BWIRE: Let us take the climate change agenda to counties

As Kenya prepares to join other countries to participate in the COP21 planned for Paris later this month, it’s important to relook at the country’s implementation of the green growth agenda.

A number of activities geared towards dealing with the country’s climate change adaptations will only make sense if the national green growth and green economy initiatives are domesticated and implemented to the later.

Kenya has developed a number of documents to guide it on responding to effects of climate change, including a National Climate Change Response Strategy and National Climate Change Action Plan, while the National Climate Change Framework Policy and legislation are in their final stages of enactment to facilitate effective response to the phenomenon.

In the national strategy, a green growth plan and commitment to a green economy are major players in the country’s response to effects of climate change.

The environment has been accorded the highest legal provision and prioritised in the Constitution, including being recognised in Kenya’s Medium Term Plan II, and the environment and natural resources management policies, among others.

Kenya has committed to reducing its carbon dioxide emission by 30 per cent by 2030 and encouraging people to use biogas.

Paris summit

However, as the country prepares for the Paris summit on climate change, much of the green growth agenda has remained a Nairobi affair, with very little information in the countryside.

As we tackle the issue of a green economy at the national level, there is need to target the grassroots. We need to establish structures at the county level to push the green growth agenda.

As we make policies at the national level we need to build the capacity of counties to deal with the issue of a green economy as a way of dealing with climate change.

As a country, we need to invest in technology transfer to local farmers, on green growth, not only by the private sector but also by county governments, including ensuring that they prioritise the agenda in their planning structures and allocation of resources.

In a recent national green growth conference hosted by Micro Enterprise Support Programme Trust (MESPT), it was observed that these measures are not fully understood at the grassroots despite massive investment.

The conference noted that the country has huge potential to realise the green economy ambition, especially through the public-private partnership framework.

The country has capacity to generate over 8,500MW of electricity from green sources alone and still have an unexploited potential of 5,990MW.

By 2014, geothermal constituted 31.92 per cent of total electricity generated, coming second to hydro. But by end of January 2015 green energy (excluding hydro) had recorded massive growth, geothermal recorded a 214pc growth while wind power recorded a 107pc growth.