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Kenya supports Paris draft to reduce carbon emission

Health & Science

Kenya supports option three of article two of the Paris Draft text released on Wednesday evening. Kenyan negotiators are part of a team that has come up with a draft text currently under review at the 21st Conference of Parties happening in Paris.

Environment Ministry Cabinet Secretary Prof Judi Wakhungu said Kenya stands with option three of the draft text that was released on Wednesday evening in Paris, France.

The document currently under review is intended to be used as an agreement by over 190 Party States with an aim of cutting on emissions to reduce global warming.

Kenya and other African states are in support that global average temperatures should not go above 1.5 degrees from the current one.

The second option of the clause talks about below two degrees above pre-industrial and the need to scale up efforts to limit temperature increase to below 1.5 degree levels, while the first one talks about limiting the temperatures at below two degrees.

Another contentious issue is that the draft text that has seven articles has contentious clauses that if passed will leave a lot of question marks and may compromise the fight of global warming. According to Kenya's Edward Wabwoto who is part of the negotiation team, the language needs to be stronger and should not talk of 'shall' yet it has no obligations.

"The draft talks about the word 'shall 'but you find it is followed by very weak provisions. We are hoping that these corrections are going to be made in the final draft, "he said.

Kenya National Commission on Human Rights Commissioner Winnie Lichuma said gender equality has also been lost from the Article 2(2) which states that the agreement will be implemented on the basis of equity with the basis of respect for human rights.

But as the climate deal in Paris enters its final phase, the African Group of negotiators has been blamed for no longer pushing for human rights and financial issues.

According to Climate Development Network Coordinator Marion Richard, there is a scuffle as to which countries are referred to as the most vulnerable between Africa, small Island states and Latin America.

"Vulnerable countries have been trapped by richer countries. If you fight that Africa is stated as very vulnerable yet you do not get any finance then there is no benefit.

She said much as majority want minimum temperatures of below 1.5 degrees, many countries are not saying how they will reach 1.5 degrees and not setting deadlines of when the de-carbonization should have taken place.

The Intended National Development Contributions (INDCS) that were given by each country are not enough to take us to 1.5 degrees. Currently they are taking us to three degrees. The INDCs should be reviewed before 2020,"she said.

Richard said African delegation should push for the review, yet they are not doing so since they too, will be forced to make new commitments and they may not have the capacity to fulfil.

"African countries are very vulnerable in this. But we were disappointed to realize that they were not there yesterday (Wednesday) to represent their people. They did not take the floor except South Africa who talked about the G77 and China, and Nigeria who talked about West Africa group. Where are our leaders, where are our ministers? "she asked.

She said African leaders in Paris need to realize that they hold the future of their countries in their hand. "Financial announcements made at the beginning of COP on renewable energy and adaptation are certainly very encouraging, but they should not replace the need in the text of additional and predictable financial commitments, with a specific target on adaptation before for 2020 and beyond 2020. Without regular cycles to review these funding upwards, financial commitments remain on the goodwill of States and will really be very low, "she said.

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