The Council of Governor’s Chairperson, Anne Waiguru, has said that Kenya is headed in the right direction in as far as unlocking the flow of climate finance to the subnational level.
Waiguru said that devolved financing models for adaptation have been piloted in Kenya, showing strong evidence of effectiveness.
“Piloting of innovative decentralized-County Climate Change Funds took place between 2011-2018 by the Adaptation Consortium in the ASAL counties of Garissa, Isiolo, Kitui, Makueni, and Wajir, where the financial and governance structures for the county’s climate actions were designed, demonstrated, and strengthened while ensuring that local communities were central in the decision making on resilience building and adaptation investments”.
The COG Chair who is also the governor of Kirinyaga County, added that Kenya has pioneered a climate change governance mechanism to increase finance for local climate action including the establishment of The County Climate Change Fund (CCCF) that consists of climate legislation enacted by county governments and a county-controlled fund that finances climate projects identified and prioritized by local communities.
“The legislations provide for allocation of estimated 1%-3% of development budgets to climate action in the 47 counties with 45 counties having already enacted the legislations”, she said.
The COG Chair was addressing a session on ‘Uniting leaders: States and Regions Unlock Multi level climate action at COP 28 in Dubai. The session that was organized by Bloomberg Philanthropies was attended by among others, Governor Renato Casagrande, Espírito Santo, Brazil, H.E. Mauricio Kuri González, Governor, Queretaro, Mexico and Governor Lamin Saidykhan, North Bank Region, Gambia.
She said that the CCCF is a key component in a comprehensive national planning and financing framework that strengthens capacity and channels money from international and national sources to community-driven climate action priorities.
She noted that CCCF originated from the need to have structured collaborations whereby public and private actors contribute ideas, expertise and finance in the design, piloting, scale-out and institutionalizations.
“The County Climate Change Fund mechanism strengthens the capacities of counties to mainstream climate change in planning and budgeting, access climate finance from different sources, strengthen public participation in the management and use of those funds and adopt a more climate-resilient development pathway using strategies that also protect and empower the vulnerable.” Noted governor Waiguru.
She said that further, Kenya is implementing Financing Locally-Led Climate Action-FLLOCA Programme that seeks to strengthen the capacity of sub national Governments to plan, track and implement climate resilient projects through climate proofing of investments and cushioning communities from climate shocks and stressors.
She noted that during the design stages of FLLOCA Programme, Kenya adopted an inter-agency approach involving key stakeholders i.e., National Treasury and Planning, the Climate Change Directorate, the Council of Governors, County Governments and other key stakeholders to spearhead efforts to improve local climate action as per their respective mandates as prescribed in the National Climate Change Action Plan.
She said that following the inception of the Financing Locally Led Climate Action Programme, a catalytic climate action financing, the financing model has now been adopted in all 47 sub national Governments in Kenya.
The COG Chair added that counties have also received USD 8.9 million for County Institutional support under the FLLOCA while another USD 66.3 Million for climate resilient investment grant will be disbursed to 45 subnational governments during the current financial year.
She cited Kirinyaga whereby the county government has mainstreamed climate action in its development agenda, mainly bringing on board small-scale farmers. He government has been supporting farmers to increase agricultural productivity through climate smart initiatives that mitigate against adverse impacts of climate change such as drought and floods as well as addressing post-harvest loses of their produce.
She observed that collaboration between the national and subnational governments and unlocking climate finance require accurate stakeholder mapping to enable utilization of the needed skill sets and expertise into the design of programs and projects.
She pointed out that putting in place minimum access conditions and minimum performance conditions helps catalyze localized actions to enable sub national Governments access the critical financing and channel the resources towards resilience building transformative interventions that fall under the approved project requirements.
To enhance mobilization of private finance, Waiguru said that there was need to address challenges such as limited capacity, policy and regulatory uncertainty, risk perception, financial constraints among others.
She also stressed on the need to further invest in capacity-building initiatives for subnational governments to enhance their ability to plan, implement, and manage climate initiatives.
“There is also need for Policy Alignment to ensure alignment between national and subnational climate policies and regulations as well as establishment of a clear and consistent legal framework that provides stability and predictability for private investors. Develop mechanisms to mitigate perceived risks, such as providing guarantees, insurance, or risk-sharing mechanisms to encourage private investment in climate initiatives”.
She called for exploration of innovative financing mechanisms, such as green bonds, climate funds, and public-private partnerships, to mobilize additional resources for climate projects.
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