Kenya finally sets target, complies on its Greenhouse gases


Kenya seeks to undertake an ambitious mitigation contribution towards the 2015 climate change agreement to abate its Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 30 percent by 2030.

In its Intended National Development Contributions (INDC) submitted to the United Nations Framework for Conventions on Climate Change (UNFCCC) a head of Paris Conference in December, Kenya admitted to be bearing the brunt of Climate Change impacts and social economic losses like any other country despite having low green house gases emissions capacity.

The country’s total GHG emissions are relatively low, standing at 0.1 percent of the total global emissions, according to the INDC plan.

While per-capita emissions are less than 1.26 MtCO2eq compared to the global average of 7.58 MtCO2eq 1, out of which 75 percent are from the land use, Land-Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) and agriculture sectors.

Kenya’s economy is highly dependent on climate sensitive sectors such as agriculture that is mainly rain-fed, energy, tourism, water and health.

Climate hazards have caused considerable losses across the country’s different sectors over the years. The main climate hazards include droughts and floods which cause economic losses estimated at three percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) according to the country’s INDC plan which has been pegged on Vision 2030 roadmap.

This is subject to international support in the form of finance, investment, technology development and transfer, and capacity building.

In the country’s vision 2030 roadmap, Kenya government has effectively outlined important measures the country need to implement in the process of mitigating and adapting to effects of climate change for a sustainable socio-economic and environmental development.

The government has also estimated that over USD 40 billion, equivalent to ksh3.6 trillion will be required for the country to mitigate and adapt climate change actions across sectors up to 2030.

“We have developed an effective framework on which we can address climate change in terms of dealing with many threats it exposes the nation, and I hope the action plan we are submitting to the UN will help us achieve our goals” said Judy Wakhungu, the Kenyan Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Natural resources.

So far Kenya has developed a National Climate Change Response Strategy (NACCRS), National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP) and a National Adaptation Plan (NAP) which provides a vision for low carbon and climate resilient development pathway, while a National Climate Change Framework Policy and legislation are in their final stages of enactment to facilitate effective response to climate change.

Under this arrangement, Kenya promises to focus on clean energy development that includes areas such as a forestation and reforestation and energy efficiency, climate smart agriculture, and drought management.

The country INDC aims to achieve a low carbon, climate resilient development pathway in promotion and implementation of the following mitigation activities.

The government is also set to make progress towards achieving a tree cover of at least 10 percent of the land area of Kenya.

It will also promote climate smart agriculture (CSA) in line with the National CSA Framework and Sustainable waste management systems.

Kenya’s submission of her INDC two months ago comes well in advance of a new universal climate change agreement to be reached during the COP 21 UN conference in Paris.

More than 100 countries including China, India and US have already submitted their INDC ahead of the Paris agreement.

The Paris agreement set come into effect in 2020 will empower all countries to act to prevent average global temperatures rising above 2 degrees Celsius and to reap the many opportunities that arise from a necessary global transformation to clean and sustainable development.

Meanwhile, current analysis from the Climate Action Tracker- CAT, a respected group of scientific organization, says the target of below 2 degrees C of the global warming may not be achieved soon.

The estimate of INDCs impact on warming shows that, if fully implemented, they would bring warming down to 2.7°C – an improvement of 0.4°C but still above 2 degree C global target , since the last assessment of pledges at the Lima talks in December.

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