Towards a Coherent and Cost Effective Policy Response to Climate Change in Kenya


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Kenya has integrated climate considerations into various legal and governance instruments notably, in planning and implementing policies, projects and programmes in key economic sectors in order to align Kenya with the international community’s approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting climate resilience. The scope of climate change governance in the country is encompassed in diverse, though interrelated, policy and regulatory frameworks that guide the coordination of various sectors dealing with the management of climate-sensitive natural resources.

Examples of ongoing proactive policies, regulations or legislative initiatives include:

  • Constitutional recognition of sustainable development, public participation in environmental decision making and equal socioeconomic rights as contained in the Constitution of Kenya, 2010;
  • Development of a long-term national development blueprint to transform Kenya into an industrialised, middle-income country providing a high quality of life to all its citizens in a clean and secure environment pursuant to Vision 2030;
  • Preparation of the National Climate Change Response Strategy (NCCRS), which is focused on developing comprehensive and robust adaptation and mitigation interventions to address the adverse impacts of climate change in the country;
  • Development of the National Climate Change Action Plan to effectively implement and operationalise the NCCRS;
  • Enactment of the Environmental Management and Coordination Act (EMCA), Act No. 8 of 1999, the key legislative authority on environmental coordination and management in Kenya;
  • Development of a National Environment Policy, in its fifth draft as of July 2012; and
  • The recently gazetted Climate Change Authority Bill, 2012.

Nevertheless, there are notable contradictions within policy design, structure and roles which may cause part and/or the entirety of the policy design in Kenya to become ineffective or unimplementable. The Heinrich Böll Stiftung, Regional Office for East Africa and the Horn of Africa, has thus commissioned a study to identify existing incoherence in key sectoral climate change–related policies and regulations and to provide recommendations for harmonisation where possible.

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Heinrich Böll Stiftung East & Horn of Africa
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