Uhuru Kenyatta calls for an increase in climate finance at COP26

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President Uhuru Kenyatta with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow. [Courtesy]

Speaking at the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, President Uhuru Kenyatta called for an increase in member states’ ambition to end carbon emissions as well as an increase in climate finance.

“Kenya is expecting a lot from the COP26 meeting to see a quantum increase in climate finance. Twice in a row, developing countries have been promised $ 100 billion a year, but this has yet to be delivered. ”

President Uhuru also called for adaptation and provisions to help vulnerable people adapt to climate change.

“The increase in financial support must be stepped up. we expect the Paris agreement to be finalized and inclusive to meet the needs and priorities of developing countries.

The summit started on a positive note with world leaders warning that failure to cut carbon emissions will create more hostile environments for generations to come.

Kenyan environmental lawyer Elizabeth Wathuti has pleaded with world leaders to make decisions over the next two weeks that will create space for the survival of life for decades to come.

“Thanks to the green generation initiative, we have planted 30,000 fruit trees. However, these trees will not survive on a planet at 2.7 degrees Celsius, ”notes Wathuti.

She further points out that “I saw with my own eyes three young children crying on the edge of a dry river after walking 12 miles with their mother to find water.

In his opening remarks, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Borris Johnson, warned that an increase in temperatures on the planet could jeopardize the food supply of hundreds of millions of people, increase the swarming of locusts and cause crop wilting.

“Three degrees, and you can add more forest fires and cyclones, twice as much. Five times more droughts and 36 times more heat waves. Four degrees and we say goodbye to entire cities, Miami, Alexandria, Shanghai, all lost in the waves, ”he said.

According to Antonio Guterres, the UN Secretary General, the last 6 years have been the hottest years on the planet.

The UN chief also announced that an expert group will be convened to standardize the meanings and metrics for measuring carbon emissions, as the data provided is inconsistent.

“Enough of killing us with carbon. Enough of treating nature like a toilet. Enough of burning and drilling and mining deeper. We dig our graves,” Gutteres said.

In his remarks, President Joe Biden said it was a watershed decade for countries to prove their goal of limiting global warming to just 1.5 degrees Celsius.

“We only have a brief window left to elevate our ambitions, and to meet the rapidly shrinking task. “?

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