President Ruto Appoints Governor Waiguru to National Climate Council

President William Ruto has appointed Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru to the newly established National Climate Change Council in the wake of her ongoing campaigns to address climate-related challenges. Waiguru’s has been on a relentless campaign for the country to adopt interventions for climate change mitigation following a severe drought, the country’s worst climate related crisis in the recent past that has affected food security.

The council will leverage the country’s resources and expertise in support of the whole-of-government approach to addressing the climate crisis. The body which will provide an overarching national climate change coordination mechanism for the country will be chaired by President Ruto. Other members of the council include Deputy President and Cabinet Secretaries responsible for; Environment and Climate Change Affairs, National Treasury and Energy. Others will be drawn from various government agencies and county governments.

The appointment was communicated through a letter dated December 8, 2022 from State House Chief of Staff and Head of Public Service Felix Koskei. The council together with the Climate Change Directorate was established through Climate Change Act which commenced operation on May 27, 2016. “Pursuant to section 7 (1) of the Act, I am pleased to convey to you, your appointment by His Excellency the President, as a member of the National Climate Change Council,” the letter reads.

Waiguru who is also the chair of the Council of Governors (COG) has termed climate change as a real threat to mankind as evidenced through an increase in frequency and severity of disasters such as droughts, floods, landslides and influx of diseases and pests. “The issue of climate change is a matter of concern for Kenya because despite contributing the least to global emissions, it has suffered the ravages of floods, landslides, droughts and other natural calamities. Droughts have continuously threatened food security, through crop failure, loss of livestock and people as well,” she said. She says that lack of adequate funding has remained a major constraint to the implementation of climate change interventions by the county governments.

One of the responsibilities of the council will be to approve the revised and updated National Climate Change Action Plan, advise governments on policies and laws necessary for climate change response and attaining low carbon climate change resilient development. The council will also administer climate change funds and set targets for the regulation of greenhouse gas emissions and providing advise on how to mainstream climate change into the education sector.

Last week, Waiguru said county governments have set aside Ksh. 877 million for climate change mitigation and adaptation initiatives. The COG Chair said the devolved units have been undertaking various initiatives dealing in mitigation and adaptation and have put in place bills to enable them allocate at between 1-3% of their development budgets. She pointed out that 44 counties have established County Climate Change Funds through enacting requisite climate change legislations, 45 have already established Climate Change Units, while 30 of them have set up ward climate change planning committees.

The governor said that there is need to follow though the COP27 discussions on the operationalization of the financing instrument to support loss and damage accruing from climate change impacts to countries worst hit by Climate Change, as well as provision of improved funding for implementation of gender action plans for developing countries.

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