, NEW YORK, US Sep 24 – President Uhuru Kenyatta has asked the developed world to take the lead in controlling climate change even as he called on developing countries to increase voluntary efforts to manage the environment.
The President said climate change was a common threat to the world and Kenya was vulnerable to the adverse weather effects associated with the phenomenon.
He said the developed world must take the lead in climate change under a principle of common but differentiated responsibility according to ability and contribution to emissions that lead to climate change.
The President was speaking at the opening of the Climate Summit 2014 at the United Nations headquarters that preceded the 69th UN General Assembly. The summit has been called to galvanise climate action all over the world.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, who opened the summit, asked leaders to make bold announcements and actions to reduce emissions, strengthen climate resilience and mobilize political will for a meaningful legal agreement in 2015.
President Kenyatta said Kenya was taking concrete steps to control climate change and the first of these measures increasing production and use of green energy.
“Kenya pledges voluntary measures to control climate change and we are currently concluding a climate change policy and law,” he told the gathering of Heads of State and Government at the UN headquarters.
He said the policy will include a guideline that ensures low carbon emission in the agriculture sector.
The President said the Government has policies that encourage the production of green energy from such sources as water, geothermal, wind and solar.
“We plan to add 5000MW of power generated from geothermal into our national grid and this will see reduction of carbon emissions,” said President Kenyatta.
The Head of State said the Government is working to restore Kenya’s forest cover to 10 percent.
He added that an integrated transport system is being developed that will support efficient use of energy and reduce overall carbon emissions.
President Kenyatta assured that Kenya will continue to be guided by the United Nations policies and guidelines in the management of the environment.
Kenya is home to the world environmental body, the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), based in Nairobi.
After his statement, President Kenya went on a tour of the UN headquarters. Officials of the Kenya Mission at the UN also took him to a park where the late Kenyan environmentalist and Nobel Peace laureate Wangari Maathai planted trees in 2005. The UN has erected a plaque in her memory.
Maathai, who was a UN Messenger of Peace, won the Nobel prize in 2004.