EU’s action on global climate agenda in Kenya

It is now 10 months since 195 countries gathered in Paris to negotiate a new global climate agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The result – the first-ever universal, legally binding global climate deal – sets out a global action plan to put the world on track to avoid dangerous climate change.

The EU and Kenya have already been working together for many years to tackle climate change and to shape the future of climate policies. Programmes supported by the EU and its member states have contributed to enhancing the resilience to climate change of rural communities, especially in arid and semi-arid areas.

In the Western region, Cherengany and Mount Elgon, the EU has also supported Kenya in reducing its emissions and contributing to the mitigation of climate change.

Ongoing support includes the conservation of water towers and the protection of wildlife in Kenya as well as climate smart agriculture, renewable energy and climate-proofing of infrastructure, which furthermore contribute to mitigating the adverse impacts of global warming for ecosystems more broadly. Additionally, the EU Member States have been providing bilateral support to Kenya for climate change mitigation and adaptation projects. As we celebrate 40 years of cooperation with Kenya, we have re-energized our political dialogue and strengthened our cooperation with Kenya’s Environment Ministry through the leadership of Cabinet Secretary Prof Judi Wakhungu.

There is no room for complacency after the success of the Paris Conference; for the vision of a global low emissions future to materialise, we need to focus our attention on further areas of action.

This year we have already seen encouraging signs that our partners around the world are keen to maintain the unprecedented political momentum in support of climate action.

More than 180 countries have signed the Paris Agreement and 26 have completed their domestic ratification procedures and become Parties to the Agreement. We congratulate Kenya on the leadership it has shown by championing ambitious climate policies in the run-up to Paris and by spearheading the implementation process, including through its impressive progress in developing renewable energy sources.

Through its Climate Change Act, the active pursuit of the Climate Finance Bill and the establishment of Presidential Climate Change Council, Kenya has demonstrated its commitment to translate swiftly its intended nationally determined contribution into concrete actions. We welcome Kenya’s national emissions goal of a 30 percent reduction by 2030, and we stand ready to support it.

Ratification is an important step towards implementation of the Paris Agreement but ratifying the agreement on its own will not deliver results. Countries need to take other steps to fulfil the commitments made in Paris, starting with the policy and legislative frameworks required to develop robust national climate plans and international approaches.

The EU and its Member States are taking concrete implementation very seriously. We are moving forward with our ambitious domestic climate policies, with new proposals that will help us meet our emissions reduction target of at least 40% by 2030 and further drive the transition to a low-carbon economy. We hear and understand concerns that taking action against climate change can affect economic growth.

But we have found that the opposite is true: our emissions have decreased by 23% since 1990, while GDP has grown by 46% in the same period. During these years we have created new jobs, businesses, technologies and competitive advantages that prepare us better for the new climate compatible economy. The EU has more than two decades of experience in developing and implementing ambitious climate policy, but we know that many of our partners are doing so for the first time.

We stand ready to share our experience and lessons learned for the benefit of others – in fact we already have extensive climate policy co-operation with some of our key partners.
In just a few months, countries will gather in Marrakech to start to add the technical detail to the breakthrough political agreement in Paris.

Building capacity to act, addressing loss and damage associated with climate change and setting out a roadmap to reach climate finance targets are just some of the issues on the table.
Paris was a defining moment in the safeguarding of the planet for future generations.

We must maintain that momentum in the months and years ahead, because the prize is worth it: lower emissions, greater energy security and energy efficiency, and innovation-driven development.