President Dr William Ruto has called on developed nations to switch from carbon-heavy energy and direct their industrial investments to Kenya and other African countries that are already producing clean energy.
President Ruto says this we will save the globe from the effects of climate change.
Speaking at the launch of African Carbon Markets Initiative (ACMI) at COP 27 in Sharm EL Sheikh, Egypt, Dr Ruto said Kenya is already a leader in the generation of carbon credits in Africa, accounting for over 20% of Africa’s volumes over the past 5 years.
He said a portion of proceeds from these credits have been invested towards funding clean cooking and solar home systems.
“I am pleased to share encouraging news of an exemplary Kenyan project which is the first and largest in the world, focusing entirely on soil carbon removals through sustainable grazing management. It is on course towards its inspiring target of removing up to 50 million tons of carbon dioxide from the ecosystem over the next 30 years,” He said.
President Ruto says all evidence and projections indicate that the Country is only scratching the surface of its potential.
“Some estimates suggest that by 2030, Kenya will be generating over 30 million tonnes of carbon credits annually, thereby earning hundreds of millions of dollars as incomes and creating hundreds of thousands of green jobs for our youth,” He said.
To actualise the vision and unlock potential, Dr Ruto said the Country requires carbon markets that actually work for Kenyan and African communities.
“These markets will become reality under frameworks that prioritise the rapid and significant reduction of transaction costs. Currently, 80% of the value of some carbon credits are captured by intermediaries, leaving only a fraction for the communities undertaking the actual hard work on the ground,” He said.
He said it is imperative to develop modalities for the proper valuation of existing carbon sinks, before they fall under imminent threats such as deforestation and other forms of degradation.
“We recognise that our expectations are massive. But the opportunity before us is tremendous. We can, and indeed must rise to the demands of the moment and seize it with both hands. Kenya therefore looks forward to working with initiatives such as the ACMI (African Carbon Markets Initiative) in substantially expanding carbon markets and carbon credit opportunities in our country and throughout the African continent,” he said.
He reiterated Kenya’s interest in a strong partnership with the initiative, saying he is motivated by its desire to unleash the full potential of carbon markets as a means of supporting climate action, both in Kenya and across the entire African continent
Dr Ruto said Africa is already bearing the brunt of climate change, whose adverse effects now impact every aspect of the economies and livelihoods and further complicates national roadmaps towards socio-economic transformation and impedes the achievement of sustainable development goals in the continent
“As I speak to you, Kenya is in the throes of a harrowing food insecurity caused by two consecutive years of failed rains. Most of the country has been affected, and we have had to provide emergency food relief to 4.3 million citizens to prevent suffering from hunger and starvation. Kenya, and by extension the Horn of Africa region is experiencing the worst drought in the last 40 years,” he said.
According to the President, prevailing trends in global warming signals that more difficult times lie ahead, on account of associated climatic crises.
“I stand here to make the strong case that despite all this, we in Africa and in Kenya are more than just climate victims. I wish to persuade you that our strengths by far surpass our weaknesses, and that our potential to make substantial positive global contributions overwhelmingly exceeds our need for assistance,” He said.
He said by developing a robust, transparent and sustainable mechanism through which a carbon credits market can yield attractive income and development opportunities for communities at the frontlines in the fight against climate change, Africa will align incentives among polluting producers and sequestration enterprises to achieve net zero industrialisation and shared green prosperity