, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 5 – Prime Minister Raila Odinga has launched the National Climate Change Response Strategy which outlines the evidence and impact of climate change in Kenya particularly on key socio-economic sectors and physical infrastructure.
The PM said that the government was seriously addressing the issue of climate change especially after a new report revealed that the country can expect to loose up to 3 percent GDP per year by 2030 if remedial measures are not urgently taken.
The report by the Stockholm Environment Institute says that this is a cause of concern considering Kenya requires a 10 percent growth rate to achieve the country\’s economic blueprint Vision 2030.
Danish ambassador, Mr Bo Jensen presented the report on Economics of Climate change in Kenya which is a result of 10 months of detailed research undertaken by consultants from the institute with input from other international research institutions in close co-operation with the government of Kenya.
"The results of the report mean that Kenya is now able to put a cost to the impact of climate change," said Mr Jensen.
“The country has experienced serious droughts in the last three to four years, which have compromised our hydro- power generation, food security and led to human and livestock deaths. In response to these devastating impacts of climate change, the government is today launching its climate change response strategy,’’ said the PM.
The Prime Minister also received the National Position Paper from the Minister for Environment, John Michuki. The paper will be presented by the government in Copenhagen during global summit on climate change that kicks off next week.
He said the Kenyan delegation to Copenhagen will kick-off a resource mobilisation campaign by engaging with development partners and others who are committed to engaging with the country in this journey.
The Prime Minister pointed out that a task force in his office was looking into opportunities of driving the economy through green energy by year 2020.He added that this calls for more resources.
Mr Odinga said that Kenya was ready for the Copenhagen conference.
“We are going to the meeting with open arms, to give and take so that something positive can come out of this summit," said the Prime Minister, adding, "because matters of the environment are critical".
"The government is acutely aware of the fact that existing climate variability has significant costs in Kenya and that future climate change will have additional and potentially larger costs,’’ he said.
The Prime Minister noted the need to take advantage of the situation presented by the climate change and move towards a low carbon growth path.
The Danish Ambassador said that climate change will have a negative impact with increasing water shortage for urban and irrigation consumption, substantial loss in hydro power with an estimate annual costs of US$66 million leading up to 2050.
“This loss across the economic sector means that Kenya must take action now if she hopes to be transformed into a newly industrialized middle income country providing high quality of life to her citizens.’’
Mr Jensen also lauded the Prime Minister\’s commitment and firm resolve taken in saving Kenya\’s water towers.