There are opportunities in climate change, lets seize them
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18 October 2017
Author :   Isaiah Esipisu
Wind power plant in Kenya : >> Image Credits by:Isaiah Esipisu

NAIROBI, Kenya (PAMACC News) - The private sector has been urged to collaborate with the public sector and civil society organisations to explore climate change related opportunities and seize them in the fight against the phenomenon.

“All we need to do, is to look at climate change from a common lens, identify where the problems are, and convert them into opportunities,” John Kioli, the Chairman of Kenya Climate Change Working Group told a preparatory meeting ahead of the forthcoming Conference of Parties on climate change (COP 23).

Dimitris Tsitsiragos, the Vice President of Global Client Services at IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, also agrees that climate change is creating opportunities for companies willing to innovate, pointing to report by IFC, which found that Eastern Europe, Central Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa could support up to $1 trillion in climate-related investments by 2020.

Tsitsiragos also refers to the massive solar power project in Morocco, where the private sector is playing a key role in the construction of a 510-megawatt solar plant in a desert with a capacity to provide power to 1.1 million people. The project, worth $2.6 billion, could help turn the North African kingdom into a renewable energy powerhouse and serve as a model for future public-private partnerships.

In Kenya, the Lake Turkana Wind Power plant is another example of a private sector investment in green energy. Once operational, the wind farm will provide 310MW of reliable, low cost energy to Kenya’s national grid which is approximately 15 percent of the country’s installed capacity.

“We can explore so many other opportunities related to climate change,” said Kioli.

Another example is the M-KOPA Solar Company in Kenya, which sells solar home systems on an affordable mobile money payment plan, with an initial $35 deposit, followed by 365 payments of 45 cents daily. After completing the payment package, customers own a world-class solar home system, with multiple lights, phone charging and a radio.

During the Pre-COP workshop in Nairobi, Kioli further urged Kenya’s civil society organisations on climate change, the government delegation and the private sector to unite and talk with one voice as the country joins other global nations for the next set of negotiations on climate change in Bonn, Germany.

“This is a common problem that cuts across all sectors, and the only way forward as a country, is to have one common position that can be accepted by the African Group of Negotiators,” he said

So far, Kenya is committed to reducing total greenhouse gas emission by 30 percent, come the year 2030. However, representatives from the civil society observed that there must be a predictable source of income, hence the reason why all players must stay together ahead of the negotiations.

“We cannot just wait for the $100 billion commitment by the annex-one countries. We must also seek for alternative sources of funding right at the country level, and from development banks,” said Benson Kibiti from Caritas Kenya, representing the civil society.

Industrialised countries have already committed themselves to “mobilising jointly $100 billion a year by 2020, to address the needs of developing countries,” money which was expected to be come from public and private, bilateral and multilateral, including alternative sources of finance.

The 23rd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 23) to the UN Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will take place at the headquarters of the UNFCCC Secretariat in Bonn, Germany.

Presided over by the Government of Fiji, the UN Climate Change Conference will include the 23rd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 23) to the UNFCCC, the 13th session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP 13) and the 47th sessions of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA 47) and the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI 47).

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