UFP) of 2001 and the National Forest Plan (NFP) of 2002 are two examples of such instrument. The UFP is guided by general principles built to coincide with the Government’s priorities of poverty eradication and good governance. The overall objective of the policy is to manage the use of forests to meet present needs without jeopardising the rights of future generations. The policy aims to achieve sustainable increases in economic, social and environmental benefits to improve livelihoods while safeguarding biodiversity through conservation and improved governance. To achieve this, the government is tasked with protecting, maintaining and managing the state owned Permanent Forest Estate while also improving public education and advisory services to the private sector and civil society to ensure privately owned forests are well maintained.

The NFP, meanwhile, provides a framework to implement the UFP. The overarching aim of the NFP is to develop an integrated forest sector that is able to achieve sustainable increases in economic, social and environmental benefits from forests and trees. The objectives of the NFP, more specifically, focus on poverty eradication, economic development and sustainable forest resource management. The NFP also identifies seven programmes of action to achieve these objectives. These programmes cover issues such as proper regulation and conservation of forests, increased awareness of good forestry practice, development of commercial forestry and promoting forestry research.

Covering the 2010 to 2015 period, the Agricultural Sector Development Strategy and Investment Plan recognises that agricultural activities can have a major impact on environmental issues such as land use and degradation, soil and water pollution, deforestation and loss of biodiversity. As such, it endeavours to integrate environmental management in the plan and so takes on the National Environment Act and other key sets of regulations resulting from it as guides for future agricultural conduct.

The National Land Policy, released in 2013, notes that Uganda has never had a clearly defined Land Policy, exacerbating pressure on scarce natural resources and the sustainability of land use. The policy has the aim of promoting the sustainable and optimal use of land and land-based resources to further poverty reduction, wealth creation and socio-economic development. It hopes to articulate a more sophisticate set of mechanisms for land management and regulation in order to promote sustainable and productive use and to mitigate anthropogenic climate activities such as deforestation, forest fires and destructive agricultural practices.

Adaptation

In 2010 a National Policy for Disaster Preparedness and Management was made. This policy notes that the effects of disasters such as droughts, epidemics and earthquakes have increased over time. It recognises that policies on sustainable development and climate change mitigation and adaptation are mutually supportive alongside efforts to reduce the frequency and effects of disasters. The policy therefore urges the reduction of the causes and negative impacts of climate change.

Moreover, the 2007 National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA) presented to the UNFCCC identifies the following priority areas: Community Tree Growing Project, Land Degradation Management Project, Strengthening Meteorological Services, Community Water and Sanitation Project, Water for Production Project, Drought Adaptation Project, Vectors, Pests and Disease Control Project, Indigenous Knowledge and Natural Resources Management, Climate Change and Development Planning Project.

Mbabazi and Others v. The Attorney General and National Environmental Management Authority (Opened in 2012 )

Citation/reference number: Civil Suit No. 283 of 2012
Jurisdiction: Uganda
Core objective(s): Ugandan government's obligations to mitigate climate change pursuant to the public trust doctrine
Current status: open

In 2012, the plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief on behalf of four Ugandan minors. They argue that article 237 of the Ugandan Constitution makes the government of Uganda a public trustee of the nation's natural resources—including its atmosphere—and that articles 39 and 237 require the government to preserve those resources from degradation for both…read more

Uganda is a Presidential Republic. The President is head of state and head of government. The Ugandan Constitution, the supreme law, was adopted in 1995. The legislative system is based on a democratic parliamentary model and vests legislative power solely in the unicameral Parliament.

The Parliament has 327 seats, broken down as follows: 215 are Constitutional Representatives directly elected by universal suffrage, 79 positions are reserved for District Women Representatives, whilst 25 members are designated to legally established special interest groups. Of these seats, 10 are Representatives of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces, 5 are Representatives of the Youth, 5 are Representatives of Persons with Disabilities and 5 are Representatives of Workers. Additionally, eight members are designated ex-officio. All members serve five-year terms with the last election held in February 2016. The next election is expected in 2021.

Proposed laws are known as Bills, subsequently known as Acts when assented to by the President. Two types of Bills exist: Government Bills and Private Members’ Bills. Government Bills are initiated by Government Departments or Ministries and are sponsored by the Government. A Private Members’ Bill is a proposed law moved or introduced to the Parliament by backbench Members of Parliament (MPs) or Committees. However, both kinds of Bill move through the following stages.

A bill is first introduced to Parliament through a First Reading, following which the Speaker refers the Bill to a Committee for examination. During this stage other stakeholders, advocacy groups and members of the general public may present their views on the bill to the Committee for consideration. The Committee’s report of the bill is submitted to a plenary session of Parliament and, following a Second Reading, the members debate the legislation. If the bill is adopted, a Committee of the Whole House then considers and scrutinises the bill clause-by-clause along with suggested amendments from the original Committee to which the bill was referred. When the Committee of the Whole House reports back to Parliament, the bill undergoes a Third (and final) Reading in which a vote is taken without further debate. Following the passage of a bill, it is forwarded to the President, whose assent is a Constitutional requirement for a law to come into force. The President has thirty days to sign a Bill or return it to Parliament. After the passage of the 30-day window, assent is assumed and the bill enters into force as an Act. The President may only return the Bill to Parliament twice. If Parliament passes a bill three times, the assent of the President is not required so long as at least two thirds of Members approve the bill.

Last modified 23 August, 2017