Kenya emissions trading plan at advanced stage, says finance minister.

Carbon credits system to be managed through national carbon credits and green assets registry

Nairobi  — Kenya aims to set up an emissions trading system that will allow companies and other bodies to buy emissions allowances, the finance minister said on Tuesday, as the country strives to limit the release of greenhouse gases.

Emissions trading is a pollution control mechanism where a central authority issues a limited number of permits for the release of specific greenhouse gases. Companies can then buy these permits and also trade them.

Many countries are using a price on carbon to meet climate goals, in the form of a tax or under an emissions trading or cap-and-trade plan where companies or countries face a carbon limit.

“The government is at an advanced stage in establishing the Kenya Emissions Trading System allowing companies and organisations to buy an emission allowance and thereby enable Kenya to meet her commitments in limiting greenhouse emissions,” Ukur Yatani Kanacho told an online conference of Kenyan and European officials.

Kanacho said the system would be managed through a national carbon credits and green assets registry, also soon to be established.

Africa as a whole produces little of the greenhouse gases, such as emissions from coal-fired plants, that most scientists link to rapid climate change.

But it is the continent widely seen as most vulnerable to a changing climate as much of its population is poor, rural and often dependent on rain-fed agriculture.

Kenya loses about 2%—2.4% of its GDP annually due to the effects of climate change, such as drought and floods, according to a 2018 Kenya National Bureau of Statistics study. The study also showed droughts cost Kenya 8% of GDP every five years.

Last June, the finance ministry said Kenya planned to issue its first sovereign green bond.

Kanacho told the conference the bond will be launched “soon”, and that Kenya also planned to speed up the formation of the Kenya Green Investment Bank to allow easier access to finance for government and private projects in areas such in renewable energy, energy efficiency, green transport and wastewater treatment.

Kenya says it aims to achieve a net-zero carbon neutral economy by 2050.




11 May 2021


Only one-third of increase in Africa electricity demand met by renewables.

Renewables supplied only a third of Africa’s electricity demand growth in 2020 according to energy think tank Ember’s The Global Electricity Review.

The Global Electricity Review showed that wind and solar showed resilient growth in 2020, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. While this forced a record fall in global power figures, this was not mirrored in Africa.

The report revealed that almost a tenth of global electricity was generated by wind and solar power in 2020. Morocco and Kenya were clear leaders in the wind and solar sectors, already ahead of the world average. But, data from 2014 to 2019 shows that only a third of the rise in Africa’s electricity demand was met by renewable power sources, the rest of the rising demand was met by fossil gas.

Morocco and Kenya showed the highest levels of wind and solar energy production to meet electricity demand growth. They respectively generated 16% and 15% of their electricity from wind and solar in 2019. Morocco has achieved a rapid uptake of solar power, increasing from almost zero in 2015 to 4% of electricity supplied in 2019. It also increased its wind generation capacity from 9% of electricity in 2015 to 12% in 2019.




7 May 2021


Africa needs financial support to adapt to climate change.

Financial support for Africa to adapt to climate change is crucial, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said as he addressed an online dialogue for leaders convened by the African Development Bank (AfDB).

He appealed for greater action to provide renewable energy to the hundreds of millions who still lack reliable and affordable electricity. “As the continent that has contributed least to the climate crisis, Africa deserves the strongest possible support and solidarity,” said Guterres.

Pointing out that although Africa has abundant and untapped renewable resources, it has received just 2% of global investment in renewable energy over the past decade, warning that “adaptation must not be the neglected half of the climate equation”.

Old models of development and energy use have failed to provide Africans with universal energy access, he said, meaning hundreds of millions of people still lack reliable and affordable electricity or are cooking with polluting and harmful fuels.

“We can provide universal access to energy in Africa primarily through renewable energy. I call for a comprehensive package of support to meet this objective ahead of COP26,” Guterres said, referring to the UN climate change conference in November.

“It is achievable. It is necessary. It is overdue. And it is smart: climate action is a $3 trillion investment opportunity in Africa by 2030,” he added.

Major finance gap between climate finance commitment and action

The secretary-general pointed to “the major finance” gap blocking progress towards this goal. He urged developed countries to deliver on their $100 billion climate commitment more than a decade ago.

“Developed countries and main financers must ensure a swift shift of the billions to support African green investments, to increase resilience and to create the conditions for scaled-up private finance. And the private sector must step up and get organised to provide immediate, concrete solutions to governments. Local authorities can work with unions and community leaders on reskilling and social security nets,” said Guterres.

While African governments also can lead the way by committing to ambitious adaptation and mitigation plans, they first need to regain their fiscal autonomy, he said. The UN chief stressed the need to extend the debt moratorium for developing countries, made last year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and even cancelling debts where appropriate.

Guterres said he thought Special Drawing Rights, a type of supplementary foreign reserve maintained by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), should be made available to support Africa’s economic recovery.

Africa’s new infrastructure needs to be able to adapt to shocks

Even as the AfDB has worked with its regional member countries to fight the negative effects of climate change, the Bank has also been urging them to build infrastructure that is adapted and resilient to climate shocks.

Africa has lost billions of dollars in infrastructure and thousands of people due to cyclones and storms in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi in 2019 alone. Floods in 2020 led to hundreds of deaths and thousands of internally displaced persons in the Sahel.

The AfDB believe Africa can mitigate the consequences of such climate shocks by building more resilient infrastructure and strengthening early warning and climate watch mechanism. Thus, the Bank encourages its regional members to integrate the “climate shock” dimension into the construction of essential infrastructure such as roads, bridges, stations, dams and airports.

Al-Hamadou Dorsouma, head of the AfDB’s Climate and Green Growth Division confirmed that African needs to build infrastructures that are resilient to climate shock: “This is all the more important as this destruction amounts to billions of dollars. If these infrastructures had been built on a climate resilience scheme, they would have better withstood cyclones, storms and flood.

“It is important for Africa, whose future infrastructure over a 50-year horizon has not yet been built, to strengthen its resilience and secure its investments in this sector,” said Dorsouma.




7 April 2021


AFRICA: EIB commits 340m euros for water and renewable energy in 5 countries.

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is approving €340 million for water and renewable energy in Africa. The loans are for the construction of sustainable infrastructure in Mali, Chad, Guinea, Malawi and Comoros.

The European Investment Bank (EIB) funding was announced in the margins of an EU-Africa forum co-organised by the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU) and the EIB. The bulk of the funding, €300 million, is for the electricity interconnection between Guinea and Mali. This project is part of the West African Power Pool (WAPP) of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

Under the EIB-financed project, WAPP will construct a 225 kV double-circuit AC power line, approximately 714 km long, from Sanankoroba in Mali to Nzérékoré in Guinea (via Fomi in Guinea). The project also includes the installation of transformer stations in Siguiri, Fomi, Kankan, Kérouane, Beyla and N’Zérékoré (in Guinea) and Sanankoroba (in Mali).

Electricity from the Souapiti hydroelectric plant

The electricity injected into Mali’s national grid is generated from the Souapiti hydroelectric plant, recently commissioned in Guinea. The 550 MW facility operates from a dam built on the Konkoure River by China International Water & Electric Corporation (CWE).

According to the African Development Bank (AfDB), which is co-financing the electricity interconnection between Guinea and Mali, the aim of the project is to increase the availability of electricity in both countries and strengthen the establishment of the regional electricity market in West Africa, in line with the Master Plan adopted in 2012 by ECOWAS heads of state.

Financing electrification via the off-grid

The EIB is also providing funding for off-grid solar electrification in Chad and Comoros. The funding is for the off-grid provider InnoVent, which is expanding its services in Africa, particularly south of the Sahara. This solution is particularly deployed in Chad to accelerate access to electricity in rural or semi-urban areas.

Part of the EIB’s funding is dedicated to the provision of drinking water in Malawi. According to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), 4 million people in this East African country do not have access to drinking water. Currently, the efforts of Malawian authorities and development finance institutions are also directed towards hygiene and sanitation. In Malawi, only 6% of the population has access to a sanitation facility. This leads to open defecation, which is a vector for diseases such as cholera.



27 April 2021

Afrik 21