The Government has put in place adequate policies and legislative frameworks that will accelerate urban action plans, to effectively manage impacts of climate change, to promote a carbon-free world.
Transport Cabinet Secretary (CS), James Macharia, said the Government was executing a comprehensive approach to enhance the wellbeing of Kenyans and protect the environment through implementation of mitigation strategies that address causes and effects of climate change in all sectors of the economy including agriculture, manufacturing, energy and ICT.
He cited the Country’s Urban Development Policy Framework, which he said prioritizes development of urban resilience plans and strategies that are aimed at equipping cities and towns to effectively address causes and effects of climate change.
While speaking at the Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KENGEN) wells in Olkaria area of Naivasha during this year’s World Habitat Day celebrations, the CS acknowledged that more than half of the 7.8 billion world population resides in cities and towns, where buildings, transportation, energy use and wastes management, make the cities a major contributor of green-house gas emissions.
Macharia urged County Governments and urban planners to play their role in ensuring the cities and towns are well planned, built and managed, to reduce carbon emissions and keep the global warming, to the set limits as per the Kyoto Protocol of 1997 and Paris Agreement of 2015.
The CS said the Government was revising the country’s building code, to include provisions that promote use of designs and construction methods that will optimize resources and reduce energy consumption and waste.
He said the Government has embarked on a campaign to promote use of appropriate building materials and green technologies, aimed at enhancing the use of eco-friendly and cost effective materials, made from locally available raw materials.
Macharia added that the development framework guidelines on affordable housing program, articulates integration of green designs and construction methods in current and future developments, with the use of green building certification systems; in affordable housing program, having been approved last year by the State Department for Housing and Urban Development.
The Minister commended KenGen Company for its contribution in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, by investing in renewable energy sources of geothermal power and called on other private and public institutions, to make climate actions central in their day-to-day operations.
Environment CS Keriako Tobiko, said climate change is real and is an urgent matter which requires swift responses to mitigate the adverse effects such as rising seas, lakes and ocean, increased heat waves, cyclones and typhoons among others.
Tobiko at the same, called on the G20 countries to fulfill their commitments towards supporting developing countries transition, to low carbon development pathways.
KenGen Managing Director, Rebecca Miano, said the Company has been at the forefront in mitigating climate change in line with Kenya’s Commitment to tackle climate change by reducing
by about 32 percent by the year 2030.
Miano said the Company change policy enhances commitment to reduce carbon footprint by investing in clean and low carbon renewable sources of energy.
The Director added that KenGen is implementing six clean development mechanism projects in the country, which will contribute to offset approximately 1.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually and in keeping global warming to 1.5 degree Celsius.
By Esther Mwangi and Erastus Gichohi