President Uhuru Kenyatta showcased to the global community Kenya’s successes in the development of renewable energy and use of technology to adapt and mitigate climate change.
At the same time, President Kenyatta announced Kenya’s commitment to lower her greenhouse gas emissions by 32 percent by the year 2030 and termed climate change as development and security threat that must be addressed urgently.
“Kenya’s updated Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) that was submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC) in December 2020, commits to reduce emissions by 32 per cent by 2030 against the business as Usual (BAU) scenario.
“In addition, we are in the process of developing a Greenhouse Gas Emission Strategy (LTS) for 2050; and will submit the report to United Nations Framework for Convention on Climate Change before COP 26, in November 2021,” the President announced.
The Head of State spoke during a panel discussion at the virtual leaders’ summit on climate change convened by US President Joe Biden.
President Kenyatta represented Africa on the panel that had leaders of Denmark, Israel, Norway, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates.
President Kenyatta said Kenya’s target is to fully move to renewable energy by the year 2050, noting that clean energy accounts for approximately 90 percent of total electricity supply, a statistic that the country intends to raise to 100 percent by 2030.
“As you may know, Kenya is a pioneer in geothermal energy in Africa, and, indeed, holds 5th position globally. Our geothermal potential is 10,000+ MW; however, the amount currently tapped is under 10 per cent. This presents huge investment opportunities across the technology value chain.
“We are also the first country in the world to pioneer new geothermal wellhead technology, which ensures immediate power supply at low cost even before the associated infrastructure is in place,” the President informed the world leaders.
He said Kenya’s 310.25 MW Lake Turkana Wind Power is one of the largest such installation in Africa, adding that the country was actively leveraging on technology to serve clean energy to rural communities.
“To meet the energy needs of the rural communities, my Administration has deployed digital technologies. Using an innovative “pay- as-you-go” mobile money credit facility, better known as “Mkopa”, these communities have switched from kerosene to solar for lighting, and to power appliances such as televisions and fridges,” the President said.
President Kenyatta said Kenya had instituted a plan to progressively provide clean domestic energy for the majority of her households that rely largely on biomass for cooking.
“Kenya is already a leader within sub-Saharan Africa in developing and distributing clean cooking stoves. There is, however, still more work to do to provide domestic solutions for clean cooking services for the 80 per cent of Kenyans who continue to rely on biomass for cooking.
“To address the clean energy cooking gap my Administration has committed to achieve 100 per cent Clean Cooking under SDG 7 by 2028; two years ahead of the UN target date,” he said.
Once again, President Kenyatta called for global solidarity in addressing climate change and congratulated President Biden for the US’s return to the Paris Agreement.
On financing climate change programmes, President Kenyatta made a case for Africa saying developing countries were struggling to raise adequate resources for mitigation and adaptation interventions.
“Most developing countries are struggling to finance climate mitigation and adaptation actions. A recent UNEP Adaptation Gap Report estimates current annual adaptation costs in developing countries to be about US$70 billion; and are expected to rise to US$140–300 billion in 2030, if no action is taken.
“Richer countries working in collaboration with the private sector, should support developing countries secure the financial resources required to implement climate adaptation programmes,” President Kenyatta rallied the global community.