INVESTING IN CLIMATE-SMART VENTURES KEY TO SUSTAINABILITY
Repeated spells of drought, fluctuating rainfall patterns, extreme heatwaves, rise in sea levels, frequent cyclones all point to climate change. The result has been dire on human lives, ecosystems, livestock, wildlife and economies. Changing weather patterns negatively impact livelihoods.
It means poor agricultural productivity occasioning widespread food shortages. The change in climate patterns as witnessed currently takes a toll on economies. Media reports last month already indicated that this year’s long dry spell was one of the worst in 38 years, and that the Central Bank of Kenya could lower the economic forecast for the country by one percentage point from 6.3 to 5.3, depending on the severity of the drought.
As Micro,Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) constitute the largest labour force in the country, they must be at the centre of initiatives that seek to reverse the impacts of climate change.
The place of MSMEs in Kenya’s development cannot be underscored. For a sector that contributes more than a quarter of the GDP and creates millions of jobs per year, the prospects can only get better.
MSMEs therefore need to invest in smart solutions that target clean energy and the creation of new technologies. The thinking should then be to link business opportunities to sustainability. If we were to focus on uncontrolled production and consumption, nothing would be left for future generations, thereby increasing their vulnerability.
Entrepreneurs and innovators should come up with new ventures that adopt climate-friendly practices and clean technology developed locally in response to emerging needs. Innovation means reducing over-reliance on natural resources and minimising waste generation.
It also involves thinking of recycling and reusing products as much as possible. Such ventures should also be mindful of wastage, especially in the exploitation of natural resources and the attendant effects on the environment. They need to focus on energy efficiency by reducing costs and looking at prospects in renewable energy. Sustainability also calls for a reduction of carbon dioxide emissions and ending pollution of natural water resources.
The end goal of any business venture is to maximise profits now. But responsible enterprises that have the future in mind must encourage communities, as consumers, to adopt sustainable consumption patterns that emphasise on quality and the elimination of wastage.
This article was first published on Standard Digital by Vincent Ogaya