Current position: Research Fellow at the African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS), Kenya
Research focus: Environmental governance and sustainable development Nexus
In 2014 Kennedy received the Green Talents award for his enthusiastic activism in sustainable development. His research stay at the German Development Institute in Bonn and subsequent collaboration with his colleagues from the institute led to the publication of a paper and an online content explorer on how to enhance fairness in international climate regime, in particular the historic 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Change. The paper and tool have attracted attention from the UN, various policy makers and other stakeholders.
2012 & 2015 Kenyan delegation member COP18 & COP21, UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
2010 UNEP-Bayer Young Environment Envoy
CV as submitted for the Green Talents award (2014):
UNEP-TONGJI INSTITUTE OF ENVIRONMENT FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT, CHINA
Research focus: Climate finance governance – Effectiveness, Safeguards, Carbon Trading
As one of the youngest Green Talents Awardees of 2014, Kennedy already has an outstanding academic record. With a background in Environmental Resource Conservation, he is now pursuing a Master’s of Science degree in Environmental Management for Sustainable Development at the UNEP-Tongji Institute of Environment for Sustainable Development in Shanghai, China. His extra-curricular activities are no less impressive: he was a member of the official Kenyan delegation to the COP18 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in 2012, and is also co-founder and director of the GreenBits Initiative, which campaigns for more education in the area of sustainable development.
Kennedy’s current area of research is a crucially important but often neglected aspect of the fight against climate change. “While climate change discourse is at a mature stage in Kenya, the discourse around climate governance is less developed”, he explains. The increasing availability of international funds to help fight the effects of climate change comes with the attendant responsibility to ensure that the funds reach their target beneficiaries and are used to their greatest possible effect. In his research, Kennedy addresses questions such as the effectiveness of the architecture of international and national climate finance regimes; the accessibility of funds to intended targets and the identification of various stakeholders in climate finance governance. For his Master’s thesis, he is exploring these issues in a case study of the UN programme for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) in Kenya.
The Jury was particularly impressed with Kennedy’s enthusiastic activism and his clear vision of the practical applicability of his research to improving sustainable development in the future. They felt that he would benefit greatly from the opportunity to interact with German specialists as he prepares for the next phase of his academic career.