Joto Afrika

Joto Afrika is a series of printed briefings and online resources about adapting to climate change in sub- Saharan Africa. The series helps people understand the issues, constrains and opportunities that poor people face in adapting to climate change and escaping poverty. The series are produced in both English and French.

Here is the current issue

Issue 24 - Climate Change: It is time for Action!

In October 2018, the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a “Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C.” The report findings show that at the end of 2017, global temperatures had risen by about 1.0 degree Celsius compared to pre-industrial times; and the world is on track to exceed the 1.5°C warming between 2030 and 2052. A more pronounced warming is expected in Africa, exceeding the global warming levels over most of the continent.

Kenya’s Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions represent less than 1 percent of total global emissions; yet its economy is heavily dependent on climate-sensitive sectors such as agriculture, water, energy, tourism, wildlife, and health. This Joto Afrika issue highlights Kenya’s approach to ensuring low carbon climate resilient development at all levels, by National and County Governments and other Non-State Actors.

As Kenya continues to take action in various sectors, and present our position at COP 24 at Katowice, Poland, it is our sincere hope that all Parties, particularly the “big emitters” have listened to the alarm raised by the “Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C.” We are all sailing in one boat, we either take action now, or be the generation that sunk the Titanic!

Issue 23 - Taking Stock Since the Paris Climate Agreement

The Paris Climate Agreement came into force on 4th November 2016 after set thresholds were achieved in October 5th 2016. These were that 55 Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) accounting in total for at least 55 percent of the total Green House Gas (GHG) emissions ratify the agreement.

Kenya was part of the historic conference that adopted the climate change agreement in Paris, France in December 2015 and subsequently ratified the agreement in 2016. In the run up to Paris, Kenya like many other countries prepared an Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) highlighting the country’s commitment as far as mitigation and adaptation actions are concerned. INDC’s became Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) at the time of ratifying the agreement.

As part of our stock-taking, we review progress with implementation of the 1st National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP) 2013-2017 and preparation of the 2nd NCCAP 2018-2022.

This issue therefore looks at how the different tiers of government, economy and society are progressing in meeting both international and domestic climate change commitments. Particular focus is on initiatives that are innovative and potentially transformative.

Issue 22 - Implementing Kenya's Nationally Determined Contribution

In recognition of the serious threats posed by climate change, Kenya has put in place elaborate national policy, legal and institutional frameworks on climate change. Key among them; National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP), National Adaptation Plan (NAP), National Framework Policy on Climate Change, Climate Change Act, 2016 and National Policy on Climate Finance among other sectoral policies.

Kenya ratified the Paris Agreement in December 2016 and consequently committed to action through its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC). Under the NDC, the country has committed to an emission reduction of 30 percent against business as usual scenario by 2030 and adaptation actions in key sectors. The national policy and legal framework on climate change provide a firm foundation for the implementation of the NDC.

The country has taken steps towards an integrated approach to NDC implementation, coordinated by the government. This builds on similar efforts including embedding sustainable natural resource utilization into its 2010 Constitution and mainstreaming climate change into the Second Medium Term Plan (2013-2017) of Kenya’s Vision 2030.

This issue highlights Kenya’s approach to NDC implementation by National and County governments and other non-state actors.

Issue 21 - Role of Science and Innovation in Climate Change Response

Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) is the major driving force behind global, regional and national efforts to cope with the increasingly severe impacts of climate change and variability. STI is key in the implementation of the Paris Agreement on strengthening the global response to the impacts of climate change and keeping the global temperature below two degrees centigrade.

Kenya’s Climate Change Act, 2016 clearly states, “In formulating the National Climate Change Action Plan, the Cabinet Secretary shall be informed by scientific knowledge about climate change, technology and technological innovations relevant to climate change.”

The country enacted the Science, Technology and Innovation Act No.28 of 2013 to facilitate the promotion, coordination and regulation of the progress of STI. It resulted in the creation of the National Commission for Science, Technology and Innovation (NACOSTI) succeeding the National Council of Science and Technology (NCST).

This issue highlights innovative solutions that the National and County governments, various private sector actors, research organisations and universities are involved in to respond to climate change and ensure the country transitions to a low carbon economy.

Issue 20 - National and County Government Response to Climate Change

Climate change response requires coordination across the different stakeholder categories, and between national and county government institutions. This ensures synergy between national and county government efforts to address climate change. It also minimises duplication and wastage of resources and reduces institutional conflicts.

The Climate Change Act (2016) recognises the complimentary roles of the national and county governments in climate change affairs. The Act, consequently, recognises that climate change impacts are localised, placing the county governments in a better position to identify and address them.

One of the objectives of the Act is, therefore, to “integrate climate change into the exercise of power and functions of all levels of governance, and to enhance cooperative climate change governance between the national government and county governments.”

The Act establishes a legal and institutional framework to mainstream climate change at the national and county government levels. This issue focuses on National and County Government response to climate change and highlights contributions from other non-state actors.

Issue 19 - Kenyan government has addressed climate change

The Paris Agreement on Climate Change was a starting point where all the nations jointly fronted their aspirations to battle climate change and adapt to its effects. A number of the countries have ratified the Agreement and corresponding positive actions are under implementation. The Agreement entered into force on November 4, 2016, coinciding with the 22nd UN Conference of Parties on Climate Change (COP 22) in Marrakech, Morocco.

Kenya heads to COP22, having cabinet approval of the Paris Agreement. It is the instrument that will forge the country’s future in implementing its priority actions towards climate change mitigation, as well as adaptation.

The comprehensive and timely nature in which the Kenyan government has addressed climate change attests its willingness to address challenges that come with climate change and at the same time capitalizing on inherent opportunities. Kenya in its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) aspires towards low carbon and climate resilient development. This issue also highlights the progress made since COP21 among issues such as the Kenya Climate Change Act, the REDD+ process in Kenya, National Appropriate Mitigation Action (NAMA) Support Project on “Circular Economy Solid Waste Management” in the urban areas and the National Agricultural Risk Management Program.