The government has been urged to be wary of slowing down vital climate change mitigation efforts in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.
Climate change experts warn that the urgent need to beat the virus may see most African countries lose track of the war on global warming. According to Dr Mithika Mwenda, the Executive Director of Pan African Climate Justice Alliance, climate change is an equally catastrophic threat to human life.
“The Covid-19 outbreak is an abrupt threat ... but climate change remains a worse danger that should remain a top priority for the government” he said Thursday.
In an interview with the Nation on the eve of World Environment Day (Friday), Dr Mwenda urged President Uhuru Kenyatta to ensure the post-Covid-19 economic recovery strategy is aligned to the Paris Climate Agreement. He said the country should not ignore the climate crisis as it has traumatised many and killed hundreds.
“The truth is, the Covid-19 pandemic did not even pause the climate crisis. Our people continue to be killed and others displaced,” he said.
The climate activist said the urgency with which the pandemic is being handled should be replicated on environment matters. He further warned that the disruptions brought about by the virus, including restrictions on movement, could see vulnerable communities engage in activities like charcoal burning, which adversely degrade their environment, worsening an already dire situation.
Dr Mwenda said this year’s celebrations, whose theme is appreciating biodiversity, should be a wake-up call to governments to ensure proper dissemination of the Green Climate Fund to help communities living near natural resources to conserve rather than destroy them.