NAIROBI, Kenya Oct 14 – Environment and Forestry Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko has urged world powers to put aside their geo-political differences and work together in tackling climate change.
This appeal comes as the word heads to the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties, (Cop26) in Glasgow, UK on October 31.
The Cop26 summit brings together different members of the United Nations (UN) to discuss the Paris agreement, a global framework to work together in reducing emissions and mitigating global warming.
“If Russia, USA, China have their own issues, keep them out of this. It is not political; it is a matter of life and death,” said Tobiko. on Thursday when he attended a climate action breakfast forum in Nairobi. The forum organised by Nation Media Group was convened up to discuss climate change around the globe.
The Environment CS urged the developed countries to lead by example and honour their pledge of contributing Sh100 billion dollars annually to the course of climate change and settle their accumulated debt.
He further reminded every signatory in the Paris agreement of their responsibility to bring global industrial emissions down.
Tobiko urged leaders seeking various political positions in Kenya to consider the issue of climate change in their manifestos ahead of 2022 general elections.
“If there is one thing that unites us, it is Climate change. Let us make it a campaign issue, so that whoever runs must come up to us with a clear manifesto,” he said.
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative Walid Baadawi who also spoke at the event, praised the Kenyan leadership for its role in addressing climate change
“Kenya has sustainability enshrined and embedded in its constitution. Kenya hosts and it is the only country in the global South to host two global headquarters of the UN, and that says a lot also about Kenya’s custodianship and leadership at the international stage on issues of sustainable development,” Baadawi said.
He said that President Uhuru Kenyatta, while speaking at the UN Security Council in New York, underscored how climate security is part of Kenya’s global agenda in the Security Council over its period of participation as a non-permanent member
“I think Kenya stands out as a country committed to climate change,” he added.
He lauded Kenyans for their innovations that are playing a critical role towards changing the trajectory of global warming singling out the e-mobility and electric boda-bodas, and young people who have converted waste to energy improving livelihoods in the process.
Baadawi urged Kenyans to take advantage of the opportunities brought by climate change.
The UNDP Representative further stated that the organization had put in place measures to ensure the success of Cop26 through a programme dubbed “The Climate Promise”- making it the world’s largest offer of support for the enhancement of 120 countries’ climate pledges.
Vihiga Governor Wilberforce Otichillo urged world leaders to listen to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in addressing climate change issues and stressed on the risks of climate change.
Otichillo further stressed the need to mainstream the effects of climate change in the 47 Kenyan county governments.
He lauded the Kenyan governments for implementing policies in dealing with climate change
“I want to congratulate the relevant ministries for the enactment of various policies and legal frameworks. The important thing now is how we implement those policies,” he said.