Face Up to Climate Change Challenges

Aug 3rd, 2014 | By | Category: Development and Climate Change, News, UNFCCC

Climate change is the most serious global challenge of our time.” So states the Kenya National Climate Change Action Plan. Kenya has to face climate change head-on, in a bi-partisan manner and with relentless zeal. Although our nation has in the recent past been beset by insecurity, it has various climate-change induced problems lurking on the horizon.

When Environment PS Richard Lesiyampe warned in a May climate forum in Mombasa that parts of the coastal city were at risk of sinking due to the risks of climate change, many dismissed it as alarmist. However, scientific research has proven that global sea levels are currently rising at approximately 1.25 inches per decade. Climate change is indeed so serious that as a country, we can’t afford to play games or politics with it. Because political machinations and public misinformation often abound where money is involved, we must not undermine imperative climate action with climate money stampedes. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change has diverse funding mechanisms that include the Adaptation Fund, Special Climate Change Fund and Green Fund. Other players like the Africa Development Bank also dispense climate funds to the public, private and civil society sectors. These funds are, however, not ‘free’ money and must be paid back in cash or kind. This should compel us to treat them with the meticulous accountability that they deserve. But even more importantly, the focus and debate should be on how the funds can contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation.

When we focus on who should control climate funds as opposed to how we should use those funds in the best possible way, we are missing the point. Should we use climate funds to set up factories that will make clean cook stoves for all Kenyans who use firewood? Or should we instead drastically strengthen public university Research and Development towards clean innovations? Such is the debate that should fill our airwaves. Kenya’s National Climate Change Action Plan together with the draft Climate Change Policy and Bill have already spelt out clear approaches that the country should take in tackling climate change head-on. Parliament must prioritise action on the Bill as the Executive, businesses and communities across the country implement the climate change action plan. Because the effects of climate change and the fight against it are cross-cutting, the Presidency must be the ultimate climate warrior in the country. Our line ministry has all it takes to guide fittingly. The presidential bully pulpit must be duly employed in entrenching Kenya as a clean energy powerhouse and also in ensuring that vulnerability to climate change is drastically reduced.



Started in year 2010, ‘Climate Himalaya’ initiative has been working on Mountains and Climate linked issues in the Himalayan region of South Asia. In the last five years this knowledge sharing portal has become one of the important references for the governments, research institutions, civil society groups and international agencies, those have work and interest in the Himalayas. The Climate Himalaya team innovates on knowledge sharing, capacity building and climatic adaptation aspects in its focus countries like Bhutan, India, Nepal and Pakistan. Climate Himalaya’s thematic areas of work are mountain ecosystem, water, forest and livelihood. Read>>

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