Climate Emergency Day: Activists demand shift to renewable energy

Participants attend a media science cafe on the CATALYST study on HIV by LVCT Health, in Nairobi.
Participants attend a media science cafe on the CATALYST study on HIV by LVCT Health, in Nairobi.

By Stephen Misori |

Climate activists have urged the Kenyan government to heavily invest in renewable energy and initiate quick action to avert destructive plastic pollution as well as adverse effects of climate change.

In Kisumu, environmentalists at an awareness march to commemorate the 2023 Climate Emergency Day urged the government to increase its efforts to enable just transition to renewable energy.

George Bush, representing Kisumu Environmental Champions, an organisation running a campaign dubbed ‘Let Lake Victoria Breath Again,’ said calamities awaited countries that procrastinate on climate action and plastic pollution management. “Plastic pollution is a threat to the existence of Lake Victoria,” said Bush.

He commended the county government of Kisumu for creating an enabling environment for climate change mitigation. “The government must reach out to Uganda and Tanzania, which share the lake, to scale up conservation measures in the lake basin,” he said.

Clive Donnley, a youth and climate negotiator, said: “We need climate action. The budget allocation for key ministries must be improved to tackle the impact of global warming on health and food systems.”

He said Kisumu Environmental Champions targeted to restore the lake’s ecosystem for the benefit of future generations.

“There is need for ethical integrity in voluntary carbon markets and consideration of protection of human rights in energy transition,” he added.

Elsewhere, Martin Mulenga, the Green Cosmos Organisation Director, called for “real” climate action. At a global webinar organised by Environmental Protectors’ Alliance (EPA), the activist asked countries to invest in women and youth to contain effects of climate change.

“We must invest in women for them to be part of the solution. Women and youth are the most impacted by effects of climate change,” he said.

Meanwhile Governor Gideon Mung’aro has approved the Kilifi County Climate Change Act 2023 that seeks to implement climate change mitigation strategies. The governor said the Act puts in place a framework and mechanism for facilitating communities and other stakeholders to respond effectively to the effects of climate change.


Environmental activists take part in clean-up activities in Kisumu city to mark the Climate Emergency Day.

At the same time, Environment and Climate Change and Forestry Cabinet Secretary Soipan Tuya has projected the outcomes of the forthcoming Africa Climate Summit (ACS) that will take place in Nairobi in September, saying it will place greater emphasis on Africa’s immense renewable energy potential.

“The ACS is keen on abundant green transition minerals, sustainable agriculture and the globe’s largest carbon sinks as solutions to the current climate crisis,” she said at Think20 (T20) and Sustainable Energy for All (SEforAll) event, on the sidelines of the G20 Ministerial Meeting on Energy Transition in Goa, India.

She said the Kenyan government had put in place intervention measures to bring down emission of heat, as well as capacity building to increase people’s participation in climate crisis mitigation and increase their resilience.

As the climate clock count down to five years left for the world to stop climate change from becoming more disastrous, more environmentalists called for more involvement in efforts to tackle the climate crisis besides quick action.

“As the countdown continues, the crises, including drought, are becoming more visible. This indicates that climate change is real. This is the time to act. It has to be fast,” said Basil Okoth, an environmental scientist.

The Climate Emergency Day comes barely three months to the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference at the Expo City, Dubai. The conference dubbed COP28 intends to mark the conclusion of the first global stock take, a comprehensive assessment of the progress made in achieving the Paris Agreement goals.

“The COP28 in the UAE is a unique opportunity to demonstrate a real commitment to cutting emissions. It will offer the world’s collective progress towards achieving climate goals,” says Martin Mulenga, director Green Cosmos Organization, Zambia. 

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