The Council of Governors (COG) has affirmed that County Governments are fully prepared and dedicated to implementing accelerated national and global initiatives to combat climate change. Speaking at the Africa Climate Summit on Monday, Anne Waiguru, the Chairperson of COG and Governor of Kirinyaga County, emphasized that subnational governments, envisioned as catalysts for transformative local service delivery, are at the forefront of ushering in a low-carbon economy and sustainable development.

During her speech at the Africa Climate Summit, where various climate-related initiatives were launched, including the Long-Term Low Emissions Development Strategies (LT-LEDS), National Climate Change Action Plan (III) 2023-2027, Climate Change (Amendment) Act, 2023, and Financing Locally Led Climate Action (FLLoCA County Grants), Waiguru pointed out that all County Governments have established and executed the necessary policy and legal frameworks for addressing climate change. These frameworks serve as the foundation for mobilizing climate action at the local level.

Waiguru also highlighted that, in the current fiscal year, the counties have collectively allocated approximately Ksh. 3 billion from their development budgets for climate action. Additionally, they have institutionalized committees at the Ward and Sub-County levels focused on climate change planning. These committees identify, plan, and prioritize adaptation and mitigation projects tailored to their specific needs, thereby accelerating capacity-building and resilience efforts.

She expressed gratitude to President William Ruto for providing Ksh. 7.4 billion in FLLoCA grants to the counties for locally-driven climate action, aligning with Kenya’s “Bottom-up” transformation approach.

Waiguru emphasized that achieving climate objectives and aspirations will rely on community and country-led projects, including afforestation, reforestation, clean energy development, integrated water resource management, climate-smart agriculture, disaster management, transitioning to a circular economy, and climate-proofing county infrastructure, among other initiatives.

She stated, “The launch today brings us together to celebrate the journey towards the envisaged low-carbon development pathway by fostering cooperation, collaboration, and learning between the National and County Governments, as well as advancing the common goal to green growth and climate finance solutions in Africa and the World.”

Waiguru underscored the importance of implementing targeted capacity-building initiatives, innovations, and knowledge management programs within counties to strengthen institutions. She noted that investing in data systems, climate vulnerability and resilience indices, climate incentives like carbon trading, and county financial tracking, monitoring, and reporting are essential drivers for climate-sensitive growth and transformation.

Waiguru described the launch of LT-LEDS, NCCAP 2023-2027, and FLLoCA County Grants as a significant milestone that sets a benchmark for African nations and the world, showcasing a two-tier system of governance and a collective effort to promote green growth and climate finance solutions.

She added, “Underlying the principle of subsidiarity and adopting a bottom-up approach, the synthesized county climate change plans translate into the National Climate Change Action Plan being launched today.” Waiguru emphasized that this action plan will help the country meet its National Determined Contributions, committing to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 32% by 2030.

Governor Waiguru reiterated County Governments’ commitment to improving county planning, budgeting, and the execution of allocated resources for climate action. This commitment includes actual investments in climate adaptation and mitigation by aligning records within and across sectors to effectively address local needs while aligning them with national priorities for efficient service delivery.

The summit, hosted by President William Ruto, was attended by African Heads of State, representatives from the African Union, Cabinet Secretaries, Principal Secretaries, and development partners, among others.

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