Kenya’s County Climate Change Funds
Significant finance is required throughout the entire National Adaptation Plan (NAP) process—from planning through to implementation and monitoring and evaluation. This financing is expected to come from a mix of sources, including domestic public finance, international public finance and private finance. Domestic public finance can be a relatively predictable and consistent source of financing for NAP processes, both for its ongoing operation and maintenance and for the implementation of prioritized adaptation actions.
Building on an earlier overview brief on domestic public finance options for NAP processes, this country brief*takes a closer look at how county-level climate change funds are supporting the implementation of adaptation actions prioritized in Kenya’s NAP. These county climate funds are an example of a domestic public finance mechanism that helps to ensure greater predictability in resources available for implementation of adaptation priorities.
*Access the full case study from the right-hand column.
Kenya is highly vulnerable to climate change, in large part because the livelihoods and economic activities of most Kenyans rely on climate-sensitive natural resources. Building resilience to climate change is therefore high on the agendas of both national and county governments, especially the county governments in the arid and semi-arid lands that experience recurrent drought and flash flooding.
Five county governments—Garissa, Isiolo, Kitui, Makueni and Wajir—have established County Climate Change Funds (CCCFs) that identify, prioritize and finance investments to reduce climate risk and achieve adaptation priorities. The CCCFs are aligned with national priorities set out in Kenya’s NAP, and enable these county governments to strengthen and reinforce national climate change policies while delivering on local adaptation priorities.
CCCFs are devolved finance mechanisms under the authority of each county government that promote mainstreaming of climate change adaptation into local planning and budget systems. CCCFs are key coordination mechanisms for climate change action in the five counties, and work through the government’s established planning and budgeting systems. These funds are structured to blend financial resources from international climate finance, multilateral development banks, the private sector, the GOK and their own county budgets. The design will enable the county governments to access the national government’s climate change fund, which is being established under the Climate Change Act.
The CCCF model provides lessons on domestic public finance for implementation of NAPs:
- Clear mandates provide predictable climate finance– The CCCFs ensure a domestic revenue stream to finance adaptation that provides resource predictability for priority actions at the community level. Budget allocations to adaptation priorities are facilitated by clear mandates to prioritize climate change action at the county level. At the national level, the Climate Change Act mandates mainstreaming climate change in development plans and reporting on action. At the county level, climate change fund legislation mandates the allocation of a portion of development budgets to climate change;
- Devolved funds help deliver on NAP priorities– CCCFs deliver on Kenya’s NAP and NDC by establishing county financing mechanisms for adaptation, mainstreaming climate change in county plans, and building the capacity of county governments and communities. They have also helped finance adaptation actions prioritized in the NAP, such as enhancing early warning and climate information services, enhancing water harvesting and conservation, and improving the resilience of the livestock sector. The reporting requirements of the national and county legislation will improve information flow and management, including the establishment of reporting frameworks and indicators for tracking budget allocations to and progress on NAP implementation;
- Climate finance is delivered where it is most needed: the local level– The allocation of 70 per cent of the CCCFs’ annual expenditures to finance local-level investments benefits vulnerable communities. Representative climate change planning committees at county and ward levels ensure the prioritization and delivery of locally appropriate and sustainable adaptation investments;
- Government commitment helps to attract international climate finance – The government commitment to provide domestic budget allocations to the CCCFs has helped to attract international climate finance. The Government of the United Kingdom provided seed funding and the Government of Sweden is stepping in to continue the CCCF program going forward. The national government is developing a proposal for submission to the Green Climate Fund to expand the model to additional counties;
- CCCFs improve climate resilience– Growing evidence shows that CCCFs have helped local communities to cope with ongoing drought in Kenya (2014–2017). The NDMA’s drought early warning system reported better-than-expected conditions for people and livestock in Isiolo in 2014 compared to neighbouring counties with similar rainfall conditions. The Isiolo climate change planning committee attributed this in part to the improved governance of the rangelands funded by the CCCF. In 2015, households in Isiolo communities with CCCF investments did not require food relief, which is partially attributed to CCCF investments coupled with other factors such as good veterinary practices and NDMA drought management efforts (Orindi, Elhadi & Hesse, 2017).
Government of the Republic of Kenya (GOK). (2016a). Climate Change Act, 2016. Retrieved from http://kenyalaw.org/lex/actview.xql?actid=No.%2011%20of%202016
Government of the Republic of Kenya (GOK). (2016b). Kenya National Adaptation Plan 2015–2030: Enhanced climate resilience towards the attainment of Vision 2030 and beyond. Retrieved from http://www.starckplus.com/index.php/starck-components/technical-assistance/kenya-national-adaptation-plan-nap
Government of the Republic of Kenya (GOK). (2017). Nationally Determined Contribution: Sector analysis report. Retrieved from http://www.starckplus.com/index.php/starck-components/technical-assistance/ndc
Orindi, V., Elhadi, Y. & Hesse, C. (2017). Democratising climate finance at local levels. In Ninan, K. N. & Inoue, M. (eds.), Building a climate resilient economy and society: Challenges and opportunities. Retrieved from https://www.elgaronline.com/view/9781785368448.00028.xml