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Kenya needs Sh291b annually for climate

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 21 – About $3 billion (Sh291 billion) is needed to meet Kenya’s environmental needs on an annual basis, according to the Ministry of Environment and Mineral Resources.

With the effects of climate change continuing to plague the country through the recent drought, the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary (PS) Ali Mohamed said sourcing for more environmental funding is necessary to mitigate further negative impact on the economy.

“We are likely to lose up to three percent of our growth because of climate variability and that requires substantial financing to bridge that gap. Climate financing has been a very contentious matter in the global scene. It is one of the things that continues to sustain mistrust between developed and developing countries,” he said.

Despite several financial mechanisms in place to support climate related interventions, the PS, who was addressing a climate change finance forum on Wednesday, said Africa still experiences low access to these funds.

Transparency has been a major issue on the part of the donors, he further argued, with most financing determined at a global level; leaving recipients blind to the pertinent parts of the funding process.

“There are a number of conditionalities set by funding agencies because they probably don’t have that fund in the first place and want to buy time. By the time you meet those conditionalities a year or two has already gone by,” he said.

However, beyond mobilising funding, African Development Bank Kenya Resident Representative Jeremiah Mutonga, said simplifying existing climate funds will help to improve access to financing.

“There are a number of funds with different criteria and that increases transaction costs. With regard to that on the government and partner side it makes it a bit more challenging to plan your budget cycles and to integrate the expected funding into your budget,” he explained.

According to the IPCC report of 2007, Africa is expected to experience approximately one and a half times as much warming as the global average with devastating impact on agriculture.

From the domestic end the government has made efforts to boost its environmental portfolio with plans to increase Kenya’s forest cover, reduce emissions and promote water harvesting.

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“Vision 2030 says 7.6 billion trees need to be grown by 2030. Our target is to achieve doubling of our energy generation by 2017 from the current capacity of 1190 megawatts to 3000 megawatts, to minimise reliance on thermal generation which is affecting climate change,” PS Mohamed highlighted.

This year alone the Kenyan government borrowed $1.3 billion, from development partners, to improve production and transmission in the energy sector.

The three-day Climate Change Finance and Development Effectiveness in Africa forum will tackle issues surrounding Africa’s vulnerability to climate change, links between climate change and development and access to climate change financing among others.

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