PARIS, France, Nov 11 – President Uhuru Kenyatta has affirmed Kenya’s support to global efforts geared towards environmental conservation and the fight against climate change.
President Kenyatta said Kenya was keen on partnering with other countries in advocating for the use of green energy to check the challenges of climate change and variability.
“Climate change is no longer a myth, it is here with us and we cannot turn a blind eye to it. Green is definitely the way to go,” President Kenyatta said.
The President was speaking on Saturday at a meeting with Laurent Fabius, the Chairman of the Group of Experts on the Global Pact for the Environment, who sought Kenya’s support on the global impact of the 2015 Paris Climate Change Conference (COP21) initiatives for environmental protection.
Fabius, a veteran French politician and former President of COP21, said France views the initiative as a worldwide project that calls for all countries to join hands in creating environmental friendly policies.
“Kenya is keen on partnering in this initiative not just verbally but also in the commitment of resources needed to make the initiative a success,” President Kenyatta said.
President Kenyatta expressed optimism and hope that governments will continue crafting and implementing environmental friendly policies.
Such policies, the President said, should not only guarantee environmental health but also demonstrate commercial viability.
President Kenyatta informed Fabius that at the end of this month he will be launching the biggest wind power plant in Africa, a demonstration that it is possible to go green and still achieve Kenya’s ambitious development goals.
Lake Turkana Wind Power, in Loyangalani in Marsabit County, is the largest wind energy project on the continent with an output of 310MW of clean and reliable electricity. The Sh70 billion project comprises of 365 turbines and covers 160 square kilometres of land.
The President added that Kenya is also at the forefront in geothermal power generation, a move that has attracted partnerships from Rwanda and Djibouti among other interested countries in Africa.
President Kenyatta also mentioned the innovation by three young Kenyans who invented and designed a multi-purpose solar-powered vehicle to supply cheap energy to Kenya’s rural homes as well as ease transport.
Ignatius Maranga and Peter Mutai, graduates of electrical and electronics engineering from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology and Technical University of Mombasa respectively, and Samuel Ndung’u, an accounting student at Strathmore University, participated in and won the Valeo Innovation Challenge.
The tough global contest is organised Valeo and is aimed at encouraging science and engineering students to innovate and develop new solutions in vehicle electrification, autonomous cars and digital mobility, and attracts entries from universities across the world.
“It is definitely important to encourage the young men and women to take the green energy direction for a better tomorrow,” President Kenyatta said.
President Kenyatta is in France, at the invitation of French President Emmanuel Macron, to attend the Global Peace Forum which begins today.
The President will give a keynote address and participate in roundtable discussions.
The Paris Peace Forum, a new annual event is focusing on international cooperation as key to tackling global challenges and ensuring durable peace, and is bringing together over 70 Heads of State and Governments from across the world.
Fabius welcomed President Kenyatta’s support, saying it will go a long way in strengthening the strong relationship that exists between Kenya and France.
After the meeting with Fabius, President Kenyatta gave an interview to France 24 TV where spoke at length about Kenya and Africa’s trade with China, his administration’s Big 4 development agenda and, Kenya’s active role in the war against terrorism and violent extremism.
The President also reiterated that he is not interested in extending his term in office, saying that he will leave at the end of his constitutional second term.
On Kenya’s relationship with China, President Kenyatta said that his administration is taking robust measures towards bridging the existing trade imbalance by growing Kenya’s exports to the expansive Chinese market.
Later in the evening, President Kenyatta joined other visiting Heads of State and Government for a courtesy dinner hosted by President Macron.
The Paris Peace Forum is being held at a time when the world is celebrating 100 years since the end of the First World War, the Armistice centenary, and is being attended by world leaders among them President Donald Trump of the US, Prime Minister Theresa May of the UK, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada.