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Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Kenya opts to green its economy

By Charles Mutai and Herman Kwoba
Transitioning to a green economy means contributing to eradicating poverty as well as sustained economic growth, enhancing social inclusion, improving human welfare and creating opportunities for employment and decent work for all, while maintaining the healthy functioning of the Earth’s ecosystems.
A green economy, in the Kenyan context refers to a shift towards a development path that promotes resource efficiency and sustainable management of natural resources, social inclusion, resilience, and sustainable infrastructure development.
Kenya’s key policies and programmes that are supportive of a green economy include: investments in renewable energy; promotion of resource-efficient and cleaner production; environmental planning and governance; and restoration of forest ecosystems.
Highlights
The Kenya Green Economy Assessment Report (2014) indicated that Kenya is implementing various Green Economy initiatives and policies such as investment in renewable energy, promotion of sustainable production and consumption, pollution control and waste management, and environmental planning and governance.
Greening scenarios - which is based on Kenya-Threshold 21 (T21) model – show that a transition to green economy has positive impacts in the medium and long term across all the sectors of the economy.
Demonstration of a solar cooker at Jamhuri Energy Centre. Noah Lusaka/ALIN
The T21 Model is a uniquely customized planning tool for the long-term integrated development planning as well as carrying out scenario analyses of adaptation options under uncertainty in Kenya. 
The Model allows the cost of adaptation to be quantified, which is a pre-requirement for attracting much needed financing for adaptation.
The Kenya Green Economy Assessment Report (2014) underscores that green growth has the potential to build a transformative development pathway that will create green jobs, accelerate poverty reduction, support sustainable growth, and restore environmental health and quality as a foundation for future prosperity and well-being.
In this context, the development of a national Green Economy Strategy and Implementation Plan (GESIP) is almost finalized. The GESIP process is undertaken in collaboration with strategic partners; United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), African Development Bank (AfDB), World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).
Multi-stakeholder and multi-sectoral consultations have being held at the national and county levels. GESIP focuses on the promotion of resource efficiency, sustainable management of natural resources, social inclusion, building resilience, and sustainable infrastructure development.
Enabling conditions for Green Growth/ Economy in Kenya include Vision 2030 (implemented through five-year Medium Term Plans). Vison 2030 is Kenya’s long-term development blueprint which aims to transform the country into “a newly industrialized, middle-income country, providing a high quality of life to all its citizens in a clean and secure environment” by 2030.
The Constitution of Kenya 2010; Article 42, recognizes a healthy environment as a right and calls for “sustainable exploitation, utilization, management and conservation of the environment and natural resources.”
Conclusion
Green investments and innovation in Kenya are driven mainly by renewable energy, resource efficient and clean technologies, sustainable consumption, and production. Fiscal policies and leveraging international support are crucial in the implementation of the Green Economy Strategy.
Charles Mutai (PhD) is the Deputy Director of Climate Change Secretariat. E-mail drcmutai@gmail.com. Herman Kwoba is the national Coordinator Green Economy Transition Africa. E-mail kwoba.herman@gmail.com.
Source: Joto Afrika. Download a copy here
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