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Danish Activities in Relation to Climate Change and Renewable Energy

The Danish Embassy in Nairobi is supporting Kenya’s efforts to reduce her vulnerability to climate change impacts and improve energy efficiency. Denmark is the first donor to support the development of Kenya’s National Climate Change Strategy

The Danish Embassy in Nairobi is supporting Kenya’s efforts to reduce her vulnerability to climate change impacts and improve energy efficiency. Denmark is the first donor to support the development of Kenya’s National Climate Change Strategy

Kenya is vulnerable to the impacts of climate change to the extent of facing serious water shortages, food scarcity and increased risks to poor health thereby constraining the livelihoods of her inhabitants. This exacerbates the country’s vulnerability to climate change due to the inadequacy of resources to adapt: socially, technologically and financially. High levels of illiteracy, weak institutional capacity, low resource management capabilities, inadequate technology and information infrastructure as well as land degradation pose additional hurdles to effective climate change responses. Further, the country is vulnerable to a number of climate sensitive diseases including malaria, tuberculosis, diarrhoea, Rift Valley Fever and dengue.

The country’s vulnerability to climate change

Kenya’s economy is mainly natural resource-based and therefore is highly vulnerable to climate change and variability. The economy has recently suffered from climate change related disasters, which include droughts (2000/2001), floods and mudslides (1997/98, 2006/7). Such events have caused damage to private property, loss of economic opportunities and life. In addition, the country’s main source of energy, hydro-power is seriously threatened by climate change due to reduction the potential reduction of water in many of Kenya’s rivers. The cost of the 1997/8 and 2000 El Niño -related floods and El Niño related drought respectively cost the country about 15% of GDP for three consecutive years.

Therefore, if not proactively addressed, climate change is anticipated to adversely affect the country’s sustainable development efforts including its ability to attain the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015 and more importantly the Government’s Vision 2030 development plan. The country’s fragile ecosystem will be put under intensive pressure arising from species migration due to habitat destruction and reduction. Already, almost 50% of the country’s key biodiversity warehouse is at risk due to reduced habitat and other human induced pressures.

The National Climate Change Strategy

It is the light of these circumstances that the Government of Kenya is undertaking the development of a National Climate Change Strategy (NCCS) to address mitigation and adaptation measures. The National Climate Change Strategy (NCCS) and its sector or thematic papers is anticipated to be an important input to Kenya’s Position Paper related to the COP 15 Meeting to be held in Copenhagen during December 2009. It is also anticipated to be a strong input for Kenya during its preparation activities with other African countries up till the COP 15 Meeting.

Denmark and Sweden (through a delegated cooperation agreement) are supporting the Ministry of Environment and Mineral Resources in implementing a long term Environmental Programme Support (EPS). It is through this programme that support for the development and formulation of the National Climate Change Strategy is provided. The NCCS aims to

· Enhance participatory consultations on the country’s strategy on climate change issues.

· Enhance the design of specific programmes and concepts to address climate change adaptation and mitigation where appropriate.

· Recommend suitable institutional framework (legal, policy and organizational arrangements and collaboration) to promote climate change adaptation and mitigation measures.

For more information contact Dr. Alice Kaudia, Environment Secretary in the Ministry of Environment on environmentsecretary@environment.go.ke