Climate change: Kenya boasts of pragmatic laws
Kenya has developed a sophisticated framework for the governance of climate change, the Cabinet Secretary for the Environment has said.
Speaking while officiating a one-day national climate governance conference in Nairobi, the minister said Kenya Green Economy Strategy and Implementation Plan (2016-2020) is designed to guide the country’s transition to a low carbon, resource efficient, equitable and inclusive future.
“The plan recognizes that in order to succeed, substantial resources are required in the form of finance, investment, technology development innovation and transfer, and capacity building. It further recognizes that integration of Green Economy in the national and county planning and budgeting processes are also crucial,” said Keriako Tobiko, the minister.
Organised by the PACJA and the Kenyan Government, participants at the conference heard the minister say that there is adequate knowledge of the causes of global warming, and the science is conclusive. There is no room for climate deniers in this discourse
However, the inaction that we have seen is not because there is insufficient knowledge or technology or finance. We have enough of these to be able to change the way in which we produce, distribute and consume goods and services
The meeting is also preceding the seventh conference on Climate Change and Development in Africa (CCDA – VII) co-hosted by the ACPC, PACJA and the government of Kenya. CCDA VII will also focus on mobilizing action towards the achievement of the objectives of the Paris Agreement. The participation of sub-sate and non-status in this endeavour is indeed timely.
According to Mr. James Murombedzi, Officer in Charge of the Economic Commission for Africa’s African Climate Policy Center (ACPC), African economies and communities are generally dependent on natural resources. The use and management of these natural resources also tend to be characterized by institutional structures which are poor, making them vulnerable to climate extremes. A key intervention towards ensuring the resilience of our economies and the livelihoods of communities, therefore, is institutional reform.
“Communities have long practised many adaptation strategies and devised many viable responses to changing conditions. However, there are limits to how well communities can continue to practice adaptive livelihoods in the context of a changing climate. They need the support of an enabling environment created by government-planned adaptation,” said Murombedzi.
Climate finance is a major constraint on climate action. One major opportunity is the possibility of accessing decentralized climate finance. Local governments are typically closer to communities and are accountable to those communities. If local governments access decentralized climate finance, they should be empowered to disburse these climate funds for investment in priorities chosen with communities for adapting to climate change.
Community-prioritized, public good investments can be managed in a transparent, accountable, and cost-effective manner. Such investments are consistent with public finance policy, complementary to local governments’ existing budgets and capable of drawing down and managing climate finance from national climate funds and other sources of climate finance.
Greater access to – and capacity to use – climate information, which improves planning and responses to climate extremes is also required. This requires building the capacities of local government itself, civil society organizations and the private sector to manage the construction and operation of public good investments.
The African Climate Policy Centre, through the ClimDev Africa initiative, is already exploring the climate governance prospects for Africa structural transformation towards achieving the aspirations of Agenda 2063 and the SDGs. We are keenly aware that climate change is now clearly the major risk in the achievement of these ideals
The ACPC is also implementing, with support from the DfID, the Weather and Climate Information Services (WISER) which seeks to promote the production and use of climate information, and contributes to building the capacities of hydrological and meteorological authorities across the continent.
ACPC has also developed a five-year programme which seeks to support African countries in building resilient infrastructure and economies. The Centre will increase its efforts in this regard to include support not only for member states but also new engagements with local governments, the private sector and other CSOs and stakeholders.