Environment and Forestry Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko has called on developed countries to take leadership in reducing their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and provide mechanisms for adaptation since they contribute at least 80% of GHGs.
Leading the Kenyan delegation to the ongoing Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) High-Level meetings in Rotterdam, Netherlands, the CS decried lack of commitment from the developed countries, the largest polluters, to support vulnerable countries that are suffering the consequences of the vagaries of climate change.
At the GCA High-Level Dialogue with Youth on “Accelerating Adaptation in a Climate Emergency” at the University of Groningen, Tobiko called on the youth to seize opportunities, use their large numbers, digital platforms and power to help reverse the effects of environmental pollution, saying the current destruction of the natural environment will affect future generations.
He lauded various players who are promoting bold and innovative partnerships for action to support the most vulnerable communities. Such players include the GCA, African Development Bank and African Union’s Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program, which is mobilizing US$25 billion to drive transformational adaptation actions on the African continent and seeks to propel locally-led adaptation efforts.
The 8th Secretary-General of the United Nations and Co-Chair of the Global Center on Adaptation, Mr Ban Ki-moon, called for bold solutions to tackle the crisis presented by climate change and, more so to, to support youth in contributing to curb climate change.
Citing former Nobel Laurette Wangari Maathai, he said, “Nature is very generous, but very unforgiving when disturbed.”
The event discussions were meant to explore how youth, academia and the most vulnerable communities can collaborate and spur bolder action on adaptation in response to the global climate emergency and consider concrete activities that can be taken in advance of and following the 2021 UN Climate Conference at Glasgow, COP26.
Among those who attended the meeting included former President Mohamed Nasheed, of the Maldives, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa, Vera Songwe, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia Rola Dashti, former Real Madrid soccer player Arjen Robben, Youth representatives of the University of Groningen among others.
A communique issued at the High-Level Dialogue meeting confirmed that the planet is warming faster than previously thought. We are now on track to reach 1.5 degrees Celsius (1.5°C) of warming above pre-industrial levels by the 2030s.
“The next decade will see the Earth further heat up by approximately half of all the 1.1°C of global warming experienced throughout the entire period spanning the advent of the industrial era in the nineteenth century until today,” the communique said.
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