Saturday, April 23, 2011

CLIMATE TALKS IN BANGKOK: rich countries should do more in South Africa

Dear Friends--
I would like to agree with Stephen Mwakesi that the whole issue of climate financing has been elevated to look elitist by a few countries and companies that are profiteering from the process in Africa. I have had an opportunity to interact with Carbon Asset Companies in Europe, most of them have come to Africa with the Climate jargon, they enter into communities and launch their programs knowing very well that the community members do not understand their activities. They flash aid money in form of alleviating poverty and in some cases, development or simply governance kind of aid money. In the real sense, this companies are actually minting billions of dollars out of our virgin communities and smiling all the way to their Swiss banks.

Most of our political leaders still don't understand the technicalities that come with carbon financing. They rush to sign the contract agreement without reading in between the lines, we end up being the losers while this companies take advantage of our innocent ignorance. Indeed developing nations should be the ones to dictate the terms o engagement, sadly this is not the case. We need a new kind of advocacy, the west is not ready to see this happen. But we must insist if we have to start reworking the radical paradigm for Green Development in Africa for the world. A radical shift on how we engage with the developed nations will be the only medicine to the engagement.

I am of the opinion that developing nations should originate the contractual agreements. Africa must start to take lead of the discussions, we have more stake than those who are purporting to be on the front line. How do we create the jobs of tomorrow in Africa by Africans using African resources and brains? Climate Change will remain a shifty affair now that the west knows that it is the new kid on the block to unleash the kind of development money that Africa needs to leapfrog beyond the place that the west is in terms of economic, and infrastructural development.  It is true that the West is using the research now as a dangling carrot to woo communities into signing deals that will impoverish them. This is a power game as in a shopkeeper who fights to keep the poverty levels in his village at the same level in order to continue selling to the people products and not allowing for any kind of innovation to take place because he/she stands to lose if the community realizes that the new and innovative ways of dependency and come up with a way to self sufficiency using own resources and brains.

The West should stop the power games and make sure this time round the real owners of the deal have their way on the negotiating table as we head to South Africa. Climate Mitigation and Adaptation should be owned by the real stakeholders who will reverse this effects once and for all. We have a bigger stake on this issues as Africa, let us achieve an African Deal in the Climate Talks.

Emmanuel Dennis
Green Teams Initiative.

On Fri, Apr 15, 2011 at 5:57 PM, stephen mwakesi <> wrote:
Dear all,

Very interesting debates raised above.
I would like to carry on with it on three prongs, the UNFCCC process, Climate Finance and Contextual scenario of Kenya.

Indeed the whole issue of the UNFCCC process has been one that has dominated debate and ever more so since the COP 15. The fact that the discussions have tended to yield little in form of  binding commitments has lead to the general fatigue within CSOs dealing with the process. Matter of fact just recently I had debate with one of the partners in climate change in Kenya and she did express that most of the actors in the field are quite hopeless than hopeful. Going through the motions, thats what they seem to be doing. But as expressed by Mithika and Bwana Otieno before, we cannot afford to give up with the process. From what I have been able to gather is that, in as much as we approach this process from a justice prism, we should not be blind to the fact that this whole scenario is based upon economics and the politics of economics. The tethering that is being witnessed from the developed nations only emanates from the fact that the whole climate debate posses a threat to the status quo and the whole energy paradigm as it exists. Indeed until the big corporate interests have a clear foothold on the renewable and alternative energy sectors from a control and profit standpoint, they will constantly keep to the card of delay and paralyse until they come round. Whenever I spend time considering the positions taken in most of these high-level discussions, I come round to appreciating the fact that all this a big game of geopolitics with the dominant actors (read G8) as the gladiators playing to a crowd of hopeless and defenceless people who have not much to do lest the only persons in the amphitheatre with weapons turn on them. So this leads me to the next prong...

Climate Finance is indeed one of the key angles of entry for the developing nations within the UNFCCC process. Indeed I have argued before that within the Climate process Climate Finance through Adaptation and Mitigation is the map for a new development trajectory for the developing world. What has been the issue of contention, and with this argument am cautious, is the fact that developing nations are still playing the aid model yet in actual fact that should not be the case. As Halima has aptly pointed out we fail to move because we do not see this as an opportunity to create a new playing field where we are defining the terms and calling the shots in defining the new green development paradigm. As we spend time arguing on the texts, its vital that we invest energies in also defining the contracts and terms that Africa enters into in this new field that is slowly evolving. As Philip Kilonzo has pointed out, the new battle ground is in Africa and now the idea is to re-define the commodity that is land afresh and be able to create a new development paradigm with resources, labour and the entrepreneurial capacity being drawn from Africa with very little capital injection from the west. My fear has been that as we have been clamouring for more climate finance we have failed to look at the finer details and more and more communities are signing on the dotted lines significantly giving away their entrepreneurial skills, networks and labour for peanuts and still the real money has not arrived. When the money actually does arrive guess who will be in charge of all the mitigation and adaptation programs?

Contextualising the realities of today, I say that the battle with the establishment is one that can only be won with diligent spirits. Frankly, I think especially Africans of the Kenyan ilk are disappointingly not as fervent in the quest for justice as would be expected. Frankly am disappointed that the most that has come as protest or disgust out of the Hague antics and the Corruption dismissals has been side whispers and on-line chatter and maybe am disappointing myself too with this addition...Enough Said...For now perhaps...

Lets keep talking and begin acting,


Stephen Mwakesi
Cell: +254 723 229 117/ +254 773 804041

On 15 April 2011 14:33, Philip Kilonzo <> wrote:

Dear all,


Financing for climate change mitigation programmes is quite an interesting area. Again the debate tilts to financing mitigation mainly in Africa.


As interesting as it is we need to be aware that we might give proposal that will open doors for land grabs in Kenya and Africa as a whole. Financing for mitigation if not well construed may be the avenue for the last and final wave of land acquisition (land grabbing) and may lead to massive acquisition of land previously public and community land. This reality is increasingly becoming clear in some quarters.


So any proposal we are fronting must cushion community and public land from private acquisition – real or implied.




From: [] On Behalf Of Halima Murunga
Sent: Thursday, April 14, 2011 5:46 AM
Cc:;;; Mithika Mwenda; Philip Otieno;
Subject: Re: (KCCWG) CLIMATE TALKS IN BANGKOK: rich countries should do more in South Africa


Hello all

They way carbon trading mechanism is slowly turning into a finance market the best option for climate financing is to create carbon finance products that Kenyans can invest, generate revenue to finance climate mitigation programmes. To save the Mau why not develop bonds or a futures for the whole catchment area that can attract investors for restoration purposes...

Think in house, if corporate entities have raised billions from debt financing why can't we.

On Apr 13, 2011 11:52 PM, "Dominic WALUBENGO" <> wrote:

Dear All,

Very good points. I have been following the climate change debate since 1988 and I am certain that the rhetoric has not changed. Every developed country (including China and India) is doing what is in their best interest. For all these years, the developing countries working through the Group of 77 and China have been demanding for climate justice; and climate related funding. This funding has not arrived, although a little money has come in but given names which make it look like new money. The sooner we stop fooling ourselves the better!

Dominic Walubengo

On Wed, Apr 13, 2011 at 10:11 AM, Mithika Mwenda <> wrote:
> Also look at se...

Dominic Walubengo PhD


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1 comment:

  1. This discussion is critical at this time; my main take of the whole debate is where is the space for citizen engagement and participation. am asking this as a layman in the matters of climate change. however i know that governments and donor agencies rarely respond to the plights of the common citizens unless there is a deliberate effrot or push to do so. the people who are sufferint intensly by the effects of global warming are the poor; who are also trying hard to plant a tree each in their farms but are unable to sustain it. can this discussions more from governments signing memoranda that wont work to specific citizen actions; its time we showed the power bearers that we can do it ourselves.
    I ahve also followed the discussions with the ministry and some CSOs representatives and planning for the southAfrican meet and i can help but wonder why the group is limited to some few CSOs. The ministry will now be going round through the 'Old provincial model' to reach out to citizens and hear their view; then what?
    i may be too critical/untrusting of government intervention but true to the word; governments dont move change; its citizens awareness and knowledge that leads them to citizen engagements