President Uhuru Kenyatta has urged the international community to accelerate interventions to avert the climate crisis facing the world.
The President also called on development partners to honour their commitments of doubling global climate financing, especially for adaptation, to enable developing countries to invest in climate-resilient infrastructure and systems. Uhuru said the heightened ambition in financing and implementation should be at the core of the environmental commitments and actions.
In his address on Thursday at the opening of the two-day ‘Stockholm+50’ summit, which he is co-chairing with Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson in Sweden, Kenyatta decried that less progress has been made in designing and implementing bold actions to address the challenge.
“This meeting seeks to, therefore, accelerate action to avert the environmental crisis and define a pathway towards an environmentally sustainable future,” the President said, noting that has been a growing understanding of the grave environmental threats in the last 50 years but less action.
He asked all participants to seize the opportunity presented by the Stockholm+50 meeting to hasten the pace and quality of the environment action now that the environment agenda is at the centre of global discussions.
“By the time we go to COP27 (the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference) in November this year, we should aim to have developed a comprehensive, holistic and transformative package of environmental actions.
“This should be an integrated package that pulls together the outcomes of COP26 held last November, the 5th Session of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA 5.2) in March, the Stockholm+50 and the upcoming UN Ocean Conference to be held in Lisbon at the end of June,” State House press the President as saying.
Kenyatta also said his administration has continued to give high priority to environmental issues.
This includes a ban on single-use plastics in 2017 and the acceleration of the generation of renewable energy, which now accounts for approximately 80 per cent of our clean energy, he said.
The President appealed to all UNEP member states to develop and implement a legally binding instrument to end plastic pollution.
Swedish Prime Minister Andersson said while the developed countries were the ones causing the most environmental pollution, the poorest countries were hit the most by the devastating effects of environmental degradation.
In this regard, she said no country or person should be left behind in the green transition.
“The transition can only be done if it is made in a social and inclusive way. And this is not just an option, it is our moral obligation. We must all live up to our commitments. We must start delivering on the declarations we have signed and on the pledges we have made. We have already talked the talk. Now it’s time to walk the walk,” Andersson said.
His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and President of the 76th session of the UN General Assembly Abdulla Shahid, also addressed the meeting convened by the UN.
Held under the theme “a healthy planet for the prosperity of all – our responsibility, our opportunity”, the international environment meeting co-hosted by Kenya and Sweden also commemorated the 50th anniversary of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm which marked a new era of global cooperation.
UN Secretary-General Guterres appealed to world leaders to lead the world out of the environmental mess that is compromising the wellbeing of more than three billion people and costing the lives of up to nine million people annually.
“We need to change course now and end our senseless and suicidal war against nature. We know what to do and increasingly we have the tools to do it. But we still lack leadership and cooperation. So today I appeal to leaders in all sectors to lead us out of this mess,” Guterres said.