Nairobi — President William Ruto has called for global cooperation to combat the devastating effects of climate change threatening human existence.
Speaking at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York on Wednesday, President Ruto urged the Member States and all other stakeholders to demonstrate strong political will and effective cooperation by financially aiding the most affected countries.
The Head of State similarly advocated for the sharing of land restoration and climate adaptation technologies with the most vulnerable countries to slow and reverse the impact of global warming.
“Severe drought has affected not only the Horn of Africa and the Sahel regions but continues to devastate many others, including in Asia, Europe, and the Americas. If for no other reason, the fact that we are in this together must strengthen the case for concerted efforts across the continents,” Ruto told the General Assembly.
President Ruto stressed that it is only “through collaborations to expand inclusion that we can attain a new paradigm in multilateralism.”
The Head of State pointed out that Kenya is among the countries that are experiencing what he described “unsettling phenomena” of rivers, canals, and water reservoirs that are drying up as a result of droughts and heat waves triggered by climate change.
“The northern, arid, and semi-arid rangelands of our country have been gravely impacted by drought whose severity has not been experienced in 40 years. 3.1 million residents of these ASALs are now severely food-insecure on account of scarce rainfall over three consecutive seasons, leading to poor crop and pasture,” he said.
He noted that an extraordinary confluence of extremely negative events has compounded water scarcity and famine, which he said has been worsened by rising food prices.
Ruto pointed out that the situation has hampered Kenya’s roadmap towards improving the standards of living of Kenyans adding that it is impending progress towards attaining Sustainable Development Goals.
The Head of State further said that the latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is a reminder that the world cannot afford to waste time addressing the climate crisis.
“It will soon be too late to reverse the course of events, and then, even the best possible interventions will not suffice. As leaders, every day is an opportunity to expedite our efforts to confront the triple planetary crisis,” he added.
President Ruto expressed his frustration over the slow progress in tackling the environmental impacts.
He cited the Stockholm+50 meeting, which Kenya co-hosted with Sweden where he noted that there was consensus from States on the need to move quickly to address the effects of climate change.
“It is time to collectively contemplate urgent measures needed to implement high-priority actions required to contain ongoing disruptions, as we deliberate on long-term implementation approaches to be undertaken,” Ruto stated.
“I add that we must not be taken by surprise. If indeed forewarned is forearmed, this is our opportunity to mobilize with tremendous urgency and take action at once,” he explained.