By Lawrence Indire

The Third Pan-African Parliamentarians Summit on Climate Policy and Equity held between 16-17th of May 2023 at the Pan African Parliament Headquarters in Midrand, South Africa provided a platform for parliamentarians, government officials, experts, civil society organizations and other stakeholders to share ideas, exchange best practices and explore ways to address the pressing challenges of Climate Change.

Vihiga Governor Dr. Wilber Ottichilo who was one of the distinguished speakers at the Summit, had the priviledge to shed light on the crucial topic of mainstreaming Climate Change action in Sub-National governments.

With Vihiga County being a practical example and model that could be replicated across Africa in the quest for Climate Change, a Climate Change Act has been enacted to address adverse effects associated with Climate Change.

The Act serves as a comprehensive legislative framework designed to guide Climate Change actions and interventions within the region. It emphasizes on the importance of linking policy formulation with effective implementation strategies and also establishes clear targets and timelines for Climate action.

Additionally, it sets specific goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, promotes renewable energy sources and enhances Climate resilience by providing measurable targets to ensure accountability and facilitate monitoring and evaluation of progress towards Climate change objectives.

With a key focus on stakeholder engagement and participation in championing Climate Change, involving local communities, civil society organizations and private sector entities in Climate Change decision-making processes, this inclusive approach fosters collaboration by promoting local ownership and enhancing the effectiveness and sustainability of Climate Change initiatives.

The Loss and Damage Fund agreed at the COP27 will come in handy by providing financial assistance to vulnerable nations impacted negatively by the effects of Climate Change. Countries present reaffirmed their commitment to limit the global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees celsius, which can be reciprocated not only in Kenya but the African continent at large.

The Vihiga County Climate Change Act stands as a remarkable example of how Sub-National governments can successfully link policy formulation and implementation in addressing Climate Change challenges by integrating Climate considerations into various sectors, setting clear targets and engaging stakeholders through an established robust framework for Climate action.

It also serves as an inspiration for other regions and nations striving to effectively address climate change at the Sub-National level by demonstrating the importance of legislative approaches that bridge the gap between policy formulation and implementation, ultimately leading to tangible and impactful Climate Change actions.

Through the lessons learnt from Vihiga County’s Climate Change Act, we can further strengthen our efforts to combat Climate Change and create a more sustainable and resilient future for all.

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