June 11, 2018 | Climate change

Changing climate is causing extreme weather conditions thus affecting millions of people, threatening global food and water security, and putting enormous challenges to agricultural production. The World Bank warns that by 2030 if no further action is taken to reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emission, up to 100 million people will face extreme poverty, lack access to basic services, and become vulnerable to climate change. 

As a result of harmful impacts of climate change witnessed across the world, there have been global efforts towards building long-term strategies that contribute to climate change action. A notable endeavor is the Paris conference (COP21) where parties committed to the COP21 Agreement which called for a reduction of global warming to less than  2 degrees Celsius this century. The public and private partners also pledged their commitment to increase investments in research, developments and green energy in order to scale down greenhouse gas emission.

The climate change action plan developed by individual countries for their action is designed to streamline all the mitigation, adaptation framework and laid down procedures that help different countries integrate their national investments plans, developments agenda towards serious action in addressing climate change. Building nations more resilient to climate change mitigation and adaptation come with a cost, however, the benefits accrued from this would last for posterity. A comprehensive climate change action plan should incorporate the aspects of financial, policy and legislation, knowledge management, capacity development, technology requirements and effective monitoring, evaluation and reporting tools.

The World Bank Working Group’s Climate Change Action Plan shows more than 180 countries submitted their pledges on climate action during Paris Agreement at COP21 in December 2015. The Paris conference leveraged the 2009 commitment from developed countries to assist developing countries with $100 billion a year. Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) estimates that in the year 2014, combined efforts from both public and private sectors gave out $62 billion towards the adaptation plan. The funds were channeled towards providing new opportunities to improve energy access, climate-smart agriculture, and efficient food supply chains. Energy efficiency can reduce energy costs and improve fuel security while effective agriculture leads to higher agricultural productivity, less waste, and better food security.

The success of the implementation of climate change action plan by different countries especially those in Africa largely depends on the quality, budget and the financial commitments. The action plan for $100 billion goal at the  Marrakech COP conference shows that there is a lot to fulfill in order to achieve the set targets: developed countries are expected to deliver on their pledge to mobilize $100 billion each year by 2020.

Kenya is one of the countries that pledged commitment to cut greenhouse gas emission and has already developed a climate change action plan and launched it in 2013. The plan provides a clear roadmap towards addressing and identifying options for a low-carbon and climate resilient development.

Africa’s transition towards curbing or cutting greenhouse gas emissions involves creating a climate change resilient continent, adhering to the climate change action plan, bringing policy and financial interventions, and increasing the diversity of guides for climate change financing. The World Bank indicates that the current level of adaptation funding stands at $3billion per year, an amount that does not meet the needs of the adaptation programme. The financial institution further estimates that the implementation plan will cost $19.3 billion by the year 2020.

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