WOTE, Kenya, Nov 24 – The National Treasury says Kenya is on course to securing locally-led climate change interventions following the formulation of relevant laws and enforcement units by at least thirty-two county governments.
In a speech delivered on his behalf at the 7th Devolution Conference in Makueni on Wednesday, Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani said the counties had developed structures to respond to climate change through the support of a World Bank-funded Financing Locally–Led Climate Action (FLLoCA) program.
“Under FLLoCA over 32 counties have enacted climate change laws, established climate change funds, dedicated a county executive committee member in charge of climate change and established climate finance and change units and dedicated an average of 2 per cent of their development budget,” Albert Mwenda, Acting Director General of Budget in the National Treasury’s Directorate of Fiscal and Economic Affairs, said.
Yatani listed over ten interventions undertaken by the National Treasury including development of regulations for the establishment of National Climate Change Fund.
He lauded the counties of Makueni, Garissa, Isiolo and Kitui for the successful established of county climate change funds to steers climate action at the grassroot.
Yatani’s remarks followed an appeal by the Devolution Donor Working Group for locally-led interventions to support adaptation to climate change and cushion rural communities from adverse effects.
The Chairperson of the working group, Denmark’s envoy to Kenya Amb Ole Thonke, said county governments must take a leading role in formulating adaptive measures even as the national government joins global efforts to mitigate climate change.
“For me if we talk about climate mitigation, that needs a global solution but climate adaptation needs local solutions. That is where the counties come into this picture,” Amb Thonke said while delivering his remarks at the 7th Devolution Conference in Makueni.
He noted that several counties were already experiencing the impact of climate change particularly prolonged drought as a result of failed rains.
“It is in counties where the impact of climate change is felt; citizens suffer either because there’s no water for the animals or their crops will not grow because there’s too little rain,” the Danish diplomat noted.
Thonke pledged to rally donor support to enhance response to climate change at the county level.
“The message from us is that we as development partners we’re right there behind you. Climate change is a huge priority for all of us and we will direct more funding in the future towards climate change,” Amb Thonke stated.
He singled out the World Bank-funded climate action – FLLoCA – which was launched at after the opening ceremony graced virtually by President Uhuru Kenyatta among key interventions by international partners.
Under the FLLoCA program, the World Bank, Denmark and Sweden, are leading efforts to scale-up climate action at the grassroot level through a devolved climate finance model which supports joint partnerships between government and citizens to develop and implement solutions geared towards addressing climate change.
The five-year program approved by the World Bank on October 26, has since attracted commitments totalling USD150 million.
The 7th Devolution Conference themed ‘Multi-Level Governance for Climate Action: Sub-National Mobilization in Unlocking the Full Potential of Climate Action during and after Pandemics,’ will seek to build consensus on county-led climate action.
Several panel discussions were slated on Wednesday where panelists were expected to discuss climate change and pandemics at the sub-national level with the objective of seeking lasting solutions to human security challenges triggered by climate crises.
Five sector breakout sessions will also be held on thematic areas of sustainable urbanization, food systems, sustainable natural resources management, the impact of climate change on health in counties, and prevention and management of climate change instigated conflicts.