Defining Climate Policy in Africa: Kenya’s Climate Change Policy Processes

  • Simon Chin-Yee

Student thesis: Phd


This thesis seeks to investigate what shapes climate change policies in Kenya. Using Peter Haas’ concept of usable knowledge, it argues the need to move beyond conventional perspectives on knowledge and power and provides a framework for understanding what knowledge and mechanisms are usable for policy makers. I argue that Kenyan climate policy is shaped by the interaction of knowledge and power across three crucial levels of influence – global, regional and national. As climate change forces us to rethink how we combine economic policies with environmental realities in Africa, each level encompasses distinct policy narratives where critical actors have an impact on national climate change policy. First, I argue that the standards, norms and regulations established by the global climate regime are directly reflected in national climate strategies of African countries, not only in terms of diplomatic moves to adhere to commitments made, but also in respect to benefiting from international mechanisms put in place to aid developing countries. Second, I examine the One Voice, One Africa narrative. This looks at the rise of the African Group of Negotiators within the global climate regime and their ability to influence Kenyan policy. Third, Kenya’s climate change policy is shaped by the interaction of economic, political, and environmental constructs in national policy-making. The principle goal of this thesis is to open African environmental scholars and climate change policy analysts to a rigorous and flexible questioning of how climate policy processes operate in the African context.
Date of Award31 Dec 2018
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorAdrienne Roberts (Supervisor) & Carl Death (Supervisor)


  • COP21
  • Climate Change
  • Africa
  • Kenya

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