UK Doubles Up Efforts to Tackle Climate Change in Kenya

Landscape of Maasai Mara savannah with animals during a safari in Kenya
Landscape of Maasai Mara savannah with animals during a safari in Kenya. Photo Credit: @elcarito via Unsplash

The UK is stepping up to drive climate action in Kenya, British High Commissioner Jane Marriott has announced. During a visit to Lake Baringo, she reaffirmed that the UK is doubling its commitment to providing international climate finance by KES 1.7 trillion over the next 5 years.

During the visit, High Commissioner Jane Marriott met with businesses, schools and community leaders affected by the rise of Lake Baringo. The lake has risen by over 42 inches since May, impacting jobs, education and health services. The UK is committed to tackling climate change in Kenya, and the related issues that have driven the flooding.

As shown by Lake Baringo, the impacts of climate change are being felt all over Kenya, but these effects are felt the most by the communities directly impacted. Next year the UK will host the global climate change talks, and today Ms Marriott launched a new initiative inviting Kenyans to submit their photographs depicting how climate change is affecting the country.

Photographs can portray the very real challenges people face in Kenya. Winning photographs will cover the following categories: nature-based solutions to climate change, climate technology and innovation, and adapting to climate change in the community.

Speaking on the shores of Lake Baringo, British High Commissioner to Kenya Jane Marriott said:

“Climate change is already a daily reality for people across Kenya. Vulnerable communities that rely on their natural environment for survival are most at risk, least able to prepare and hardest hit. The UK will provide a platform for Kenyan voices and experiences in the run-up to the climate change conference next year in the UK, to build a brighter, greener, future.”

Vice President of the World Resources Institute and Friend of COP26 Wanjira Mathai said:

“Without support to locally-led measures to adapt to climate impacts and increase the resilience of economic activities, communities will sink further into poverty and hopelessness. The need for urgent climate action is clear. We need to re-set our relationship with nature and through our collective action reverse the damage we have done to mother earth.”

The initiative comes during a Year of Climate Action in Kenya, a partnership to celebrate the leadership that Kenya has shown in areas such as climate policy, clean energy, and green finance.

Edouard Wenseleers, Globeleq’s Business Development Director for East Africa said:

“Globeleq’s mission is to power Africa’s growth. As a responsible investor and power producer, Globeleq is committed to grow its business in a manner that is sustainable and respectful of the environment and the communities. Our Malindi Solar project in Kenya is a testimony of that commitment and we are delighted to sponsor the ‘Climate Changemakers Photography Competition’ launched by the British High Commission in Nairobi.”

Last month, the UK announced a KES 1.2 billion (£8m) package of UK initiatives to support climate action in Kenya and Africa.

The UK is also backing new pioneering satellite projects that will apply British expertise to tackling development problems in Kenya. UK academics will work on data solutions to manage natural resources and protecting wildlife. In Kenya, these projects will protect biodiversity, and increase climate change resilience:

  • Sat4Wildlife – to protect wildlife habitats in Kenya, using innovative sensing and monitoring technologies to boost the capacity of conservationists, including Ol Pejeta Conservancy to tackle threats to people and wildlife.
  • gEOthermalKenya – working with Kenya’s National Environmental Management Authority to support the sustainable growth of the geothermal sector, through a combination of satellite data insights and community consultations
  • Earth Observation for Sustainable Aggregate Supply – supporting sustainable management of sand resources

The competition is open from Friday, 4 December 2020 and will close at midnight Sunday, 31 January 2021. Winners will be notified on Wangari Maathai Day on 3 March 2021.