Climate experts raise concerns over increasing financing gaps

NetFund Resource Mobilisation Manager Chrispine Onyango, African Centre for Technology Studies CEO Dr Joel Onyango, AfDB Climate Change and Green Growth expert Winnie Mutai and Climate activist  Michael Khaduyu during the launch of the ACTS Pathway Academy, a resource training center for action on climate change empowerment. [Courtesy ACTS]

Climate experts have raised concerns over increased financing gaps.

The experts said currently the country is grappling with a 79 per cent climate change financing gap amidst increasing global warming effects that are causing havoc in developing countries.

Led by the African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS) Climate Change Programme lead Dr Joel Oyango, the experts said the situation is headed to a worse state if nothing is done to finance adaptation to climate change effects.

“Kenya is already feeling the effects of Climate change. The widespread poverty, recurrent droughts, and floods, coupled by inequitable land distribution, overdependence on rain-fed agriculture, and limited coping mechanisms all combine to increase people’s vulnerability to climate change,” said Onyango.

Onyango was speaking today during the launch of ACTS Pathways Academy, a resource training centre for action on climate change empowerment.

He said with few resource reserves, poor housing and depend on natural resources for living, many Kenyans have little security against intense climatic effects.

“The most affected sectors being agriculture - especially those depending on rain fed irrigation. It is important for the country to continue implementing strategies that contribute to mitigation and adaptation to the negative impacts of climate change in order to protect its citizens and economy,’ he added.

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Onyango said the virtual academy will provide access to borderless, flexible, informative training to foster skills, knowledge and collaborations on climate change.

According to him, the goal of the virtual academy is to enhance capacity on climate change matters in Africa including on climate change modeling for decision making, climate policy and leadership, climate change sustainable financing, to science communication for climate action.

“We intend to train over 5,000 experts in the first year and partner with four different universities in Africa in a bid to enhance capacity in the continent to contribute to climate action,” he said.

His sentiments were echoed by Africa  Development Bank Climate Change Expert Winnie Chepkemoi Mutai who said lack of understanding about the effects of climate change has also contributed to the huge climate change financing gap.

“The private sector can play a huge role in bridging the financing gap, however, many private sector actors do not understand the importance of climate financing. Such initiatives will help them see the benefits of increasing their investment in climate change,” she said.

On his part, Africa lead Activists for Climate Justice Programme Michael Khaduyu said the academy will go a long way in enhancing capacity among the youth in Africa who are the leaders of tomorrow.

“It is a fact that climate change has presented challenges globally, regionally and locally. With efforts being made to deal with these challenges, collaborative and inclusive efforts from different stakeholders is necessary to realise climate action goals,” Khaduyu noted.