President Kenyatta spoke in Marrakech, Morocco, while addressing a high-level meeting of the first climate change conference for action after the historic Paris agreement last year.
President Uhuru Kenyatta has asked the world to remain committed to the Paris Agreement on climate change, which gave hope to some of the most poor countries.
The President said his Cabinet has approved the ratification of the Paris Agreement and now awaits the final ratification from Parliament.
“I urge other parties that have not yet ratified the agreement to do so,” said President Kenyatta. He pointed out that the implementation of the agreement will benefit the present and future generations.
The President welcomed the coming into force of the Paris Agreement and said: “This is the beginning of renewed transparent, enhanced global ambitious action and support to address the challenge of climate change in the short and long terms,” the President said.
He added: “We should aim to ensure achievement of the long-term global goal of stabilising the global temperature increase to below 1.5 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial levels.”
The Head of State appreciated the agreement’s link to the Sustainable Development Goals, which include ending extreme poverty, fighting inequality and injustice and taking urgent action to combat climate change and its effects. He emphasised the need to synchronise the implementation of the Paris Agreement and the development goals.
He said the development of the rulebook to guide the implementation of the agreement must keep in focus its objective, principles and provisions of the convention, including equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities.
The President said the rulebook must also ensure parity between mitigation and adaptation, taking into consideration the increased burden for adaptation in developing countries.
“The process should also take into consideration the obligations of developed country parties to provide additional, predictable and sustainable support in terms of finance, technology and capacity building to meet the adaptation and mitigation needs of the developing country parties,” he said.
Noting that climate change continues to adversely affect Kenya’s socio-economic sectors, he said the country has made its contribution to combating environmental challenges.
“Kenya submitted an ambitious intended nationally determined contribution within the context of the pre-2020 ambition and the Paris Agreement, even though our contribution is a mere 0.1 per cent of the total global emission,” President Kenyatta said.
He informed the conference that Kenya now has a Climate Change Act and a National Adaptation Plan that were developed through multi-stakeholder engagement and contribute to the national implementation of the Paris Agreement.
The two build on the foundation laid down by the 2013-2017 national climate change action plan.
President Kenyatta said Kenya has also made progress towards achieving and maintaining a tree cover of at least 10 per cent of the country’s land area while encouraging low carbon and efficient transport.