Economy

Uhuru warns on security toll from climate change

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President Uhuru Kenyatta delivers his statement during the COP26 World Leaders Summit Plenary Session at the Scottish Event Campus, Glasgow. PHOTO | PSCU

Kenya will seek to amplify the impact of climate change on security during its tenure on the United Nations Security Council, President Uhuru Kenyatta said on Monday in his address to world leaders at the climate summit (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland.

World leaders are meeting at the United Nations Climate Change Conference to plan how to implement bold measures to avert catastrophic effects.

Mr Kenyatta warned that extreme weather events are fuelling conflict as communities fight for food and other resources during floods and droughts.

He noted that in Kenya, for example, extreme weather events lead to losses of between three and five per cent of GDP annually.

They also aggravate food insecurity and trigger divisive inter-community and inter-country competition for resources.

“We need to urgently implement bold mitigation and adaptation measures to avert the looming crisis, it is the least that we can do to bequeath a peaceful and sustainable planet to future generations,” the President told the summit attended by world heads of state and government, COP26 president Alok Sharma, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the host UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Kenya has developed a climate change action plan to scale up efforts to maintain low carbon emissions.

The plan includes a commitment to restore degraded water towers, escalate forest restoration and increase tree cover by at least 10 percent.

This is in addition to promoting a sustainable blue economy and green manufacturing as well as achieving 100 percent renewable energy use by 2030.

Mr Kenyatta called on the world's major carbon emitters to make more ambitious emissions reduction commitments.

He also called for more support for Africa, the most vulnerable continent to the impact of climate change.