President Uhuru Kenyatta has affirmed Kenya’s support for global efforts for environmental conservation and the fight against climate change.
President Kenyatta noted on Saturday that Kenya is keen on partnering with other countries in advocating for the use of green energy to check the challenges of climate change and variability.
He spoke at a meeting with Mr Laurent Fabius, the chairman of the Group of Experts on the Global Pact for the Environment, who sought Kenya’s support on the global impact of initiatives that resulted from the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21).
“Climate change is no longer a myth. It is here with us so we cannot turn a blind eye to it. Green is definitely the way to go,” Mr Kenyatta said.
He added, “Kenya is keen on partnering in this initiative not just verbally but also in the commitment of resources needed to make it a success.”
He was hopeful that governments will continue crafting and implementing environmentally friendly policies.
Such policies, he said, should not only guarantee environmental health but also demonstrate commercial viability.
Mr Fabius, a veteran French politician and former president of COP21, said France views the initiative as a worldwide project that calls for all countries to join hands in creating environmental friendly policies.
President Kenyatta informed Mr Fabius that at the end of this month, he will launch the biggest wind power plant in Africa, a step which will demonstrate that it is possible to go green and achieve Kenya’s ambitious development goals.
The Lake Turkana Wind Power Project, in Loyangalani in Marsabit County, is the largest such project on the continent, with an output of 310MW of clean and reliable electricity.
The Sh70 billion project comprises 365 turbines and covers 160 square kilometres of land.
The president added that Kenya is in the forefront in geothermal power generation, a move that has attracted partnerships from African countries including Rwanda and Djibouti.
He also mentioned the innovation, by three young Kenyans, of a multi-purpose solar-powered vehicle to supply cheap energy to Kenya’s rural homes and ease transport.
Ignatius Maranga and Peter Mutai, graduates of electrical and electronic engineering from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology and Technical University of Mombasa respectively, and Samuel Ndung’u, an accounting student at Strathmore University, won the Valeo Innovation Challenge.
The tough global contest organised by Valeo is aimed at encouraging science and engineering students to develop new solutions in vehicle electrification, autonomous cars and digital mobility.
It attracts entries from universities across the world.
“It is definitely important to encourage young men and women to take the green energy direction for a better tomorrow,” President Kenyatta said.
The head of State is in France, at the invitation of President Emmanuel Macron, to attend the Global Peace Forum which begins Sunday.
He will give a keynote address and participate in roundtable discussions.
Mr Fabius welcomed President Kenyatta’s support, saying it will go a long way in strengthening the relationship between their countries.
After their meeting, President Kenyatta was interviewed by France 24 TV on Kenya and Africa’s trade with China, his administration’s Big Four Agenda and Kenya’s active role in the war against terrorism and violent extremism.
On Kenya’s relationship with China, Mr Kenyatta said his administration is taking robust measures to bridge the trade imbalance by growing exports to the expansive Chinese market.
Regarding his term, he reiterated that he is not interested in an extension so he will leave at the end of his constitutional second term.
President Kenyatta later joined other visiting leaders for a courtesy dinner hosted by President Macron.
The peace forum is a new annual event focused on international cooperation as key to tackling global challenges and ensuring durable peace.
It is a meeting of at least 70 heads of State and government from across the world, being held as the world marks 100 years since the end of World War I, the armistice centenary
World leaders including United States President Donald Trump, British Prime Minister Theresa May, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will attend the forum.
By Daily Nation