Climate Change: Kenya cites need for adequate funding

Government has cited access to predictable and adequate funding options, as a key challenge frustrating the implementation of climate change action plans in developing countries.

Speaking when he addressed the ongoing 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) commonly known as COP 24, Environment and Forestry Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko, said lack of adequate funds has slowed the pace of climate change management and mitigation in developing countries.

While addressing the High Level segment in in Katowice, Poland, Tobiko stressed the need for adequate and predictable financing instruments to accelerate climate change action plans.

“Access to new, additional, predictable and adequate climate finance is critical for developing country Parties to implement their priority adaptation and mitigation actions and meet their obligations under the Convention and the Paris Agreement. The time for action is now. Let us all rise to the occasion. Let us save Our Planet,” Tobiko said.

In recognition of the serious threats posed by climate change, the government, Tobiko said through various agencies including the National Treasury has been leading the process of developing financial instruments for climate proofing vulnerable sectors of the economy.

“This we plan to do through issuance of Sovereign Green Bonds, establishment of the National Treasury as the National Designated Authority (NDA) for Green Climate Fund (GCF), establishment of the Climate Change Fund (CCF) and the Disaster Risk Financing Strategy all aimed at cushioning the economy from fiscal risks arising from the effects of climate related shocks and natural disasters,” Tobiko said.

Alongside funding, Tobiko pointed it out that individual states cannot manage to comprehensively address climate change. International cooperation; international cooperativeinitiatives; shared responsibilities and solidarity, he said will remain vital components, if we are to combat climate change.

While presenting the Kenyan experience in climate change management, Tobiko disclosed that the local (Kenyan) economy is shedding more than 2% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) annually due to climate change.

Such economic losses, he said have driven the Kenya Government to put in place measures to ensure low carbon climate resilient development at all levels.

“These include establishment of a robust climate change Legal, Policy, Institutional and Implementation Frameworks,” he said, and added “These measures focus on mainstreaming of climate actions into all sectors including; promotion of Climate Smart Agriculture to enhance food and nutrition security; expansion in renewable and clean energy to improve energy security; sustainable management and conservation of forests to enhance our carbon sinks; climate-proofing infrastructure to build the resilience of our communities and ecosystems.”

The government’s commitment to climate change management and mitigation, he said is currently enjoying priority attention with President Uhuru Kenyatta chairing the National Climate Change Council.

While reiterating statements shared by the Africa Group of Negotiators at COP 24, Tobiko noted that the talks provide an opportunity to adopt an inclusive and comprehensive Programme of Work to operationalize the Paris Agreement.

“However, as we work towards this objective, we need to be careful not to re-negotiate the Convention or the Agreement. We must also maintain the principles and spirit of the Convention and the Agreement including the principle of intra-and-inter-generational equity and common but differentiated responsibilities. As well, we must give life to enduring spirit of Talanoa Dialogue,” added Tobiko


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