What you need to know:
- The pledges to the Green Climate Fund recently rose to $10.2 billion.
- Kenya is among the countries regarded as the most vulnerable to climate change.
The pledges to the Green Climate Fund rose to $10.2 billion after the recently concluded 20th Conference of Parties to the United Nation’s Framework Convention on Climate Change in Lima, Peru.
The fund also launched its accreditation for entities that will access its resources for the benefit of projects and programmes in developing countries. It hopes to consider the proposals by June 2015.
The funds will be channelled through accredited public and private implementing entities, with recipient countries determining their mode of access, which will either be direct (through sub-national, national, or regional entities) or international institutions, including UN agencies, multilateral development banks, and international financial institutions.
Kenya is among the countries regarded as the most vulnerable to climate change due to its dependence on climate-sensitive sectors such as rain-fed agriculture, tourism, and hydro-electric energy generation.
The question is: has Kenya put in place adequate mechanisms to tap into the Green Climate Fund (GCF) to help it tackle climate change?
Kenya has made progress in preparing to deal with the ravages of climate change, including accessing international climate finance for adaptation and mitigation actions.
Key achievements include the development of the National Climate Change Response Strategy in 2010, the National Climate Change Action Plan in 2013, and the Second Medium Term Plan 2013-2017, which seeks to promote climate-resilient development.
In addition, the draft Climate Change Bill and Policy have gone through the Second Reading in Parliament and have been subjected to further input by stakeholders before going for the Third Reading.
Even though the draft Climate Change Bill and Policy are yet to be finalised and approved by Parliament, the Public Finance Management Act of 2012 and the County Government Act 2012 contain provisions for county governments, which are potential sub-national implementing entities for the fund, to create and manage public funding meant to address climate change impacts.
PREPARING COUNTY GOVERNMENTS
The Adaptation Consortium, a project funded by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) through the National Drought Management Authority, is preparing the county governments of Garissa, Isiolo, Kitui, Makueni, and Wajir to mainstream climate adaptation.
The consortium is also helping the devolved units set up mechanisms to access climate funds (from global, national, and private sources) for adaptation investments prioritised by local communities.
The initial funding from DFID includes seed money for counties to demonstrate what can be achieved using such funds in a more inclusive and participatory manner.
The five county governments have started establishing and institutionalising county adaptation funds (CAFs) into their planning and budgeting. This should enable them to draw resources from the Green Climate Fund and other financing agencies.
The CAFs are meant to support community-driven developments as well as resilience-building priorities and are to be up and functional by April 2015.
The county governments will take responsibility for the management and control of this fund, just like any other public fund. The fund will draw cash from diverse sources — global, national, local, private, and public (including budgetary allocation).
The county governments of Garissa, Isiolo, Kitui, Makueni, and Wajir are among those that are setting up mechanisms to serve as sub-national implementing entities for the GCF and other climate funds.
By April 2015, these counties shall have put in place mechanisms for identifying and implementing community-driven projects.
The more the funding is devolved to the county and lower levels, the more effective it will be in responding to climate adaptation needs.
These initiatives need support from all stakeholders, especially the national government and development partners, to ensure that the process that started in 2013 comes to fruition.
Ms Kiiru is the communications officer, Adaptation Consortium. ([email protected])