Kenya urges more investment to fight climate change


Photo: VCG

NAIROBI, Oct. 29 (Xinhua) -- Kenya's First Lady Margaret Kenyatta has called for increased investment in initiatives geared towards combating climate change.

Margaret urged all stakeholders including the private sector to work together in ensuring that technological innovations that are central to climate change resilience are affordable and reach the most vulnerable communities.

"Technological innovations are indeed central to climate change resilience. There are, however, some innovations and technological solutions that are out of reach of the intended beneficiaries who continue to bear the brunt of adverse weather conditions," she said in a statement issued on Tuesday.

The First Lady was speaking on Monday evening when she presided over the launch of the Kenya Climate Innovation Center (KCIC) Strategic Plan for the period 2020 to 2025.

Margaret said the government is taking bold policy, practice and innovation measures to protect the country against the risks and negative impacts of climate change.

"Kenya is vulnerable to climate change and that calls for us to think differently, to act differently and with urgency because climate-related disasters, particularly extreme droughts and floods, are becoming more frequent," she said.

The First Lady warned that the climate change problem will get worse if more is not done to address the situation.

KCIC is an organization funded by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs to provide incubation, financing and awareness that empowers the private sector to deliver innovative climate change solutions.

Margaret said climate change is a global problem that should no longer be seen as an inconvenient truth.

"No longer can we continue to talk, we need more action and more investment to protect our environment. We all need to do so much more in our own capacities -- in our homes, in our communities -- to turn around the climate change agenda," she said.

She expressed the need for Kenyans to embrace the national target and plant more trees to achieve the 10 percent forest cover by 2022 and urged public and private entities to create green jobs and increase access to clean energy.

According to Margaret, some of the measures taken by the government against climate change are contained in various policy and legal documents including Vision 2030, the Climate Change Act and Action Plans as well as the Green Economy Strategy and Implementation Plan.

She commended KCIC for their support to SMEs and communities in the country, especially in access to clean and sustainable water supply, and clean energy through the use of solar and biogas as alternatives to biomass energy.

Simon Mordue, European Union (EU) Ambassador to Kenya announced a 5 billion shillings (50 million U.S. dollars) support program to KCIC that will boost eight innovation hubs in different counties.

The envoy said through the new program, his organization will provide grants to 2,400 businesses that will lead to the creation of 17,000 jobs.

Danish Ambassador to Kenya Mette Knudsen said the 2020 to 2025 strategic plan will provide direction and guidance on how KCIC will continue to support innovators, startups as well as small and medium enterprises in Kenya.

"It is our hope that these businesses will become sustainable and ensure the creation of decent jobs, and that Kenyans will have access to clean, affordable and sufficient water and energy," Knudsen said.