The 7th Annual Devolution Conference has kicked off in Wote town at Makueni Boys High school in Makueni County.
President Uhuru Kenyatta opened the ceremony virtually from South Africa where he is on official duties.
The event will run for three days and will see over 3000 delegates both local and international converge to discuss key matters affecting the country, a major one being climate change. The conference’s main theme is Multi – level governance for climate action and a sub – theme of Sub – national mobilization in unlocking the full potential of climate action during and after pandemics.
Climate change is today considered one of the biggest threats to humanity both locally and globally. With the unending increase in temperatures, floods and famine, the impact is already significant in the economic pattern. Agricultural production, water availability, health status have all been affected by increased temperatures and changes in annual and seasonal rainfall.
According to the Kenyan government about 2.5 million people in 23 counties are facing famine because of drought. Extreme flood and drought events are also estimated to reduce long-term growth in Kenya by about 2.4% of GDP per annum. It is high time the government, public and private sector and the country at large come together to fight climate change to secure a sustainable future.
Recently, Kenya Climate Innovation Center (KCIC)who are also exhibiting in the devolution conference led over 50 corporate leaders in making climate change declarations and commitments during the inaugural Corporate Commitment to Climate Change (4C-K) Conference.
The event saw the corporate leaders come together to formulate mitigation and adaptation measures which will play a key role in countering the menace as far as climate change is concerned. Also during the 4C-K conference a 10 point charter was arrived at and agreed upon as a road map that the private sector will follow towards climate change mitigation and adaptation in the country.
In his opening speech during the devolution conference, President Uhuru Kenyatta who is also the chairman of the National Climate Change Council affirmed his commitment to remain on the forefront to ensure the desire of achieving a low carbon, resilient and prosperous future is reached.
“We have a strong policy to work together to adopt and adapt to climate change and reduce the threats that it currently poses to our nation”, he said.
The president also outlined a comprehensive set of policies, rules and procedures the government has adopted to address climate change. These include:
- Climate Change Act 2016
- National Drought Management Authority Act 2016
- National Climate Change Framework Policy of 2018
- National Climate Finance Policy of 2018
- National Climate Change Action Plan 2018 – 2022
- National Adaptation Plan 2015 – 2030
- The Green Economy Strategy Implementation Plan 2016 – 2030
The President also stated that to implement these policies the government needs sustainable and substantial financial resources. “Kenya has committed to reduce her greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 32% by 2030 which will cost in excess of 62 Billion dollars. Out of these figures, Kenya will seek to mobilize 13% from domestic sources and expect to find the balance of 87% from external sources.” He affirmed.
Kenya is also hopeful that COP26 which just ended in Glasgow will deliver on funding commitments. The country also seeks to attract green investments like electric boda bodas which were launched recently.
The conference seeks to put the impact of climate change into perspective and formulate plans to fight the menace. This is the approach needed to tackle climate change through developing more vigorous strategies.
Climate change is not a future problem but a current threat that should be faced in real time.
From COP26 in Glasgow, to the KCIC led 4C-K Conference to now the Devolution Conference, Climate change has taken the center stage of discussions and humanity remains hopeful for a permanent solution.
A credited version of this article was first published on KBC Digital