Kenya will strengthen cooperation with China to fight climate change that is to blame for recurrent natural calamities, epidemics, rising poverty and resource based conflicts in the east African nation, senior officials said on Wednesday.Ali Mohamed, a Senior Advisor to the Presidency on climate change, said that Nairobi considers Beijing a strategic partner in advancement of green agenda and sustainable development in the country.
“We have initiated a number of bilateral pacts with China that focus on environmental sustainability, trade and technology transfer. Kenya looks up to China to help implement a national climate strategy through adoption of clean technologies,” said Mohamed.He spoke to Xinhua in Nairobi during the launch of the fourth annual sustainability report by Kenyans leading mobile phone company Safaricom.
The former Permanent Secretary in Kenya’s Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources said China has been a source of expertise and innovations that have advanced the green agenda in the country.
“China is a leading source of solar technologies that have been embraced by local communities as we move away from carbon emitting energy sources. As a country, we look up to China’s leadership in the global green agenda,” Mohamed told Xinhua ahead of the upcoming Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) which will be held in South Africa in December.
Sino-Kenya bilateral cooperation in environment has focused on capacity development and skills transfer to strengthen conservation of ecosystems.Mohamed said Chinese investments in renewable energy and modern transport infrastructure has contributed immensely to green agenda and poverty reduction in Kenya.
“China has been instrumental in accelerating our transition to clean energy through investments in mega geothermal projects. A partnership between Chinese and local firms has facilitated assembling of solar panels in the country,” said Mohamed.
He added that Chinese funded infrastructure projects like the standard gauge railway will help reduce carbon emissions in the transport sector.Kenyan officials are confident that China will offer strategic leadership that will culminate in signing of a legally binding climate deal in Paris later this year.
“Developing countries regard China an important ally in advancing our mutual interests like green economy, security and peace. Through South-South cooperation, China will steer the climate change agenda effectively,” Mohamed said.
Kenyan green advocates support robust cooperation with China to boost the war against climate change.
The Chairperson, Green Belt Movement, Wanjira Maathai said China has revitalized the global green agenda through technology transfer and mass production of solar panels.”China is leading the world in green energy revolution. As a country, we have an opportunity to learn and domesticate China’s model of shifting away from fossil fuels that are to blame for rising carbon emissions,” Maathai said.