Kenya’s preparedness in the upcoming climate talks in doubt

An NGO says the state has not operationalised its climate change council despite a looming deadline

In Summary
  • The lobby says politics has overtaken critical matters that will affect discussions.
  • The country is part of the 2016 Paris Agreement aimed at tackling climate change.
Environment CS Keriako Tobiko Image: FILE
Environment CS Keriako Tobiko Image: FILE

Kenya is ill-prepared for the upcoming climate talks, an NGO has said.

Conservation Alliance of Kenya on Monday questioned why the government has not operationalised the climate change council yet its term is coming to an end.

“It is worrying as funds mobilised may not be utilised,” Steve Itela, the CAK chief executive said.

CAK is a member-driven non-profit umbrella organisation in Kenya with shared interests to advance the preservation, protection and management of wildlife and its habitat.

The organisation collaborates with partners to promote participation in policymaking and the implementation of proactive solutions to threats to natural resources.

It is also concerned about the management of the resources at all levels of governance. 

Itela said politics has taken over matters of climate change.

The CAK boss proposed to the government to consider having national parks and water catchment areas as part of carbon trading schemes.

Elizabeth Wanja from the Kenya Climate Change Working Group however said that the government has been engaging them.

Wanja said they have developed joint proposals on gender, capacity-building, technology, transparency, mitigation and adaptation.

She said the lack of operationalisation of the climate change council puts the country in limbo.

The council is to ensure climate change mitigation is mainstreamed at the national and county levels.

It also advises national and county governments on legislation, policy and other measures for climate-change response.

Kenya’s economy is largely dependent on climate-sensitive sectors, such as tourism and rain-fed agriculture, both susceptible to climate change and extreme weather.

The 26th edition of the Conference of Parties (CoP26) is due to take place in Glasgow from October 31 to November 12.

It is set to bring parties together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

The CoP26 has a particular urgency, as the commitments laid out in Paris did not come close to limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees celsius, and the window for achieving this is closing.

Kenya ratified the 2016 Paris Agreement as part of the efforts aimed at tackling climate change.

The country submitted the nationally determined contributions detailing how the country intends to curb emissions in December last year. 

Kenya seeks to reduce emissions by 32 per cent by 2030.

Agriculture, energy, manufacturing, transport, waste and forestry are some of the sectors the government intends to use to curb emissions.

Kenya needs $62 billion (Sh6.710 trillion) to mitigate and adapt to the impact of climate change between 2020 and 2030.

The country seeks to mobilise 13 per cent of the resources needed from domestic sources while 87 per cent will come from international sources.