CLIMATE CHANGE

Renewable green energy, Kenya's private sector keen

KEPSA is leading the drive.

In Summary

•UNEP highlights that renewable energy technologies could be deployed rapidly if energy policies addressed both subsidiaries and the impact of fossil fuels.

• FFI is rapidly advancing and investing in a wide range of green initiatives including the development of large-scale green energy projects worldwide.

KEPSA chief executive Carole Kariuki and Fortescue Future Industries CEO Julie Shuttleworth sign MoUs as other officials watch/HANDOUT
KEPSA chief executive Carole Kariuki and Fortescue Future Industries CEO Julie Shuttleworth sign MoUs as other officials watch/HANDOUT

Kenya’s private sector is keen on large-scale green energy projects in the country that will enable businesses to participate in.  

Through the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA), the sector has signed a memorandum of understanding with Australian fiim-Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) to drive green energy projects.

FFI, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fortescue Metals Group Limited is in the process of assessing a proposed integrated large-scale green hydrogen and green ammonia production facility, utilizing renewable energy in Kenya.

It is rapidly advancing and investing in a wide range of green initiatives including the development of large-scale green energy projects worldwide.

According to a report by the United Nations environmental programme (UNEP), currently, around 80 per cent of global energy and 66 per cent of electrical generation are supplied from fossil fuels.

This contributes to approximately 60 per cent of the greenhouse gas emissions responsible for climate change.

UNEP highlights that renewable energy technologies could be deployed rapidly if energy policies addressed both subsidiaries and the impact of fossil fuels while facilitating more finance for renewable energy projects.

“We are committed to supporting economic growth, employment creation, empowerment of youth and small and medium-sized enterprises, and the potential to alleviate poverty in the local communities we operate in”, FFI Chief Executive Officer Julie Shuttleworth said.

The two parties will now collaborate on the assessment of mutual opportunities in relation to the project objectives and commitment to sustainable business practices, with a shared vision to be enablers of global de-carbonization.

KEPSA CEO, Carole Kariuki said the association remains committed to championing sustainable and inclusive business practices and efforts towards addressing climate change mitigation and adaptation.

These efforts are coordinated through the environment, water and natural resources sector board at KEPSA, which works closely with the government.

“KEPSA has been instrumental in championing the development of business-friendly policies and regulatory frameworks for addressing climate change and sustainability,” Kariuki said.

These includes the development of the Climate Change Act in 2016, the National Climate Change Action Plans (NCCAP) 2018 – 2022, and ongoing development of Climate Change Regulations that seek to provide incentives for businesses implementing climate change initiatives.

Through KEPSA, FFI will engage with private sector players in seeking and taking advantage of supply chain and downstream green industrialization opportunities, through green industry advocacy and collaboration with public sector stakeholders to support rapid project mobilization.

The announcement comes days after the signing of a 10-point Corporate Commitment charter to climate change and sustainability in Kenya by representatives from the private sector including KEPSA, Kenya Climate Innovation Center (KCIC), Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM), and development partners, among other stakeholders.

Some of the highlights in the charter include the commitment to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by at least five percent per annum, with a base of 2020 in the hope of helping Kenya achieve its ambition to abate 32 per cent by 2030.

The signatories agreed to integrate climate change mitigation and adaptation actions into business models, strategic business plans and value chains as well as enhancing adaptation investments in operations and value chains such as reduction of water consumption, increase in water use efficiency, and wastewater management, early warning and emergency response systems.

Others are a commitment to raising awareness and building the capacity of the private sector to map out their greenhouse gas emissions hotspots, while mainstreaming emission reduction strategies and training modules to build technical capacities for combating climate change in business.

The stakeholders are also committed to developing products and services that are climate-sensitive to encourage the path toward strengthening climate resilience between local, regional, and international private sectors.

KEPSA Co-chairs the Partnering for Green Growth and Global Goals (P4G) National Platform with Kenya’s National Treasury and has catalyzed 14 partnerships, both start-up and scale up to provide market-based solutions for combating climate change and realizing sustainable development goals in Kenya.

The partnerships are currently providing sustainability and climate-oriented solutions in agriculture, water, energy, industry, and the circular economy sectors.

Kenya’s investment plan for renewable energy is contained in the Scaling-up renewable energy program (SREP).

This program will support Kenya’s initiatives towards achieving a transformational change that will lead the country towards a low greenhouse gas emission development pathway by harnessing renewable energy resources.  

It is among countries set to benefit from Sh 2 trillion climate change cash pledged by the UK government.

According to British High Commissioner to Kenya , Jane Marriott, the money will be provided over the next five years, starting this year.

“Increasing money for developing countries to tackle climate change has always been a priority for the UK,” she said.

Marriott said the money will help to scale up the successful climate work in the country.

Kenya is currently grappling with impacts of climate change such as drought that is affecting more than 2.5 million people and rising lakes.

The just-concluded Conference of Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, reached a consensus on key actions to address climate change.

Kenya had 312 delegates to the conference, the sixth largest national delegation after Brazil (479), Turkey (376), the Democratic Republic of Congo (373), Ghana (337) and Russia (312).

The team included Cabinet Secretaries Keriako Tobiko (Environment), Monica Juma (Energy), Najib Balala (Tourism), Raychelle Omamo (Foreign Affairs) and Ukur Yatani (National Treasury).

State parties called for adaptation and mitigation and the strengthening of finance in a complex and delicate balance.