“Integrating climate change into our development plans will ensure that global warming does not pose the biggest threat in our livelihoods” John Kioli Executive Director at the Green Africa Foundation stated in an interview
We have all seen the devastating effects of climate change that have rendered many people homeless, children orphans and businesses ruined because of the extreme weather conditions. When policies are made and implemented, such disasters can be reduced if not avoided altogether.
Kioli says that formulating policies is not enough, these policies should be rolled out and made sure to work in the areas that they have been allocated. He commends the policy on the ban of single use plastic bags. This, he says, is a step in the right direction as Kenya needs to be taking serious steps to save our environment for future generations. This is an example of a policy being formulated, rolled out and then implemented without any drawbacks. The policy has enabled industry players to come up with alternate ways of packaging products that are not easily perishable. This has led to cleaner roads, unclogged drainages and to some extent a little less garbage in our homes.
Addressing sustainable development goals should start with fixing the short term issues like transport, which is the biggest industry that is guilty when it comes to pollution. Kioli observes that long distance Lorries carrying heavy cargo should use the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) System just to lessen the burden on the roads. These trailers tend to carry heavy loads that destroy the roads while some use a lot of fuel that is emitted into the air as they make their slow, long journey to deliver goods.
“The SGR should be electrified to make transporting goods faster and more efficient. It will not only mean cleaner air but also faster movement of goods that will in the end make the economy benefit due to constant and fast supply of goods with less pollution” Kioli added
Policies that ensure that we have an efficient mass transport system will go a long way in reducing global warming. This is because with mass transport, there will be fewer vehicles emitting harmful smoke into the air. With mass transport of goods and services, the economy can pay more attention in ensuring that the environment is the number one focus in order to combat climate change.
The government should implement or devise policies that encourage the use of non-motorized vehicles. This, Kioli says will ensure that such means of transport like bicycles become a popular means of transport due to their zero remittance of dangerous fuel in the air. And not only that, but it will lead to healthier lifestyles as more people ride bicycles that require endurance.
Bicycle sign on the street. It’s much healthier and cleaner to ride to work (goldengatepark.com)
Other policies that can be formulated are those that directly touch on energy.
“Switching to biogas instead of firewood is not only good for the environment but health wise as well. Not using firewood will mean less trees will be cut down and people will not suffer from the inhalation that comes with burning firewood while cooking. Exploring solar energy will also be beneficial as it relies on natural light that is readily available and cheaper as well, “Kioli noted
Developmental policies are an absolute necessity if the country is to curb climate change leading to global warming. Policies especially those that touch on the environment are vital in that even when the policy makers are long gone, future generations will be implementing the policies giving the earth a chance at survival.