Image by Neil Palmer (CIAT)
  • Report
  • 23 May 2019

Tracking subnational government investments in climate change mitigation and adaptation in Kenya

Kenya is disproportionately vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, and investments in climate change in Kenya are integral in supporting the transition to a low carbon and climate-resilient development regime. County governments, as the first point of contact with climate-affected populations, play a pivotal role in managing climate change investment in Kenya.

This report systematically screens four Kenya county budgets for the period 2016/17 to 2018/19 to measure the progress being made in climate change investment goals. The report focuses on Kenya’s National Climate Change Action Plan’s stated priority aim: the use of adaptation and mitigation targets to facilitate achievements in addressing subnational vulnerability to climate change. A summary of the report is available here.

Key findings

Subnational targeting of climate change investment

  • Vulnerability to climate change in the four counties is driven by high poverty levels, reliance on climate-sensitive livelihoods and rapid population growth.
  • Climate change investments constitute just over 6% of the county budgets in Kisumu and Laikipia and 8% in West Pokot and Baringo. Annual investment in climate change on average amounts to KES 614.7 million in Kisumu, KES 528.7 million in Baringo, KES 417.1 million in West Pokot and KES 269.5 million in Laikipia.
  • Over two-thirds of investment in climate change interventions is on adaptation. These allocations are aligned to the country’s focus, which as in many African countries, prioritises climate change adaptation over mitigation measures.
  • Investment in forestry and alternative energy sources are the main mitigation strategies in the four counties. However, better enforcement of forestry legislation and adequate funding for alternative energy interventions is required to support progress in implementation of forestry and alternative energy projects.

Report recommendations

County level finance support mechanisms

  • County climate change funds (CCCFs) should be established to provide a reliable mechanism for financing priority climate change actions. This calls for political will at the county executive and assembly levels, as well as provision of technical support to counties for effective functioning of CCCFs.
  • County governments should strengthen mobilisation of own source revenue (OSR) to bridge the funding gaps.
  • Strengthen own source revenue mobilisation in counties to bridge the funding gaps that impede implementation of CC actions.
  • Establish county climate change funds to finance priority climate change actions at county level.

Strengthen data and legal framework

  • Fast track finalisation of the draft Public Finance Management (Climate Change Fund) Regulations, 2018 to operationalise the National Climate Change Fund.
  • Improve enforcement of forestry laws and regulations to facilitate rapid progress in forestry development as a mitigation strategy.
  • A national system for regular collection and analysis of the impacts of climate change and the effectiveness of climate finance should be established.
  • Enhance mainstreaming of climate change mitigation into various sectors at county level to ensure sustainable development.

Calls to action at household, county and national level:

  • Define the roles and responsibilities of national and county governments in tracking and monitoring the impacts of climate finance.
  • Strengthen the capacity of county governments to collect and analyse data on climate change impacts and the outcomes of climate change investments.
  • Fund use of clean alternative energy interventions that are aimed at enhancing access at household level and alleviate the health risks associated with using fossil fuels.

For information about subnational investments that address vulnerability to disaster risk reduction, read our report ‘Tracking subnational government investments in disaster risk reduction in Kenya’.

Photo by by Neil Palmer (CIAT)