NAIROBI (Xinhua) – The Kenyan government has fastracked the development of policy and legislative framework that would facilitate easier access to the 100 billion US dollar Green Climate Fund pledged by developed nations to support climate change adaptation and mitigation programs among poor countries.

Speaking during a post-Durban briefing in Nairobi on Friday, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Mineral Resources, Ali Mohamed, said that the government is keen on establishing a basket fund to attract foreign and domestic financiers willing to initiate green projects. “The green growth and low carbon economic development is a top government priority. We are keen on tapping funds promised by big emitters in Durban climate talks last December,” Mohamed told journalists.

He noted that COP 17 was a “milestone though it had both highs and lows”. “Our priority is to improve Kenya’s resilience to climate change through development of mitigation and adaptation projects, access to technology and capacity,” he said. Mohammed said that the green climate fund pledged in Durban has prompted the government to fast rack implementation of a sound policy and regulatory framework to gain access to the resources.

“We believe this money will complement the annual allocation from the Treasury to assist in combating climate change across a range of sectors,” Mohamed stressed. The PS added that the government fully supports market based mechanisms to stimulate green investments as stipulated in the K************l.

The East African nation alongside developing nations adopted a shared vision on climate change mitigation and adaptation through finance, technology transfer and capacity building during the Durban climate talks. Fatuma Hussein, the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) focal point at the ministry of environment and mineral resources said that Kenya is part of the long-term global vision to reduce emissions by 2050 that was stressed at Durban.

“Durban stressed the need to scale up REDD projects regardless of funding sources,” Hussein told journalists in Nairobi. The Kenyan government has identified specific adaptation and mitigation projects to initiate in strategic sectors of the economy reeling from adverse effects of climate change. Hussein revealed that the agriculture sector came up with a convincing proposal for funding that will be adopted at the forthcoming climate talks in Qatar, Dohar in December.

She emphasized on the “need to use market mechanisms to enhance effectiveness of mitigation and adaptation projects”. Durban climate talks proposed innovative market mechanism to operate under full guidance of conference of parties and inject fresh impetus on green investments across developing world. Hussein added that technology transfer was accorded prominence alongside homegrown innovations that power green investments.

“Kenya is a member of the technology development committee that will look at effective approaches to transmitting new technologies to help developing economies address climate change,” she disclosed said. “Durban meeting adopted climate technology centre that offers capacity to facilitate transfer of knowledge and expertise in managing effects of climate change,” Hussein said.

Suresh Patel, the Chair, Environment Committee at Kenya Association of Manufacturers, noted that Kenya is well positioned to tap into climate funds due to macro economic stability and strong political commitment. “Existing policy and legal instruments boost our credibility to deserve climate funds from overseas donors and fund managers,” said Patel. He revealed that plans are at advanced stage to establish a Kenya climate fund that overseas all adaptation and mitigation projects.

Patel noted that active participation of local private sector in green investments will attract donors and foreign institutional investors to inject additional resources. “Domestic private sector is actively involved in energy efficiency, water recycling, solid waste management and reforestation. This motivates overseas investors to join on board and complement our effort,” he said.

There is need to build capacity of developing countries to enable them access, plan, deliver, monitor and report on climate funds from both foreign and local financiers. Rose Mwebaza, the Regional Climate Policy Advisor, Eastern and Southern Africa, UNDP, challenged countries to “blend the pledged green climate fund with national allocations to expand the scope of mitigation and adaptation programmes”.

“UNDP is working with several countries in Africa on climate finance readiness. We are also exerting pressure on donors to hasten creation of a climate basket fund to assist the vulnerable cope with negative impacts of climate change,” Mwebeza said. (Xinhua)

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