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The Kenya Climate Change Act 2016: Emerging Lessons From a Pioneer Law

Clarice Wambua


Kenya’s climate change law is the first framework climate law in Africa and has been
operational for approximately three and a half years. Through the Act, Kenya is confronting the immense task of mainstreaming climate change and placing it centrally in the development process. Early lessons demonstrate the importance of stakeholder engagement and exchange in the law-making process. The more difficult challenge, however, has presented itself in the law’s application. The analysis underscores that, in implementation, courts have a complementary role to play in advancing the goals of the law. Political will to give effect to the provisions of the law is also important and the local context is a decisive factor in determining the extent to which a climate change law is implemented or remains an aspirational goal. The analysis highlights areas for improvement and refinement both within the Act and with regards to its implementation, and is instructive to countries interested in developing a national climate law.

Clarice Wambua is a Partner at Kieti Advocates LLP, a boutique law firm based in Nairobi. For correspondence: <>


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