Kenya, UK launch project to combat climate change

Environment and Forestry PS Chris Kiptoo with British Deputy High Commissioner Julius Court at Karura Forest yesterday. [Edward Kiplimo, Standard]

Kenya and the UK yesterday initiated a progamme to conserve the environment and counter the effects of climate change.

The programme, launched at Karura Forest, is a major boost to efforts by Kenyan campaigners to conserve the environment.

The project, dubbed A year of climate action in Kenya, marks the start of implementation of a strategic partnership against climate change launched by President Uhuru Kenyatta and UK's Prime Minister Boris Johnson early this year.

During the function UK's Deputy High Commissioner Julius Court announced a Sh1.2 billion funding for the project, whose initiatives include the UK PACT Green Recovery Challenge Fund for projects meant to help countries accelerate their low-carbon transition. 

It also includes combating plastic waste and water pollution in Kenya. The programme will also support Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to recycle Personal Protective Equipment.

“We are increasing our support to countries such as Kenya to respond to climate change. In fact, we are doubling our international climate finance commitment to Sh1.7 trillion over the next five years,” said Mr Court, who represented High Commissioner Jane Marriot.

Environment Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko noted that the programme was a confirmation of commitment by the British government to strengthen its collaboration with Kenya to confront climate change.

“Just like Covid-19, greenhouse gases respect no boundaries and both pose existential threat to our survival. According to a report on global warming by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a more pronounced warming is expected in Africa at 1.5 degrees and will intensify at 2 degrees, exceeding the global warming over other continents. The impact to Africa could lead to extinction of species, increased frequency of droughts and floods with far reaching consequences communities, ecosystems and infrastructure,” Tobiko said in speech read on his behalf by his PS Chris Kiptoo.

Wanjira Maathai, daughter of the late Prof Wangari Maathai, an environmentalist and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, said: "The younger generation will judge us harshly if we don't conserve the environment. We look to nature for solutions that also create economic opportunities. Poverty reduction cannot be driven by economic growth alone. Every single sector contributes, and nature is definitely one of those.”

Central Bank of Kenya Governor Patrick Njoroge said the financial sector will partner with UK and Kenya to, among other things, enhance climate risk assessment efforts by the institutions. 

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