Skip to main content
Stephen David Mugabi

By Caroline Nassuuna

Communications Officer

A change of climate is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere in addition to natural climate variability (natural processes), observed over comparable time periods.

While delivering his address at the 2nd Public Finance Management (PFM) Conference in Jinja, Stephen David Mugabi, the Acting Director of Environment Affairs – Ministry of Water and Environment, explained that the Green House Gases (GHG) have highly accumulated, creating a layer in the atmosphere that prevents heat energy from the earth to escape to other areas of the galaxy.

Climate change presents a wide range of risks across sectors and regions including ecological risks such as land degradation, biodiversity loss, loss of fisheries, among others leading to an estimate of 50 – 75 % reduction in production of Arabica and Robusta coffee by 2050 (which is Uganda’s highest source of foreign exchange) among other environmentally related risks.

Changes in climate are also linked to health security risks, including an increase in diseases such as malaria and cholera, which can have detrimental effects on livelihoods and public health.

“Water resources are threatened with hazards, Food security is at risk as well as infrastructure and its related services because situations such as landslides cause a big threat to homesteads, roads, hospitals and schools, affecting service delivery to the population,” remarked Mugabi.

The government is actively supporting climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts through policy implementation, capacity building, systematic mainstreaming of climate change considerations into planning and budgeting, and promoting public awareness.

“The government is also intensifying long-term observations of key climate variables, and there after, will engage in promoting public awareness on climate change & its impacts. There are efforts to promote the implementation of the National Climate Change Policy and enforcement of National Climate Change Act (2021),” explained Mugabi

According to the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) statement issued in 2019 giving the Federation’s Climate Action Point of View, responsibilities for professionals in driving climate change mitigation, adaptation and reporting were outlined.

Accountants have a crucial role to play in addressing climate change challenges. They are expected to provide objective data and insights to help organizations set emissions targets, integrate climate change risk into governance and strategy, and assess the financial impacts of climate risk on revenues, expenditures, assets, and liabilities.

Accountants also provide assurance on climate-related information to enhance confidence in public disclosures, which can facilitate capital flows towards sustainable organizations. They are expected to advise on potential changes in tax laws related to emissions regulations and help organizations fulfill evolving tax requirements impacted by climate change.

Overall, Mugabi emphasized the need for accountants to be actively involved in addressing climate change risks and integrating climate considerations into financial decision-making processes.