- The Bill passed by the Senate Thursday during a special sitting is an amended version of the Climate Change Act, 2016.
- The CS will now be required to report to Parliament annually unlike previously where he was required to do so bi-annually.
President William Ruto Friday assented to Law the Climate Change Amendment Bill, 2023.
This comes barely two days ahead of the Africa Climate Summit in Nairobi.
The Bill passed by the Senate on Thursday during a special sitting is an amended version of the Climate Change Act, 2016 which seeks to provide for the regulation of the carbon markets.
The previous Act did not provide a legal framework for carbon trading, necessitating amendment to facilitate the effective implementation of carbon markets and trading in alignment with the objective.
Among the international agreements that the Bill will address is the Paris Agreement that Kenya ratified on December 28, 2016.
The agreement committed member states to limiting global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius and pursuing efforts to limit it to 1.5 degrees Celsius besides establishing a global carbon trading mechanism under Article 6 and thereby enabling countries to trade emissions reductions.
The passage of the Bill will now make it possible for Kenya to engage a broader range of stakeholders and support its emissions reduction goals.
Clause 6 of the Act has been revised to expand the mandate of the Environment Cabinet Secretary on the appointment of the designated National Authority for market mechanisms and any other mechanisms deriving from Article 6 of the Paris Agreement.
“The Designated National Authority appointed shall also maintain the National Carbon Registry established under new section 23G,” reads the Act.
In the amended law, the CS will now be required to report to Parliament annually unlike previously when the CS was required to do so bi-annually.
Under Clause 12 on the regulation of carbon markets, a new section 23A has been introduced to empower the Climate Change Council to provide guidance and policy direction on carbon markets to the national and counties, the public and other stakeholders.
The mandate of the CS has further been broadened empowering her to enter into a bilateral or multilateral agreement with another State Party to trade carbon for emission reductions and removals.
But, this will depend on the approval of the Cabinet.
Additionally, this part provides for an environmental impact assessment (EIA) requiring every carbon trading project authorized under the Act to undergo an environmental and social impact assessment.
This is in accordance with the Environmental Management and Coordination Act, 1999 under section 23D.
The new law further mandates community development agreements which must encompass the annual social contribution, calculated as a percentage of the previous year`s aggregate earnings from carbon trading project, to the local community with the contribution set at 40 per cent yearly for land-based projects and 25 per cent yearly for non-land based projects.
Section 23F of the Act also regulates the share of proceeds and cancellation rates and compels the national and county governments to undertake best practices regarding the share of proceeds and cancellation rates for overall global mitigation.