Ali Mohamed, a Senior Advisor to the Presidency on climate change said 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.
“Nairobi considers Beijing a strategic partner in advancement of green agenda and sustainable development in the country,” he said in a recent interview with Xinhua.
“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.
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 Kenya’s green agenda.
“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.
During the recent Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) summit in Johannesburg, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced 10 major China-Africa cooperation initiatives over the next three years.
Among them is the China-Africa green development cooperation project, which will see China implement 100 programs on clean energy, wildlife protection, environmentally friendly agriculture and smart city construction in Africa.
Xi said that China-Africa cooperation would not be progressed at the cost of Africa’s ecosystem and long-term interests.
Professor Munene Macharia, International Relations Lecturer at the U.S. International University in Nairobi, told Xinhua that intensified use of clean energy in big power industries would reduce global pollution, and also assist Africa to industrialize.
Sino-Kenya bilateral cooperation in environment has focused on capacity development and skills transfer to strengthen conservation of ecosystems, according to Mohamed.
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.
“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.
In a meeting with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta ahead of the FOCAC summit, Xi urged the two countries to work together to protect ecological environment and wildlife.
President Xi also called for enhanced exchanges and coordination between China and Kenya in major international and regional issues including climate change. Enditem