Thursday, December 11, 2008

Michuki gives climate change meeting a miss

Environment minister John Michuki. Photo/FILE 

By DAVE OPIYO in POZNAN, POLAND

Environment minister John Michuki will not lead Kenya’s delegation to the climate change meeting taking place here after all.

Mr Michuki was scheduled to address the meeting on Friday to state Kenya’s official position on the current negotiations towards a new global climate change deal.

However, the Nation has learnt that the Director General of the National Environmental Management Authority, Dr Muusya Mwinzi, had been dispatched to the conference to represent the minister.

He was expected to arrive in the Polish city of Poznan on Thursday evening. It had widely been feared that Kenya would not send an official delegation to the talks, which started on December 1 and end on Saturday.

Having hosted a similar meeting two year’s ago, it was widely believed that Kenya’s participation in this conference was key.

Indeed, last week, a number of officials from NGOs planning to attend the conference expressed their disappointment that the government would not be sending a delegation to the talks.

They argued that by not doing so, the government had shown that it was not committed to adequately addressing environmental concerns in the country.

Actively participate

Nobel Laureate Prof Wangari Maathai on Wednesday said, “This is an important conference for all governments to actively engage in...if for instance the Kenyan Government does not do so, we are here as Kenyans and we will actively participate in it.”

The Poznan conference constitutes the half way mark in the negotiations on an ambitious and effective international response to climate change, to be agreed in Copenhagen at the end of next year and to take effect in 2013.

advertisement