Kenya will be Africa’s voice on climate change on the UN Security Council, says President Uhuru

President Uhuru Kenyatta at the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland. [PSCU]

President Uhuru Kenyatta has announced to world leaders that Kenya will be a steadfast advocate of the interests of African countries and the global South on climate change on the UN Security Council (UNSC).

The president said Kenya would be particularly focused on making a “compelling case for the link between climate change and security” noting that the phenomenon is “escalating and complicating new and old conflicts around the world”.

To avert an impending climate crisis, President Kenyatta urged world leaders to take “courageous containment and adaptation measures” as recent scientific evidence suggested disaster.

“The evidence is irrefutable. All reports, including the most recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), sound a loud alarm that the world is at risk of facing global catastrophe if leaders do not change the course on climate change. We urgently need to take bold containment and adjustment measures to avert the looming crisis, ”warned President Kenyatta.

The Kenyan head of state spoke on Monday afternoon in Glasgow, Scotland, where he made Kenya’s national declaration at the current 26th World Summit.

At the meeting, which was attended by the world’s greatest marathon runner of all time, Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge, the president said climate change is an existential threat to most African countries, pointing out that extreme weather costs Kenya an average of 5% of its GDP and aggravated food shortages and existential conflicts in the country.

“In Kenya, extreme weather events such as floods and droughts lead to annual losses of 3 – 5% of our GDP. In addition, they exacerbate food insecurity and create divisive intra-community and international competition for resources, ”he said.

President Kenyatta, who arrived in the Scottish capital on Sunday evening, again reminded developed countries to meet the $ 100 billion a year to fund climate change adaptation programs in developing countries.

“Twice in a row, developing countries have been promised $ 100 billion a year but not yet delivered,” said President Kenyatta, adding that Kenya expects COP26 to present a work plan for the implementation of the 2015 Paris Agreement.

“Ultimately, we expect detailed rules and procedures for the implementation of the Paris Agreement to be finalized and a clear path to be established for a climate-resilient path. We also expect the agreement to be sufficiently comprehensive to meet the needs and priorities of developing countries “and particularly the particular circumstances of Africa, which Elizabeth Wathuti previously very skillfully and very well articulated,” said the President, referring to an earlier presentation by Kenyan environmentalist and climate activist Elizabeth Wathuti.

President Kenyatta urged developed countries to invest more in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and regretted that Africa’s proposal on special needs and circumstances was removed from the COP26 agenda.

“Across Africa, the continent most at risk from the effects of climate change, countries are already suffering increasingly and more frequently in losses and damage.

“We are therefore deeply concerned to hear that when the agenda for this conference was adopted yesterday, the item on the special needs and circumstances of Africa was once again not adopted.

“We expect the Co-President to hold extensive and extensive consultations, addressing the particular needs and circumstances of African countries and actually reporting back to us before the end of the conference,” said the President.

Speaking of Kenya’s efforts to adapt and mitigate climate change, President Kenyatta said the country is implementing a robust climate change strategy, with heavily investing in sectors such as renewable energy, sustainable blue economy and green manufacturing.

“The plan includes a commitment to restore degraded water towers, accelerate forest restoration and increase tree cover to at least 10 percent of our land area, promote a sustainable blue economy and green production.

“As many of you know, Kenya is a pacemaker in the energy sector. We are among the eight (8) world leaders in geothermal energy development and host the largest wind power project in Africa, ”said President Kenyatta.

In his address, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged world leaders to act swiftly in the face of climate change, warning that failure to contain rising atmospheric temperatures would result in multiple cities being razed to death due to rising sea levels to be flooded.

Mr Johnson agreed with President Kenyatta that COP26 was a historic turning point that the world must take to avert a global climate catastrophe.

“It’s a minute to midnight and we have to act now. If we don’t take climate change seriously today, it will be too late for our children tomorrow, ”said the UK Prime Minister.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guteress warned world leaders that it would be catastrophic for mankind if one does not take decisive action against climate change.

“Either we stop it or it stops us. It’s time to say enough. Enough of killing ourselves with carbon. Enough of treating nature like a toilet. Enough of burning and boring and deeper dig. We’re digging our own graves, ”said Mr. Gutess.

US President Joe Biden, whose country rejoined the Paris Climate Agreement earlier this year after leaving the pact in 2020, agreed with other leaders that the Glasgow meeting was “a rare opportunity for all leaders was to work together and save humanity from the existential threat to the climate “. Challenge”.

“We are in a growing disaster, I believe there is an incredible opportunity not just for the US but for all of us. We are at a turning point in world history, ”said President Biden, calling for a global global effort to meet the challenge.

“Climate change is the challenge of our collective life – the existential threat to human existence as we know it. And with every day we delay, the cost of inaction increases.

“This is a crucial decade. We can meet the goal of 1.5 degrees Celsius if we team up, if we commit to doing our part. Glasgow must be the start of a decade full of ambition. No nation can shield itself from the threats, ”said the US leader.

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