Embu county government will soon have a climate change policy as a commitment to protect the climate system for the benefit of the present and future generations. This policy is therefore aimed at supporting the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) process, ratifying the Kyoto Protocol in 2005, and contributing to continental and regional climate change initiatives. The Policy establishes an effective, accountable and transparent framework to facilitate a coordinated, coherent and effective response to the Embu county challenges and opportunities presented by climate change. The Policy therefore aims to enhance adaptive capacity and build resilience to climate variability and change, while promoting a low carbon development pathway. An overarching mainstreaming approach has been adopted to ensure the integration of climate change considerations into development planning, budgeting and implementation in all sectors and at all levels of government.

Addressing a team of environmental experts under the auspices of Pan African Climate Justice Alliance, C.E.C Member for Water, Irrigation, Environment and Natural Resources Eng. Muriuki Waganagwa noted that the country’s new Constitution 2010 has set out a legal commitment to attain ecologically sustainable development; hence providing a firm basis to address the challenge of climate change while striving to attain the development goals set out in Kenya Vision 2030. He said that the county is responding to climate change by formulating domestic legislation, policies, and strategies that are pinned on national and international climate policies. Kenya has developed a Climate Change Response Strategy 2010, Climate change Act 2016, National Adaptation Programme 2015-2030, Energy Act, Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) amongst others.

Embu county’s economy is highly dependent on the natural resource base, and thus is highly vulnerable to climate variability and change. Realization of sustainable development in the county, despite the progress made in past five years of implementing devolution is threatened by climate change and its resultant impacts. The country has in the recent past seen increased evidence of climate change such as rising temperatures and changing rainfall patterns, and has experienced extensive climate related impacts through the increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events such as droughts and flooding. These manifestations of climate change constitute a serious threat not only to the county’s natural, built economic and physical systems, on which the county’s sustainable development and future prosperity depends, but also national. To safeguard sustainable development, the County Government of Embu has developed the County Climate Change Framework Policy to provide a clear and concise articulation of overall response priorities to climate variability and change at the county level.

The Policy is therefore designed to provide a framework to guide the development and implementation of specific, detailed and costed climate change interventions through regular and periodic Climate Change Action Plans to be integrated into the periodic CIDPs. By putting in place this policy architecture, the county of Embu aims to safeguard the wellbeing of its citizens, their property, and the county’s prosperity in the face of a changing climate. This Policy therefore aims to enhance adaptive capacity and build resilience to climate variability and change, while promoting a climate change resilient development pathway

Worth noting is the fact that the Constitution of Kenya sets out a commitment to ecologically sustainable development. Climate change poses a significant challenge to these sustainable development goals. The county of Embu’s continuing vulnerability to climate change (just like other counties) and the threat this poses to achieving long-term development goals has been clearly recognised. This Policy will facilitate a coordinated, coherent and effective response to the local, national and global challenges and opportunities that climate change presents. This will be achieved through the adoption of a mainstreaming approach that ensures integration of climate change considerations into the development planning, budgeting, and implementation processes at the county level.

A broad range of strategies and programmes have been pursued by various governmental and non-governmental entities to address the effects of climate change in the County of Embu and in Kenya at large. Accordingly, the Policy reflects the County Government of Embu’s commitment to formulating a proactive, coherent and integrated climate change response that focuses on reducing vulnerability and building the resilience of the people, property, environment and economy. The Policy will position County of Embu to capture the economic, social and environmental benefits of the transition to a low carbon climate resilient economy.

The Chief Officer Environment and Natural Resources Mr. Nicholus Ngece affirmed that the county government is also in the process of enacting waste management, natural resources and water policies which will provide interlinkages between sustainabe county development initiatives. Also present were Chief Officer Water and irrigations Mr. Richard Mbogo, his Director Mr. Albert Gatuta and Director Environment and Natural Resources Mr. Moses Kigoro among others.