Strengthening institutional capacity
The project, which is funded by the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) will strengthen the institutional capacity needed to promote the integration of climate change and air pollution, develop an action plan for the reduction of SLCPs in Kenya and integrate their mitigation actions into relevant national planning processes for a rapid and large-scale implementation of activities that will reduce SLCPs in the relevant sectors.
“There is a disconnect between science and policy,” said Tobiko. He decried the abundance of scientific reports that have not been used by decision makers and emphasized the need to ensure that policymakers and practitioners make use of scientific information such as that to be produced through this project. “Scientists must interface research, policy and practice,” he added.
Climate Change Act
Kenya enacted a Climate Change Act in 2016 that requires the government to develop five-year National Climate Change Action Plans (NCCAPs) to guide the mainstreaming of adaptation and mitigation actions into sector functions of the national and county governments. The current NCCAP, which runs from 2018–2022, aims to further Kenya’s development goals by providing mechanisms and measures to achieve low-carbon climate resilient development in a manner that prioritizes adaptation. This plan builds on the first action plan (2013–2017) and provides a framework for Kenya to deliver on its nationally determined contribution (NDC) under the Paris Agreement of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Dr Osano took the cabinet secretary through the work that SEI Africa is doing across the continent, referencing, in particular, the Africa integrated assessment on air pollution and climate change that is funded by CCAC and implemented by SEI in partnership with the UNEP Regional Office for Africa and the African Union Commission. He also highlighted the support that SEI and UNEP Regional Office for Africa have provided to the Nairobi City County on several air quality initiatives. “Through this project, Kenya is joining a few countries in Africa that are developing action plan to reduce short lived climate pollutants, and therefore providing a model for other countries in the continent”, added Dr Osano.
Kenya’s conditional target of greenhouse gas emissions reduction
Kenya’s revised NDC has a conditional target of reducing its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 32% by 2030 and is already on track to meet or achieve its Paris Agreement pledge. Kenya has further put in place a Green Economy Strategy and Implementation Plan for 2016–2030 that is geared towards enabling Kenya to attain a higher economic growth rate consistent with its growth master plan Vision 2030, which firmly embeds the principles of sustainable development in the overall national growth strategy.
Dr Anderson Kehbila, Programme Leader for Natural Resources and Ecosystems at SEI Africa, presented on SNAP project actions and activities, emphasizing the capacity-building aspect. Mbeo Ogeya, Research Fellow at SEI Africa, highlighted training on the use and application of the Low Emissions Analysis Platform (LEAP) that SEI has provided to the GHG Inventory team at the ministry’s Climate Change Directorate for the last four years, adding that this will continue through the SNAP project. In 2020, LEAP underwent an upgrade, adding an integrated benefits calculator to better understand the benefits of reducing emissions.
Enduring partnerships on capacity building
Noting that the project is timely given that it will contribute to Kenya’s NDC implementation and long-term strategy, Dr Pacifica Achieng Ogolla, Director, Climate Change Directorate, Ministry of Environment and Forestry, welcomed the support from CCAC and SEI in project implementation and expressed the directorate’s commitment to convene representatives from all key sectors for the process.
“Kenya is a signatory to the Eastern African Regional Framework Agreement on Air Pollution and this project will enable the country to meet some of the obligations of this agreement”, remarked Dr Ogolla. The Eastern Africa Regional Framework Agreement on Air Pollution (Nairobi Agreement-2008) seeks to develop actionable targets to address air pollution in the following key areas:
- regional cooperation
- transport sector
- urban planning and management
- industry and mining
- vegetation fires, uncontrolled burning and deforestation
- indoor air pollution
- regional and national environmental governance
- public participation in air quality management
- research development and capacity building.
Nairobi County Air Quality Policy
Dr Anne Nyatichi, representing the Director General, National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), highlighted how pollution is addressed in Kenya’s 2014 Air Quality Regulations and shared on other initiatives that NEMA is coordinating, including the control of ozone-depleting substances under the Montreal Protocol.
Margaret Kariuki, representing the Nairobi City County Executive Committee Member for Environment and Natural Resources Hon. Larry Wambua, presented on Nairobi City County air quality initiatives, including the Nairobi County Air Quality Policy and Air Quality Bill that are presently in the county assembly and the draft Air Quality Action Plan. Kariuki underscored the support that SEI has provided the county government in these processes.
Increased awareness and capacity at the national level on SLCPs
The SNAP project is expected to increase awareness and capacity at the national level on SLCPs, generate an action plan on SLCPs for Kenya that outlines major sources at the national level, identify the priority sectors and key actions to reduce SLCPs, propose a mechanism to coordinate and monitor the implementation of the resulting actions and track progress in reducing emissions. The project will also integrate SLCP mitigation and air pollution abatement actions in ongoing national planning processes and prepare a roadmap for the development of a national air quality management strategy and action plan.
Air quality in Kenya is a growing concern. The Environmental Management and Coordination Act is the main law guiding pollution prevention in Kenya, but there is no dedicated strategy and air quality monitoring is also limited.
Kenya has been a partner of CCAC since 2014 and is currently involved in the CCAC’s Agriculture, Heavy-Duty Vehicles, Hydrofluorocarbons (HFC), Household Energy, Waste and SNAP Initiatives. Besides institutional strengthening support provided by the SNAP project, CCAC also supports other projects in the country. These include the Kenya GHG inventory for livestock emissions, which supports work to identify emission mitigation opportunities, develops an action plan for livestock GHG accounting and methane mitigation and facilitates the implementation of its NDCs. It also helps to secure high-level city commitments for soot-free buses in East Africa and integrating benefits of adopting soot-free buses in Kenya’s NDCs, which supports the provision of electric buses in Nairobi and introduces climate benefits from soot-free buses to Kenya’s NDC reporting.