•For a long time, the lack of evidence and data to support decision-making has been the bane of most climate change interventions in Africa.
•What this project at the port has shown is the path that more institutions should prioritize.
It's encouraging that even as discussions ensue around what countries in Africa are doing towards containing the adverse effects of climate change, the greening of the corridors at the Port of Mombasa is giving hope.
Hopefully, the results from the study will not waste on shelves as is always the case with such projects.
For a long time, the lack of evidence and data to support decision-making has been the bane of most climate change interventions in Africa.
What this project at the port has shown is the path that more institutions should prioritize.
Policies and regulations on climate change activities should be based on data and evidence, of the actual impact and available adaptation measures for communities.
The greening of corridors is a breakthrough in the sector.
For the first time in Africa, we have a project informed by research and interventions based on data.
The project does not only seek to mitigate but show how countries are working on adaptations toward climate change.
The research was conducted under the auspices of the Maritime Technology Cooperation Centre-Africa (MTCC) which brings together Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), Kenya Ports Authority (KPA), and the Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA).
It has given great insights on dealing with emissions by Ocean Going Vessels (OGVs) at the Mombasa port, covering both Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions and air pollutants.
Study recommendations included the need to use cleaner fuel in ships for more efficiency, speed reduction programmes, optimizing port operations, streamlining cargo handling, legal frameworks and regulations on emissions, and in the long-term, the establishment of shore power at the port.
In addition, the study recommended that shore power is a good method to reduce marine diesel air emissions by enabling ships to shut down their auxiliary engines and connect to the electrical grid to provide them with power while docked.
Officers from the three public institutions working on the project noted that many African countries lack baseline data on sectoral impacts of climate change which has seen interventions misdirected,
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has noted that the maritime transport sector contributes around 940 million tonnes of CO2 annually and is responsible for about 2.89% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
These recommendations include the need to use cleaner fuel in ships for more efficiency, speed reduction programmes, optimizing port operations, streamlining cargo handling turnaround times, legal frameworks and regulations on emissions, and in the long-term and the establishment of shore power at the port.
Shore power would be a highly effective method to reduce marine diesel air emissions by enabling ships to shut down their auxiliary engines and connect to the electrical grid to provide them with power while docked.
Experts have already cautioned that Africa has a huge potential in the blue economy space, but that, without sustainable exploitation in a clean environment, there will be no blue economy to explore.
It must be appreciated that climate change and related threats have a huge impact on the African continent because of high poverty levels, illiteracy, high disease burden, population-induced development challenges, corruption, and poor planning among other factors.
Egypt will be hosting the UNFCCC’s Climate Conference (COP27) later this year in November and hopefully, such innovative projects will be showcased to the rest of the world.
With the passing of both the climate change Act 2106 and the Fisheries Management and Development Act 2015 and the subsequent policy frameworks, Kenya has made a statement on her commitment to pursue an economic growth and development model that ensures that natural assets are exploited responsibly.
Additionally, in Kenya, there are a number of laws and bills enacted to promote green growth and blue economies among them the Environmental Management and Coordination (Amendment) Act 2015, Vision 2030, Energy Act 2012 andGreen Economic Strategy and Implementation Plan (GESIP) 2016-2030.
The banking sector, as a priority, should support Government efforts in the achievement of the SDGs especially by offering incentives in the form of lower interest rates to developers of green growth compliant developments in manufacturing, innovations and construction.
Part of the Country’s path to the realization of SDG 12 on responsible consumption and production and promotes the principles of reduction, reuse and recycling and the Paris Climate Change Agreement, to which she is a signatory.
Both Kenya’s Green Growth Economy Strategy and the recent Blue Economy Strategy paper are part of the country’s effort to actualize the larger circular economy principle which is part of SDG 12.
The country’s Green Growth Strategy recognizes investing in the following building blocks can increase profits for producers, save money for consumers, and improve the environment.
And it behoves those involved in climate change interventions to proactively share information with the rest of the community, for best practices can only be picked when shared.
Decisions and knowledge sharing are based on information availability.
Information is an economic resource and when used well, through sharing and showcasing working interventions, others can borrow, and replicate it.