The government tabled a climate change bill this week, beginning a parliamentary process to adopt a legally binding commitment to cut national emissions of carbon gases and slap big corporate polluters with higher financial penalties.

The proposed new legislation is meant to fast-track the country’s transition to a greener economy and comes weeks before the UN’s climate change conference known as COP26, where the country is likely to attract attention as Africa’s biggest source of greenhouse gases and the world’s 12th largest...

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