Kenya urges deal in Copenhagen

December 16, 2009 12:00 am

, COPENHAGEN, Kenya, Dec 16 – President Mwai Kibaki on Thursday challenged the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to live up to its noble principle of protecting the climate system for the benefit of the present and future generations.

Speaking when he addressed the high-level segment of the ongoing United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Copenhagen, Denmark, President Kibaki said delegates negotiating the future international climate regime must ensure that they do not lose sight of the key tenets of the Convention as they seek to come to an agreement on a post-Kyoto regime.

“At this conference, we are also guided by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.  This framework is very clear with regard to equity and responsibility of different actors,” President Kibaki noted.

The President called on developed countries to assist developing countries like Kenya , to access appropriate technologies at realistic cost to enable them effectively address Climate Change concerns. He stressed that industrialised countries should provide support to developing countries through capacity building programmes.

The President, at the same time, restated Kenya’s support for the strengthening of the United Nations Environment Program based in Nairobi.

“We stand ready to host a revamped UNEP that will have the mandate to help lead the global fight against environmental degradation,” the President said.

President Kibaki noted that only partnerships among developed and developing countries will guarantee the future of planet earth, saying they should work together towards a fair and equitable deal at the conference.

The Head of State cited the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change which states that ‘The Parties should protect the climate system for the benefit of present and future generations of humankind, on the basis of equity and in accordance with their common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities.

The President pointed out that the globally accepted principles of democracy and good governance that apply at national level should also apply at the international arena. Saying Africa collectively advocates for this position while the entire G-77 and China are in agreement, the President said the voice of the majority needs to be heard and to be respected.

On Kenya’s position regarding climate change issues, President Kibaki said, like that of the other African countries, the country is guided by the Bali Roadmap with its five pillars of adaptation, mitigation, technology transfer, capacity building and finance.

Noting that Kenya’s economy relies heavily on Climate vulnerable sectors such as Agriculture, Water, Energy, Transport and Tourism, the President said efforts to address climate change concerns have been stepped up including the formulation of a National Climate Change Response Strategy. He observed that the strategy details key measures and actions as well as a resource mobilization plan.

President Kibaki added that through relevant ministries, the Government has developed a programme that will guide an environmental investment plan, at an estimated cost of 2.2 billion dollars per year over a 20 year period.

As a result, the President said Kenya will, among other things, achieve a 10 percent forest cover by the year TWENTY THIRTY, a sharp rise from the current 2 percent. As part of this environmental investment plan, President Kibaki said Kenya also plans to shift to a low carbon emission development pathway, as its contribution to the fight against climate change.

“We are also committed to making further investments in renewable energy technologies such as wind and geothermal power production,” the Head of State pointed out.

Noting that the estimated cost for green energy production in Kenya is 25 billion dollars over the next 21 years, the President underscored the need for transfer of technologies, financing and capacity building.

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