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Parliament to enact refined climate change bill in June

31 March 2014, 19:36

Nairobi - Parliament will in June enact a revised climate Changebill that outlines broad based measures to catalyze a low carbon development in the country.

Wilberforce Ottichilo, a member of the Parliamentary Committee on Environment and Energy, said Monday that all branches of the government have resolved to enact the Climate Change Bill into binding legislation.

"The National Assembly will enact climate bill before June this year. The bill seeks to elevate climate change agenda at the national level and addresses strategic interventions to boost our resilience to this phenomenon," Otichilo said during a national workshop on mainstreaming climate change policies.

Kenya has developed a progressive legislation and policy framework to strengthen the fight against climate change that is to blame for recurrent droughts, floods and conflicts in the east African nation.

Former President Mwai Kibaki refused to assent an earlier climate change bill into law and returned it to parliament for amendments.

The former president, some parliamentarians and leading conservationists agreed that the bill was inadequate since it did not have inputs from key stakeholders.

National consultations to revise the climate bill have been going on since last year and all branches of government have agreed on the need to fast-track enactment of this legislation.

Otichilo revealed that climate change agenda will be placed under the Office of the President once the bill is passed.

"Climate change is a cross cutting issue that has an impact on social, economic and political spheres. The climate bill will ensure that the Presidency takes leading role in the fight against this menace," Otichilo said.

He stressed that political will is critical to boost the fight against climate change in Kenya.

"As a country, we have developed some of the most progressive policies and laws on climate change. Their implementation has been the most daunting task. The president should be in the frontline to save our country from severe climate shocks," said Otichilo.

He noted that the climate bill seeks to harmonize mitigation and adaptation programs to create a bigger impact.

Likewise, the bill encourages public private partnerships to implement green projects in diverse sectors like water, energy, agriculture, forestry and fisheries.

Kenya requires solid regulatory tools to promote low carbon development pathways.

The head of Climate and Energy, Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA), Suresh Patel noted that a progressive climate bill will encourage investments in adaptation and mitigation projects.

"Kenya needs to explore innovative and market oriented approaches to tackle climate shocks. We need laws and policies that encourage businesses to be active players in helping communities cope with devastating impacts of climate change," Patel said.

- Xinhua


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