Counties already receiving KES 158.7M annual climate change monies

Forty-three out of 47 Kenyan counties that have a climate act, and regulations and have dedicated technical personnel in place have already started receiving climate change funds to a tune of $1.3 million per year.

Speaking to Nation in an exclusive interview in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt on the sidelines of the ongoing United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) during the official launch of the African Green Climate Finance National Designated Authorities Network  (AFDAN), the network’s coordinator Peter Oluoch disclosed that Kenyan Counties have already started withdrawing the money and spending it.

“Today we have launched what is one of the greatest platforms for Africa which will support all 54 African countries to mobilize climate finance in scale and a sustainable manner to support locally-led climate adaptation action at the village level.

This is a scale-up of the successes that Kenya has made in mobilizing climate finance, as you may be aware Kenya is among the top countries funded by the Green Climate Fund (GCF) will money amounting to $1 billion and unfortunately, this money does not usually reach local people where loss and damage are really happening which is why as from today we have changed the setup and now the money will go to the local level.”

Oluoch is optimistic.

“All the local governments are represented here, Africa will no longer cry because East Africa is implementing.

We have already put in place effective mechanisms that will ensure the money goes directly to the counties, we are following the design that we did with World Bank, Africa Development bank and others and now the money will be transferred to Central Bank and then to the Counties after which it is taken to the climate change funds.”

“Within the climate change funds, all the money is ear-marked to address climate change adaptation action at every local ward and village, all counties, now 43 of them already have the climate change act and regulations plus the have already established a dedicated climate change a technical person in charge of the fund and have already committed two percent of their development fund to go to climate change,” Oluoch further explained.

“We are now giving each of these counties $1.3 million per year for four years and more money is coming, this money will directly go to local people with their climate change committees, they have all opened their accounts and the money is already accessible.”

AFDAN   was officially unveiled on Monday during a high-level side event that was graced by Mr Mwape Shitima who is the Chair of the Africa Group of Negotiators, Kenya’s Environment and Forestry CS Soipan Tuya who gave the keynote address, Nakuru County Governor Susan Kihika and Mithika Mwenda who is the Executive Director, Pan African Climate Justice Alliance among other speakers.

The network in its official statement observes that adaptation has accounted for less than 24 percent of total climate finance flows to the continent.

This is despite the fact that African countries contribute less than four percent to global emissions but bear the brunt of their impacts which is why the need for a concerted effort for an increased flow of climate finance to Africa, and a better balance of finance between mitigation and adaptation is now more vital than ever.

“Climate change is impeding Africa’s long-term sustainable development and poses an immediate threat to its people, creating conflict and destroying lives and livelihoods from the shores of Senegal to the Savannah of Kenya.

Therefore, countries must join forces to push for bold commitments at global, regional, sub-national, and deep community and sectoral/thematic levels, to help combat the worst impacts of climate change and create space for African innovation and development,” AFDAN highlight in an official document.

The IPCC reports put the current state of Africa in context.

“According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPPC) Sixth Assessment Report 6, by 2030, more than 250 million people across Sub-Saharan Africa could face water shortages, and rain-fed agriculture could contract by 50 percent in some African countries.

Pointedly, these predictions are not waiting to happen in 2030, but are vividly observable now, wreaking havoc on the livelihoods of the people.”

AFDAN further explains that the Notre Dame Global Adaptation Index which summarizes a country’s vulnerability to climate change and other global challenges in combination with its readiness to improve (ND-GAIN 2018 index) indicated that 30 out of the world’s 40 most climate-vulnerable countries are in Africa, putting local populations at high risk of severe climate events impacting their health and well-being as well as the productivity of the economy.

“There is an urgent developmental challenge with the potential to derail progress toward achieving all Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Africa.

From Morocco to Kenya, the poor, and especially women and children, are the hardest hit by the impact of climate change as they rely on natural resources and ecosystems for their livelihoods,” the official AFDAN document notes.

“Regardless of the above, reports by Kenya’s National Treasury and Planning in 2021, Climate Policy Initiative (CPI) in 2022, and the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) in 2021 indicated that Africa needs approximately USD 2.8 trillion, or USD 250 billion each year, between 2020 and 2030, to implement its updated Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).

The CPI report indicated that the total annual climate finance flows into Africa for financial 2020 from domestic and international sources, was only USD 30 billion, just 12 percent of the amount needed.”

Experts further highlight that the financing gap is significant as all African countries together have a GDP of USD 2.4 trillion (World Bank 2021), implying that ten percent of Africa’s current annual GDP needs to be mobilized above and beyond current flows every year for the next ten years.

“This analysis is based on 51 out of 53 African countries that provided data on the costs of implementing their NDCs.

Collectively, they represent more than 93 percent of Africa’s GDP.”

According to the network’s officials, the main objective of the side event was to amplify and raise Africa’s voice on enhanced ambition for the mobilization of green finances between the African and developed country parties during the ‘Finance Day’ to be organized alongside COP27  to encourage increased climate finance flows into and intra-African exchange, coordination, and cooperation to accelerate the transformation towards the green and blue economy and/ or by showcasing of successful and potential green and blue pathways.

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