The private sector has been urged to inculcate the climate change agenda at policy level and move away from cosmetic engagement in matters sustainability. Speakers at the 2021 #4CKenya Sustainability Conference held on 10th November 2021 called for a deliberate inclusion of all stakeholders to wheel back the effects of environment degradation and its effects to the community.
KEPSA, in collaboration with the Kenya Climate Innovation Center (KCIC), Kenya Association of Manufactures and other partners, hosted the Corporate Commitment to Climate Change and Sustainability in Kenya (4C-K) Conference at Strathmore University.
The hybrid high-level conference happened against the backdrop of COP 26 taking place in Glasgow between between 31 October and 12 November 2021. The event at Strathmore University deliberated on the private sector’s commitment to climate change which culminated to the signing of the 10-point Charter for action by corporate sector players and stakeholders.
Host of the event and Chief Executive at the Kenya Climate Innovation Center, Dr. Edward Mungai challenged the players in the corporate and enterprise space to take up the role in tackling climate change. Mungai noted that some of the interventions to bring a tangible change would be an opportunity to bring about change by including all stakeholders mainly the youth.
The GoGreen Initiative by Optiven was represented at the conference where it shared interventions taken by the Optiven Foundation with regard to realization of UN SDG goals on health, education, environment, poverty eradication as well as youth and women empowerment.
The conference discussed different aspects of the journey to turn around climate change with focus on financing, innovation, articulation, leveraging, benchmarking and result analysis. It was noted that access to finance is just a part of the wheel towards realizing innovative ways to cater for climate change mitigation.
Addressing the panel discussion on private sector roadmap to the climate action plan, Mungai called on the teaching institutions to leverage of entrepreneurship to students as a solution to the challenge of climate change. He reiterated that is the youth and innovation, together, that will provide solutions in matters climate change.
Meanwhile, as the companies operating in the country prepare to take on the challenge of making a mark towards climate change, the corporate sector 10 point charter launched at the conference will be a guiding point. It will among other objectives, work with the private sector, mainly the corporate stakeholders to provide policies that support infrastructure towards innovation, realization and support of policies to promote sustainability. The panelists further called for an extension of facilities and opening up of mechanisms for networking for ideas towards managing and mitigating climate change.
Among the challenges that emerged from the conference include gaps and interventions to mitigate climate change for private sector players, a lack of promotions for the concepts aligned to sustainability within the corporate sector and enhanced collaboration in terms of action and commitment to achieve an adaptable value chain while embracing mitigation for climate change. A special call for the embracing of public private partnerships was made noting that this will achieve more and catalyze the realization of the UN Sustainable Development Goals by the year 2030. The next #4CKenya Conference is slated for November 2022.