Kenya’s Climate Change PolicyState


Kenya, as a developing country has been facing many challenges with regard to climate change; from persistent droughts in the North to heavy floods in the urban centers and mudslides which cause deaths and damage to property most often. The ever inflicting experiences have been hitting all parts of the globe and Kenya is no exception.

Climate change has been felt by all but not everyone acknowledges it. Through the years the country has made efforts in trying to mitigate the impacts of the ever changing climate. As a party to the United Nations Framework Convention  on Climate Change (UNFCCC), The country has been dedicated to coming up with an environmental legislation as recommended in Article 3 (4) of the UNFCCC  “The Parties have a right to, and should, promote sustainable development. Policies and measures to protect the climate system against human-induced change should be appropriate for the specific conditions of each Party and should be integrated with national development programmes, taking into account that economic development is essential for adopting measures to address climate change” and the process started way back in with the inception of the National strategy on Climate Change.

The national Climate change Action Plan of 2010 bore more hope in Kenya’s journey towards a legal framework on tackling climate change. In 2012, the climate change authority bill was finally presented to parliament for debate by prof. Otichilo but unfortunately, it was rejected from signingby the then president Mwai Kibaki due to various loopholes that it had.

The climate change bill of 2014 was recently tabled in parliament and is yet to get to its hearing stage. Though various amendments were made to the former climate change bill of 2012, many issues still linger around this bill. The major concerned stakeholders have shown a lot of dissatisfaction with the meager inputs brought forth in this current bill. For instance the youth movements have a concern for the bill has not shown any inclusion of the youth into the legislative aspect of the council that is to be given the mandate of dealing with climate change issues whatsoever. The bill lacks the transparency in terms of climate financeas it has not been clearly laid out how and whether there will be compliance mechanisms with regard to accounting and deployment of climate finance to enhance deployment in these compliance mechanisms in the most prioritizes and effective manner.

It is also questionable as to whether the bill really had a politically inspired mind as the council set to be formed will have jurisdiction on matter dealing with climate change same as the National Environment ManagementAuthority (NEMA) that is the overall environmental governing authority in the country at national and local levels. This will eventually bring conflict between the two as the constitution has given the authority, NEMA, the powers to arrest and prosecute any parties contravening its laws and to govern all matters that relate to the environment.

With the bill in parliament, there has been inter-county civic education and public participation sessions spearheaded by the on the bill Kenya Climate Change Working Group (KCCWG) and other stakeholders to increase awareness about the bill, its importance and also get the ordinary citizen’s views on the position of the bill.

All these efforts are in pursuit of enabling Kenya achieve a policy that protects the country’s climate system while ensuring sustainable development and also as a dedicated party to the UNFCCC abiding to the framework’s recommendations. IPCC’s latest report on the future global impacts of climate forecasted a devastating future of rising temperatures and submerging islands among others if nothing is done to curb climate change.As the bill is hoped and expected to be passed into law-of course it should have a few amendments- it can be seen as the country’s leeway to enlighten the citizens on the predicted impacts of climate change and enable them adopt best suited adaptation and mitigation practices.