By Theophilus Ikpome
Ahead of this year’s 21st Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Paris, Stakeholders from Kenyan Ministry of Environment, Water and Natural Resources (MEWNR), Civil society and the private sector have commenced deliberations with a view to unifying actions and approach to the COP21 in Paris at the end of the year.
Among the issues discussed in this mobilization were the Post-Lima context and implications for Africa, climate finance, adaptation and how African countries can plan and submit their INDCS.
At the National Dialogue on the Road to Paris and the Post 2015 Development Agenda which took place at the Panafric Hotel, Nairobi, Dr Charles Mutai from MEWNR highlighted the global context of Climate Finance and the pledges to the Green Climate Fund. Dr Mutai also announced the government’s establishment of two-year work programme to advance gender balance and promote gender sensitivity in climate policy.
A recurring theme at the dialogue was the need to balance climate finance to account for adaptation action as well as mitigation. Fatuma Hussein from the Kenya Climate Change Secretariat stressed the importance of a united voice on climate change in the build-up to COP21. Hussein also raised the status of Africa as integral within the G77, particularly with the General President being Ugandan.
With many countries currently in the process of submitting their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions, members of the meeting agreed that Kenya would be judged on the basis of its INDC submission. “If we’re not well coordinated there’s a risk that things might get missed along the way – unless we speak with one voice it’ll be a bumpy road to Paris,”Mithika Mwenda warned.
Emphasising the need for the Kenyan ministry to look beyond Paris, Sam Ogallah of the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) called for an effective “Plan B as part of preparations to ensure Africa gets a fair deal.” We are seizing every space to ensure the civil society voices representing poor and vulnerable are being heard not just nationally but internationally,” Ogallah said.
Speaking on issues of women and youth engagement, Julius Karanja of the Kenya Climate Youth Network said “young people are interested in creating green jobs.” “Calls for proposals should facilitate youth access to finance practical projects on the ground,” Karanja added.
The stakeholder meeting which coincided with a second earthquake hitting Nepal was organised by the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance and the Kenya Climate Change Working Group.