Kenya sets up climate response strategy

11:37, December 06, 2009      

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The Kenyan government has launched the National Climate Change Response Strategy which outlines the evidence and impact of climate change in Kenya particularly on key socio-economic sectors and physical infrastructure.

Prime Minister Raila Odinga said during the launch late Friday that the government was seriously addressing the issue of climate change especially after a new report revealed that the country can expect to loose up to 3 percent GDP per year by 2030 if remedial measures are not urgently taken.

Odinga said the country has experienced serious droughts in the last three to four years, which have compromised our hydro- power generation, food security and led to human and livestock deaths.

"In response to these devastating impacts of climate change, the government is today launching its climate change response strategy," he told journalists in Nairobi.

Early this week, Kenya called on the South-South member countries to push for a common and favorable agenda during the forthcoming Copenhagen conference on climate change.

Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka said though South-South member states are not major contributors to climatic change phenomenon, they suffer most from its effects, hence the need for a unanimous drive to push for measures that would reverse the trend.

"South-South member states should therefore go to Copenhagen as a united and formidable force to make its voice heard on the international platform," Musyoka said on Thursday when he officially closed of a High-Level UN Conference on South-South Cooperation in Nairobi.

The prime minister also received the National Position Paper from the Minister for Environment, John Michuki which will be presented by the government in Copenhagen during global summit on climate change that kicks off next week.

He said the Kenyan delegation to Copenhagen will kick-off a resource mobilization campaign by engaging with development partners and others who are committed to engaging with the country in this journey.

Odinga pointed out that a task force in his office was looking into opportunities of driving the economy through green energy by year 2020.He added that this calls for more resources.

Odinga said that Kenya was ready for the Copenhagen conference." We are going to the meeting with open arms, to give and take so that something positive can come out of this summit," he said, adding, "because matters of the environment are critical."

"The government is acutely aware of the fact that existing climate variability has significant costs in Kenya and that future climate change will have additional and potentially larger costs," he said.

The premier noted the need to take advantage of the situation presented by the climate change and move towards a low carbon growth path.

The Danish ambassador said that climate change will have a negative impact with increasing water shortage for urban and irrigation consumption, substantial loss in hydro power with an estimate annual costs of 66 million U.S. dollars leading up to 2050.

"This loss across the economic sector means that Kenya must take action now if she hopes to be transformed into a newly industrialized middle income country providing high quality of life to her citizens.''

Jensen also lauded the prime minister's commitment and firm resolve taken in saving Kenya's water towers.

Source: Xinhua
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