Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has challenged Members of Parliament to formulate laws that will strengthen response to climate change and boost environmental conservation.
Speaking on Thursday during the launch of the Kenya Parliamentary Conservation Climate Change Caucus and Strategic Plan for Climate Action and Environmental Sustainability at Sarova Stanley Hotel in Nairobi, Mr Gachagua said the Government is ready to ensure full implementation of the laws once passed by the parliamentarians.
“We are looking upon the lawmakers to make good laws to boost climate change mitigation and we will follow suit and implement them,” he said.
The Caucus is chaired by Njoro MP Charity Kathambi and brings together legislators from both sides of the divide.
The DP praised the lawmakers for forging a united front in coming up with the initiative saying climate change affected all Kenyans.
“This is a good initiative. When the history of climate change response in Kenya is written you will have a chapter,” he told the MPs.
The DP commended the caucus for coming up with the Strategic Plan, assuring them of the government’s support on increasing the share of the National Government Constituency Development Fund kitty on combating climate from 2 percent to 5 percent.
“It is gratifying for Members of Parliament from across the political divide to work together under the caucus. This is encouraging. The Government will support the caucus, and every legislation that will need our support will be provided, including the legislation on the increment of CDF kitty on climate action,” he added.
The DP added that the Kenya Kwanza administration is taking up various measures to lower the rate of desertification in the broader initiative of combating climate change.
“The Government has already put up diverse measures to combat climate change and reduce carbon emissions. One of such ways is the target of planting 15 billion trees by 2032. This will increase our forest cover to over 30%,” Mr Gachagua said.
The current legislation allows the use of 2% of the development fund for climate change mitigation.
Mr Gachagua implored the caucus to come up with climate smart laws on environmental sustainability and with clear deliverables to smart action in mitigating climate change.
He also condemned the destruction of trees during the political protests saying climate change affected everyone.
“It was hurting to see people uprooting trees because climate change doesn’t know political boundaries,” the DP observed.
The Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Forestry Soipan Tuya defended the Government’s lifting of the ban on logging saying that measures have been put in place to ensure that only commercial logging is implemented.
“We are not tolerating illegal activities in our forests. We will increase the scope of the green army to ensure that enforcement on forest activities is put in place for the protection of the indigenous forest trees and wetlands,” she said.
The CS also condemned the destruction of trees during protests by the opposition.
Nominated Senator Veronica Maina said it was sad to see the environment suffering from the protests.