At the international level, global flows of climate finance are increasing – amounting to approximately USD 360 billion in 20121. The establishment of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and its commitment to direct 50% of its anticipated annual fund of USD100bn by 2020 to vulnerable countries for climate change adaptation offers significant opportunities. The GCF will function in addition to pre-existing multi–lateral and bi-lateral climate funds. Climate vulnerable countries, such as Kenya, that demonstrates capacity to channel these funds to the most vulnerable and drive climate resilient economic growth, while demonstrating strong fiduciary standards, will be well-placed to access global climate finance.
Pre-established county level funds could prove to be versatile mechanisms through which to channel this funding to sup- port community driven development and resilience building priorities. Their devolved nature could also make them preferred mechanisms for direct access to fund disbursements, supporting the country driven focus of the fund. Access to such funds will be in accordance with the Kenyan constitution (2010) which grants county government’s authority and responsibility for developing the social and economic aspects of their county according to local priorities. The Adaptation Consortium in Kenya is addressing this challenge.
The Devolved Climate Finance
The Adaptation Consortium (Ada) is helping to strengthen the institutional arrangements that will enable climate finance from the Green Climate Fund and other sources to ow through the National Drought Management Authority to Arid and Semi Arid Lands (ASALs) counties. The County Climate Adaptation fund set up by the Consortium enables the prioritization of adaptation investments by vulnerable communities through representative ward-level institutions.
Initially piloted in Isiolo County, the approach is now being implemented in four other ASAL counties of Garissa, Kitui, Makueni and Wajir which in total cover approximately 29% of Kenya’s land area and a population of 4 million plus. At the end of the project in 2017, it is expected that 2.5 million people will be supported to cope with climate change through provision of climate information, while 800,000 people will bene t directly from adaptation investments.