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Kenya’s private sector commits to combat climate change

November 23, 2021

Private sector players have made a declaration to combat climate change and embrace sustainability in their activities by signing a 10-point charter on corporate commitment on climate change and sustainability in Kenya.

The declaration was made during the Corporate Commitment to Climate Change and Sustainability in Kenya (4C-K) Conference that was hosted by KEPSA, in collaboration with the Kenya Climate Innovation Centre (KCIC), KEPSA members – Kenya Association of Manufacturers and other partners at the Strathmore University. The conference was organized against the backdrop of COP 26 taking place in Glasgow.

KEPSA has been instrumental in championing the development of business-friendly policies and regulatory frameworks for addressing climate change and sustainability. This includes the development of the Climate Change Act in 2016, the National Climate Change Action Plans (NCCAP) 2018 – 2022, and ongoing development of Climate Change Regulations that seek to provide incentives for businesses implementing climate change initiatives.

“We also Co-Chair the Partnering for Green Growth and Global Goals (P4G) National Platform with Kenya’s National Treasury and has catalysed 14 partnerships’ both startup and scale up to provide market-based solutions for combating climate change and realising sustainable development goals in Kenya. The partnerships are providing sustainability and climate-oriented solutions in agriculture, water, energy, industry and circular economy,” Said the KEPSA CEO Ms. Carole Kariuki.

Private entities dominate many decisions key for adaptation such as the location and design of roads, buildings and other infrastructure investments; agricultural research for development of more drought-resistant seeds and crops; circular approaches to waste and wastewater management including infrastructure and technologies; development of adaptive technologies in all development sectors and dissemination of adaptation products and services.

Ms. Kariuki called for the delegates to reflect, raise ambition, draw a road map and declare Private Sectors Commitment towards Net Zero for a Sustainable and Inclusive world for all.

In his address, the KCIC CEO Dr. Edward Mungai noted that despite climate change being a big threat to the human race, it also provides an opportunity for the private sector to do good business. He went on to encourage the private sector to tap into the opportunities in climate change adaptation. “To invest in capacity building, we must be able to invest in tools that will enable us to get to that level. Unfortunately, the time of working in silos is gone. We must be able to collaboratively work and this is exactly why together with KEPSA we felt it was important to have this conference, to bring the private sector together to provide better livelihoods for future generations,” He noted.

“As a company, we do calculate our carbon footprint every year and assign the sources and amount of emissions through the activities that we do to provide service to our customers. We have introduced science-based carbon reduction targets to help as planned progress towards becoming as net zero company by 2050.” – Mr. Dennis Chepkwony – Safaricom.

UN Resident Coordinator Mr. Stephen Jackson challenged the private sector to take advantage of the fact that the UNEP headquarters is in Nairobi will experts ready to offer support. He added that the UN is willing to help the private sector to determine, measure, monitor and publicize the climate action initiative.

The Danish Ambassador to Kenya H.E Ole Thonke attributed the slow progress in climate change adaptation to the overreliance on the government in financing the initiative. He added that for there to be real progress, the private sector should get more involved. Amb. Ole Thonke noted that what is needed is the private sector’s ability to innovate and find new models of product that are sustainable.