Kenya pledges to cut emissions by a third by 2030

Kenya has submitted a climate action plan to the United Nations pledging to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent by 2030 against business-as-usual levels.

This makes the country the latest to do so ahead of this year’s Paris Climate Summit, at which a major push for a global agreement will be made.

The nation’s official Intended Nationally Determined Contribution was submitted late last week and sets out a $40 billion (Sh4 trillion) strategy to rollout of a range of climate mitigation and adaptation measures.

These include plans to “expand geothermal, solar and wind energy, achieve ten per cent tree cover across the country, reduce reliance on wood fuels, and deliver more sustainable transport, agriculture and waste management systems” to be funded through both local and donor sources.

As proposed in the Climate Change Bill (2014), several institutional reforms will be needed to enhance coordination of adaptation and mitigation efforts. These include the establishment of:

A high-level National Climate Change Council, chaired by the President, to provide an overarching coordination mechanism and, among other roles, ensure the mainstreaming of climate change functions by the National and County governments, and approve and oversee the implementation of the climate change action plan.

A Climate Change Directorate as the lead government agency on national plans and actions to deliver operational coordination and provide technical assistance on climate change actions and responses to County governments.

A Kenya Climate Fund to be a financing mechanism for priority climate change actions and interventions approved by the Council.

While Kenyan emissions of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide are relatively low — per-capita emissions are less than 1.26 MtCO2eq compared to the global average of 7.58 MtCO2eq — they are expected to rise as the extractive sector increases productivity.

Currently, most of this comes from the use of wood fuel, changes in land use and fossil fuel consumption in the energy and transport sectors.