Two years ago, more than 180 countries came together to sign the landmark climate Paris Agreement – to keep global temperature rise well below 2 degrees Celsius.
But global temperatures have already increased by over 1 degree Celsius since the pre-industrial era. And concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are now at their highest for 800,000 years. After three years in which global emissions had leveled off, they recently started to rise again.
What seems like a small change in temperature is already preventing people from escaping poverty, and without rapid, inclusive and climate-smart development, there could be more than 100 million additional people in poverty by 2030.
For example, by 2030, crop yield losses could mean that food prices would be 12 percent higher on average in Sub-Saharan Africa. The strain on poor households, who spend as much as 60 percent of their income on food, will be dramatic. The resulting malnutrition could lead to an increase in severe stunting in Africa of 23 percent.
To remain globally competitive Kenya has to manage and sustain her environment and natural resource base. The country subsistence and national economies, foreign exchange and significant contribution to GDP depend on agriculture and agro-based industries, tourism, water resources and hydropower.
Kenya has not been left out on issues of climate change. It has experienced droughts, floods and other extreme climate events with increased frequency in recent years. This is reflected in the scientific literature, and noticed by Kenya’s people, who have become increasingly alarmed by the impacts of climate change on their livelihoods.
Kenya’s second Medium Term Plan 2013-2017 expressly recognizes the importance of adopting a low-carbon growth pathway, while climate change is a permanent standing item for the National Economic and Social Council.
Over the last two years, the World Bank Group has been on the frontline, committing billions to help countries meet their climate goals, delivering assistance across sectors, and pushing forward on global issues to reflect the growing international consensus that climate change must be tackled rapidly, systematically, and at scale.
The Bank Group is committed to increasing the climate-related share of its portfolio to 28 percent by 2020, in response to client demand. At current levels of co-financing, that would mean a potential $29 billion a year for climate projects by 2020.
To help accelerate the flow of finance for climate action, the World Bank and the United Nations launched a new platform, Invest4Climate, which brings together national governments, financial institutions, investors, philanthropists, and multilateral banks to identify climate investment opportunities, support policy reform and the crowd in private investment.
The platform aims to crowd in private and other investors for high-impact opportunities in developing countries such as the large-scale development of battery storage, electric cars, and energy efficient air conditioning.