The project was about situation analysis of climate governance in Kenya conducted as a means to strengthen climate change governance in Kenya through evidence-based policy advocacy and influence, improved knowledge management and capacity building, and better linkage between Civil Society, the academia and research community, funded by PACJA. This was achieved by working with institutions (National Government, Counties Governments, NGOs and Networks) working in sectors sensitive to climate change.
Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA)
Project team & Leader
The study targeted state and non-state actors. The present assessment examined the national government and 43 counties through desk review, interviews with stakeholders, and field visits to nine randomly selected counties. The study used stratified random sampling techniques to gather information on the key informants and the key stakeholders. The survey involved a total of 238 respondents. Key informant interviews and Focused Group Discussions were conducted across the country. Four broad aspects in support of climate governance at national to community levels were assessed, namely: Status of climate governance integration in Kenya’s devolved system of governance; Civil Society and broader citizen participation in the implementation of climate change policy instruments; Knowledge and information to support the integration of Climate Governance into Kenya’s 2018 big 4 agenda; and analysis of national and county governance barriers to implementing and enhancing climate policies and actions.
The state of climate governance integration in Kenya’s devolved system of governance is such that the majority (59%) of counties lack effective and resilient climate governance structures. Counties are in the process of developing robust basic climate governance structures. The current situation is such that there are generally low capacities to 1) monitor local ecosystems and climate impacts (29%); 2) complete basic multi- disciplinary scientific assessments of climate change vulnerabilities, current emissions and future scenarios (27%); 3) participate in national and international climate processes; 4) develop public education and stakeholder engagement around adaptation and, 5) solicit and fruitfully deploy funds related to climate change. However, the national government has effective governance structures. Meteorological functions, which are not devolved, provide suitable basic climate governance structure. However, the climate change directorate has virtually no influence at county level.
Civil Society and broader citizen participation status in the implementation of climate change policy instruments reveal that a central dimension of climate change governance involves finding approaches to activate dynamic forces in society to engage with the climate challenge. Climate change governance involves complex and contested decisions and difficult policy choices. These decisions affect long term societal welfare and the distribution of costs and benefits. The study sought to find out whether there was stimulation of public debate and advocacy around options for adoption of low carbon economy. Majority of the respondents (44%) were in agreement that there was stimulation of public debate at the national level, while a lower proportion (33%) agreed that there was stimulation of public debate at County level. In addition, this study sought to establish the integration of informal sector and community groups in climate change adaptation and mitigation. It was found that less than half of the population (36%) were in agreement that there was a deliberate effort to integrate the informal sector in climate change adaptation and mitigation in their counties.
Knowledge and information base to support the integration of Climate Governance into Kenya’s 2018 big 4 agenda is articulated as a chapter. Climate governance has a two-pronged approach: Governance of Mitigation and Governance of Adaptation. This is orchestrated by the fact that Climate change requires action on two fronts: adaptation and mitigation. Adaptation implies the adjustment of community at national and county levels to a changing climate. Mitigation requires shifts in current behaviour to end practices driving further climate change, particularly ensuring a cap of 1.50C. Governance of adaptation requires knowledge of anticipated regional (African and East African) and local (National and County) climate effects. In the current study, Kenya’s economy remains mainly agriculture-based, the critical climate issues identified were ranked as Droughts, Floods, heat and strong winds in that order. Governance of mitigation requires an understanding of emissions sources, cost‐effective abatement potentials, and policy approaches.
The Government of Kenya’s Big 4 agenda establishes priorities areas for 2018–2022 for ensuring food security, affordable healthcare, increased manufacturing, and affordable housing. Food production has been declining due to dependence on rain-fed agriculture, low adoption of technology including biotechnology, frequent attacks by pests and crop diseases, adverse weather, degradation of agricultural land, encroachment of urbanization into arable land, and rural-urban migration of the young people. The knowledge and information is critical for building a strong nexus between climate action and sustainable development. Awareness creation is needed on several policy instruments available at National and county levels to encourage mitigation. Energy efficiency is a promising area, where analysis suggests there are many potential gains as regards the big 4 agenda.
Analysis of national and county governance barriers to implementing and enhancing climate policies and actions reveals that climate change governance requires national and county governments to take an active role in bringing about shifts in interest perceptions so that stable societal majorities in favour of deploying an active mitigation and adaptation policy regime can be maintained. Measures to help effect such change include: building coalitions for change, buying off opponents, establishing new centres of economic power, creating new institutional actors, adjusting legal rights and responsibilities, and changing ideas and accepted norms and expectations. Although there is a relatively active role being played to cause shifts in interest perception at the national level, very little activity is registered at county governments. Many counties (70%) lack the capacity to address climate change adaptation and mitigation challenges.
It is recommended that Counties seek to develop competent basic climate governance structures with capacities: a) to monitor local ecosystems and climate impacts; b) to participate in basic scientific assessments of climate change vulnerabilities, current emissions and future scenarios; c) to participate in national and international climate processes; d) to develop public education and stakeholder engagement around adaptation; and, e) to solicit and fruitfully deploy funds related to climate change. Civil Society involvement is imperative in all five endeavours.
It is anticipated that this report, particularly the situation analysis, and recommendations, can serve as an important resource for a deeper understanding of the counties showcased and as an advocacy resource. We are particularly keen that academia and practitioners and policymakers will use this as a tool for dialogue with governments and other stakeholders.