It’s said that the 21st century war that man is fighting is climate change, this enemy has brought about the rise of climatic refugees all over the world and if this war is not worn sooner than later mankind shall be facing extinction. The ban on deforestation, charcoal burning and other measures taken by the Cabinet Secretary for environment and various county governors seems to be a drop of water in the ocean but the real picture is that it has a huge ripple effect on averting the effects of climate change.
The rise of Carbon (iv) oxide in the atmosphere has been considered one of the leading factors driving the engine of climate change. Trees form the largest percentage of carbon sinks and through afforestation and the burn on deforestation this will eventually lead to reduced carbon (iv) oxide concentrations in the atmosphere as a result of increase carbon sinks. Carbon pricing ensures that a monetary value is placed on carbon and this will ensure that counties compete for the coveted price of the county with the highest number of carbon sinks and the lowest carbon emitions levels.
The government needs to make climate change a national disaster since the effects that have been scientifically rellated to climate change are too many to brush them under the rag. Some of the effects associated with climate change include: –
- Pests and Disease outbreaks ranging from chronic ones such as skin cancer
- Famine associated with low food production.
- Unpredictable precipitation patterns like El Niño southern oscillation
- Increased surface temperatures leading to heat strokes
- Death and extinction of certain animal and plant species
- Resource conflicts between communities and with wild animals.
All of this coupled with increased population growth of Kenya puts enough strain on the already limited resources in Kenya. This calls for strong environmental policies and laws to be formulated by the Environmental ministry and not just acting after a calamity has occurred. The signing of the Paris Agreement by Kenya was the first steps towards solving the problem, but more needs to be done on the ground and less on boardroom meetings.
Since we need to use all available mechanisms to avert the issue of climate change other mechanisms apart from carbon pricing can be put in place and this include: –
- Use of hybrid plants and animals that can adapt to changing climate
- Adoption of sustainable agricultural land management practices.
- Soil and water conservation practices
- Creating public awareness programs on climate change
- Improved livestock management
- Insurance on crops
- Management of pests
In Sweden climate change effects have been reduced as a result of various drastic measures that the government of Sweden took. This measures included development of a good bicycle transport system to encourage use of bicycles as opposed to motor vehicles. Also Sweden boasts of using clean energy when it comes to biogas fueled motor vehicles and this I have experienced first-hand during my study in Uppsala Universitet in Sweden. Also Sweden is known to import its waste materials from other European countries since it has recycled all its available waste materials so as to keep the recycling plant running. Kenya needs to borrow a leaf or the whole tree on matters green clean energy from Sweden. Let’s hope this hype on total burn on deforestation is not a PR stunt by the government with a focus of wooing voters. Politics and environmental conservation matters do not mix well and it’s high time we separate the true environmental conservationist from the sycophant’s who’s only aim is to get cheap publicity. For more info on climate change rellated issues follow us on face-book @climatechangeawarenesskenya and on twitter @ClimateKenya254.