KENYA: Climate Change Biggest Enemy is Greed and Consumerism, Cautions Delegates at a Nairobi Conference

By Arnold Neliba

NAIROBI, JANUARY 23, 2024 (CISA)-Delegates at the Mother Earth Network Conference in Nairobi have called for genuine goodwill towards the implementation of some of the resolutions made at climate change and environment-related conferences.

The conference, born out of the desire by representatives of faith-based organizations, civil societies, corporate bodies, government agencies and institutions of learning involved in environmental conservation and management to collaborate and widen understanding of the COP28 resolutions, identified the slow implementations of resolutions at past conferences to lack of goodwill.

Sr Mary Francis a Board Member of Mother Earth Network Makes her Presentation during the conference

“We have had 28 COP conferences and what has been lacking is goodwill from the same parties participating in the conference. At the end of the conference in Dubai, the COP28 president stood up and said “we have delivered”, a statement which caused glitters and murmurs among participants,” recounted Dr Oscar Mapopa, delegate at COP28 and main speaker at the Nairobi Conference.

According to his assessment of the conference, people attend the conferences with hidden interests and greed.

While sharing her experience at the COP28, Ashley Kitisya of the Laudato Si Movement cited the deliberate decision to sideline the youth at the conferences.

“Young people are tired they are more stressed about this issue and call for more knowledge sharing. There was huge interest from the hosting country known to be one of the leading exporters of oil. They would use the conference to cut business deals,” she recounted while questioning the commitment of the main polluters of the environment to transition the world from fossil fuel as per the Dubai resolution.

In his keynote address during the conference, Fr Dr Peter Mbaro the Director Centre for Social Justice and Ethics at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA) asserted that what we are experiencing today is a result of unethical behavior.

Dr Mustafa Genc Executive Director of Harmony Institute engages Fr Hermann Bord founder and Director of Mother Earth Network on the sidelines of the conference

“We find ourselves pushed by greed and we end up in what we are calling today, consumerism. We continue buying, we continue consuming even that which we do not need. And we are chasing our wants and we know very well we can never satisfy our wants. We can meet our needs, but never satisfy our wants because they are driven by unethical lifestyles.  We have to examine our ethics, our morality, we have to think about our behaviour,” Fr Dr Mbaro said.

“We spoiled Mother Earth in the last century through industrialization and the culture of consumerism. Do we need plastic? This was out of greed, to make a profit. Modern life has produced a lot of unnecessary things to use. We don’t need 99%  of what was introduced,” said Dr Mustafa Genc, the Executive Director of Harmony Institute.

Drawing inspiration

from Laudato Si, Dr Mustafa blames the culture of consumerism as mentioned by Pope Francis as one of the obstacles to an environmentally friendly earth.


The conference convened by Mother Earth Network, an umbrella body for faith-based organizations, civil societies, corporate bodies, government agencies and institutions of learning involved in environmental conservation and management, was attended by representatives from Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI), faith-based institutions and institutions of higher learning who exchanged the social, scientific and spiritual approaches to environmental conservation.