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Kenya pledges friendly policies to boost
uptake of clean energy by industries 

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya will roll out new policy and regulatory incentives to promote uptake of renewable energy in the manufacturing sector, officials said at a forum in Nairobi on Thursday.

Principal Secretary in the ministry of energy, Engineer John Njoroge said that greater uptake of cleaner energy sources by industries is in line with Kenya’s quest to accelerate low carbon development.

“Joint efforts by the government and industries are key to promote adoption of green energy in production and supply chains. We are supporting industries reduce their carbon footprints through adoption of cleaner technologies,” Njoroge said.

He spoke in Nairobi during a review of energy efficiency measures promoted by local manufacturing lobby to strengthen climate change response in the country.

Kenya has in the recent past enacted progressive legislative and regulatory frameworks to attract investments in renewable energy sources like wind, solar and geothermal.

Njoroge revealed that renewables comprise over 90 percent of Kenya’s energy mix and the figure could go higher thanks to huge foreign direct investments coupled with political goodwill to promote their uptake.

“We have encouraged manufacturing and other critical sectors to make a substantial contribution to carbon emissions reduction. The move will promote health of ecosystems and communities,” said Njoroge.

He added that tax rebates on imported cleaner technologies has promoted sustainable production and consumption in the country.

Kenya’s manufacturing sector has complied with global instruments on carbon emission reduction through investments in resource efficiency at key production and supply chains.

The Chairperson, Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM), Flora Mutahi said that adoption of cleaner energy sources has reduced cost of production alongside air pollution within industrial premises.

“Our industrial sector is gradually shifting to green energy whose economic, social and environmental benefits are huge and long-term,” Mutahi remarked adding that Kenyan manufacturers have won global acclaim for enacting robust measures to reduce their carbon and water footprints.



Kenya launches green economy strategic plan to help spur growth

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya on Thursday launched a strategic plan for green economy to help reduce pressure on natural resources and helps spur economic growth.

The Green Economy Strategy and Implementation Plan (GESIP) sets Kenya’s transition to a resource efficient, low carbon and inclusive green economy.

“The strategy is a result of our plan to better utilize our natural resources and ensure greater socioeconomic growth as a country,” Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Natural Resources Professor Judi Wakhungu said at the launch on Thursday.

Wakhungu noted that the demand for water, soils, air and ecosystems in the country continue to attract more pressure coupled with unpredictable weather patterns fuelled by climate change that poses great challenge to rain fed agriculture based economy.

“The strategy is earmarked to strengthen the country’s third medium term plan by increasing growth across all sectors to attaining economic growth rate of 10 percent and above to ensure the economy doubles in size in eight years,” she added.

GESIP proposes support for rapid economic growth, infrastructure development, diversification and commercialization of agriculture, food security, better health and education, youth employment and improved water sources and sanitation.

Wakhungu said actions taken to slow down and adapt to climate change has help broaden environmental management for planning and development in the country.

Through a number of initiatives and with support from development partners, Kenya has made strides in mainstreaming the green economy in small businesses across the country.

Environmental experts from the government have conducted pilot trainings for County personnel in Mombasa and Nakuru.

“A shift in investment to green sectors would lead to an additional 3.1 million people in Kenya being lifted out of poverty by 2030, while also contributing to a healthy GDP growth during the same period,” Dirk Wagener, the UN Environment Resource Efficient Coordinator said.

He revealed that GESIP has been informed by an earlier joint initiative with Kenyan Government - the Green Economy Assessment Study in 2015 by UNEP which identified policy actions, access to financing and skills and capacity needs as opportunities towards transition to a green economy.

“Green economy not only protects the Kenyan natural capital and reduces environment and climate footprint but help make contributions from a business and social perspective since it improves competitiveness, spurs growth which in turn creates green and decent jobs,” he added.

Wagener said that the UN Environment will continue to support the implementation of GESIP in ensuring that Kenya transits to green economy as planned.

The Denmark Ambassador to Kenya Mette Knudsen noted that sustainable development is a key component of governments globally as it contributes to the streamlining of economies in a sound and more sustainable manner.

Knudsen noted Kenya has done the right thing adding that with the increasing resource scarcity and competition coupled with continued environmental degradation and unabated climate change, catastrophic impacts for the economy and societies is eminent.

Knudsen observed that Kenya urgently requires a large scale transition as a sustainable development pathway to help the country protect itself from the climate change and other environmental threats.

“The transition to an inclusive green economy presents numerous opportunities for Kenya to asses and address the impact of its economic activities have on the environment and calls for transformation of the behavior of individuals, institutions and society at large,” he added.

Even though GESIP is expected to propel Kenya in a new economic trajectory characterized by low emissions, resource efficiency and higher economic growth, the strategy said that its implementation may face some challenges.

It blames inadequate compliance and weak enforcement of laws and regulations across sectors, inadequate information about green technologies and integrating natural capital into economic growth.

Other challenges include lack of huge finances to support initial phase of transitioning to green economy and gaps that exist in human capacity and skills across thematic areas.



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