Raila Odinga has called for the establishment of a climate adjustment fund to help poor countries adapt to climate change.
He said developing countries are indefensibly being affected by climate change - a crisis that is not of their making and for which they are ill prepared to deal with.
"We are prepared to forego the dirty way," he said, referring to development based on fossil fuels. "But to do that we need assistance."
Mr Odinga made his comments at a high level seminar, under the banner “Understanding the Costs of Adaptation” at the 4th edition of the European Development Days. He was part of the panel that marked the launch of a major World Bank study on the costs of climate change adaptation.
The European Days event opened on Thursday and will run through to Saturday, October 24.
That study estimates that for 2010-2050 the cost for developing countries to adapt to a 2-degree Celsius increase in temperature would cost between US$75-100 billion a year.
"It is not enough to say what will happen if there is a two-degree celsius increase in 2050. We need US$2 billion, which year now to adapt, and other African countries have similar needs," Mr Odinga said.
Also at the same forum, Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Rajendra Pachauri pointed out the need to look at adaptation to climate change from the bottom up. The 2007 Nobel Peace Laureate 2007 said different regions have diverse impacts thus modeling at the local level is essential.
Mr Pachauri added: "This should be the first and most important part of the agenda - to define what needs to be done at the local level. Then you can aggregate."
European Development Days (EDD) is an annual forum organised by the European Commission and the country holding the Presidency of the EU, currently Sweden. In Stockholm, EDD has brought together some 4,000 people and 1,500 organisations from the development community.
Delegates from 125 countries are represented, including Heads of State and leading world figures, Nobel Prize winners among them. This 4th edition focuses on climate change, the global economic downturn and democracy and development.