Countries including Kenya agreed during 2015 Climate Change Summit in Paris to stop climate change and cut emissions in a bid to keep the global average rise in temperatures below 2C.

Kenya like any other countries across the world is already feeling the effects Climate change.

According to UNEP Annual report 2014, the widespread poverty, recurrent droughts, floods, inequitable land distribution, overdependence on rain-fed agriculture all combines to increase people’s vulnerability to climate change in Kenya.

Floods and droughts have caused damage to property and loss of life, reduced business opportunities and increased the cost of transacting business as recently witnessed in most parts of the country.

In her Vision 2030 roadmap, Kenya government effectively outlined important measures the country need to implement in the process of mitigating and adapting to effects of climate change for a sustainable socio-economic and environmental development.

Kenya appears among first 55 countries that formally submitted their Intended Climate Action INDC plans to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) a head of Paris summit in December in 2015.

According to the UNFCCC online report based on submission of INDC plans, Kenya government through the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources spelt out its mitigation and adaptation measures to address climate change issues.

In the plan, Kenya government estimated that over USD 40 billion will be required for the country to mitigate and adapt climate change actions across sectors up to 2030.

“We have availed ourselves ready as a country in developing effective frameworks on which we can address climate change in terms of dealing with many threats it exposes to us as a nation, and I hope the action plan we are submitting to the UN will help us achieve our goals” Judy Wakhungu, the Kenyan Cabinet Secretary for Environment, water and Natural resources said in reference to the action plan.

Kenya like any other countries has admitted to be bearing the brunt of Climate Change impacts and social economic losses despite having low greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions capacity.

Kenya’s total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are relatively low, standing at 73 MtCO2eq in 2010, out of which 75% are from the land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF) and agriculture sectors, according to the Ministry of Environment and the country’s INDC plan.

In response to the challenges posed by Climate Change, Kenya has developed a National Climate Change Response Strategy (NCCRS 2010), National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP 2013), and a National Adaptation Plan (NAP) – under preparation which provides a vision for low carbon and climate resilient development pathway,

A National Climate Change Framework Policy and legislation are in their final stages of enactment to facilitate effective response to climate change, according to the Cabinet Secretary for Environment, water and Natural resources.

“The country is operationalizing these policies and plans through the implementation of climate change actions in various areas such as a forestation and reforestation, geothermal and other clean energy development, energy efficiency, climate smart agriculture, and drought management” says Prof Wakhungu

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has occasionally expressed his government’s commitments in ensuring there is a workable National Climate change policy framework that can address issues of a forestation and renewable energy development in the country among other things.

With this the country aims to achieve a low carbon, climate resilient development pathway in promotion and implementation of the following mitigation activities.

  • Expansion in geothermal, solar and wind energy production, other renewable and clean energy options.
  • Enhancement of Energy and resource efficiency across the different sectors.
  • Make progress towards achieving a tree cover of at least 10% of the land area of Kenya. Clean energy technologies to reduce overreliance on wood fuels.
  • Low carbon and efficient transportation systems.
  • Climate smart agriculture (CSA) in line with the National CSA Framework. Sustainable waste management systems.

With the new universal climate change agreement reached during the COP21 UN climate conference in Paris still awaiting implementation, Kenya seems to be in a better position to deal with many challenges facing her in the process of mitigating and adapting to climate change.

The Paris deal is the world’s first comprehensive climate agreement. It will only come into force legally after it is ratified by at least 55 countries, which between them produce 55% of global carbon emissions.

US and China have already ratified the deal and many other countries particularly the developed may soon follow suit.

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Originally published at The Coast

Charles Ogallo

Author Charles Ogallo

Charles Ogallo is a practicing professional journalist in Kenya with over 10years experience both in local and international media. He has interests in Climate Change, Environment, Science and ICT reporting/Journalism.

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