The Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) in partnership with the National Treasury and Planning, Ministry of Environment and Forestry and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has launched the Kenya Private Sector Strategy on Climate Change Solutions (2022 – 2030).
The Strategy aims to promote coordinated and inclusive implementation of business climate change solutions anchored in four pillars namely:
Climate change mitigation
Climate change adaptation and resilience
Climate information and capacity building
Public-Private Partnerships for climate change
Following the launch, the strategy now serves as the basis of private sector-driven decisions on climate change and presents the sector’s foremost step towards enhancing climate change mitigation and adaptation through investment, awareness creation and directing resources to combat climate change for business sustainability.
Speaking during the launch, KEPSA Deputy CEO Martha Cheruto, noted that the private sector faces significant exposure to climate risk through its assets, operations, and supply chains, and thus has considerable reason to invest in climate risk management, to not only protect itself but also to harness new business opportunities arising from the changing climate.
“The Private Sector Strategy on Climate Change Solutions in Kenya identifies actions that the private sector will take between 2022 and 2030 in contributing to the achievement of the government climate change targets and is positioned to be Kenya’s Business Commitment to Climate Action(B2CAK) for both Corporates and SME’s”, she said.
The private sector she added now has a clear agenda to address climate change challenges, not only through the mobilization of funds and technical resources but to also innovate and develop solutions to alleviate climate change risks and efficiently direct resources toward national climate and development priorities.
The strategy has been developed using a multi-stakeholder approach through The Green Climate Fund (GCF) NAP Readiness Support Project on ‘Enhancing Capacity for Planning and Effective Implementation of Climate Change Adaptation in Kenya’. The project’s outcome on the private sector is to strengthen and institutionalize private sector participation and investment in climate change adaptation.
FAO Kenya Deputy Representative, Hamisi Williams, noted that adverse climatic events in the recent past have caused major socioeconomic impacts affecting the whole country and continue to derail economic development while adding to the financial liability of drought, floods and habitat loss including biodiversity in plant and wildlife resources, as well as threats to coastal zones through continued rising sea-levels.
“Today over 4.5 million Kenyans are facing the extreme risks of climate change through starvation with over 2.5 million livestock already lost to hunger. Kenya therefore needs to change its approaches by investing in technology in building the necessary ecosystem to help mitigate these two effects of climate change including for the first time after 70 years, the locust infestation in 2019-2022, which was further worsened by the COVID 19 pandemic,” he said.
The strategy launch comes ahead of the 27th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in 2022, scheduled for Sharm El-Sheikh in Egypt from November 7 to 18 2022, which will boost climate conversations, mobilize action, and provide an important opportunity for stakeholders to consider the current and emerging impacts of climate change in Africa.
Mamo B. Mamo, the Director General of the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), while delivering the keynote address on behalf of Dr. Chris Kiptoo, PS Ministry of Environment and Forestry, said the strategy offers the private sector an opportunity to set institutional and strategic mechanisms to galvanize sector-wide resources toward a unified national climate change priorities approach.
“Addressing the impacts of climate change and promoting green growth, necessitates a concerted effort from both the state and non-state actors. This strategy, therefore, will not only enhance investment in climate adaptation and mitigation actions but will also promote coordination and effectiveness of the private sector’s response to climate change by the country’s plans, policies, strategies, and programs,” he said.
“Engaging the private sector in climate change solutions is imperative since the sector can mobilize financial and technical resources needed for climate actions and awareness creation on the risks and opportunities arising from climate change. This includes developing solutions to alleviate the risks while co-opting, and even more implementing partners in this journey. As the National Treasury, we are committed to supporting the private sector through this course,” he said.
With an estimated eighty-four percent of the country’s land mass classified as Arid or Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL), Njoroge Gatheca the Principal Administrative Secretary, National Treasury and Planning noted that Kenya shall continue experiencing extreme risks of climate change if adequate and timely interventions are not instituted.
The launch was attended by over 150 high-level participants drawn from government agencies, private sector, and non-government and multilateral organizations implementing climate action in Kenya, providing a strategic platform for multi-sector players to network and define common synergies leading for Kenya Climate Change Actions and Commitments ahead of COP27.