Kenya’s transition to a green economy could generate benefits estimated at Sh3.8 trillion ($45 billion) by 2030. This is in addition to greater food security, cleaner environment and higher productivity of natural resources, according to a new study launched by the Government and the UN Environment Programme ( Unep).
In the Green Economy Assessment Report, Kenya finds that transition to an inclusive, low emission, resource efficient green economy will result in stronger economic growth and increased wealth creation opportunities by 2021. A green economy is one whose growth in income and employment is driven by reducing carbon emissions and pollution, enhancing energy and resource efficiency and preventing the loss of biodiversity and ecosystems.
With an investment of two per cent of its GDP, Kenya’s national output is projected to exceed the current levels by about 12 per cent, or Sh3.6 trillion (equivalent to $45 billion), by 2030. Per capita national income would nearly double from Sh39,897 ($498.70) to Sh69,702 ($871.30). With a two per cent investment, GDP would only increase to Sh53,146 ($664.30) over the same period of time.
As green economy measures mitigate the impact of climate change, the report finds Kenya’s aggregated green house gas emissions measured in tonnes of carbon dioxide would be nine per cent lower by 2030.
Green revolution “A green economy revolution is already taking place in Kenya, where the harvesting of geothermal energy from Rift Valley is just one of the many renewable energy projects underway across the country,” said Prof Judy Wakhungu, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Water and Natural Resources.
She made these remarks during the launch of the Green Economy Assessment Report – Kenya. UN Under Secretary General and Unep Executive Director, Achim Steiner and officials from Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) attended the launch. Kenya is already implementing policies and initiatives to move towards a green economy as indicated in its Vision 2030 blue print, the Government’s Second Medium Term Plan (2013-2017).
The report finds that green energy investments could lead to a two per cent reduction in energy consumption besides expanding supply of electricity from renewable sources. Under a green economy scenario, renewable energy would double geothermal capacity by 2030. Other renewable energy resources would also grow during this period, contributing to 20 per cent of the total power supply.
To accelerate these efforts, the report urges the Government to consider targeting clean energy solutions for households and institutions, such as energy efficient lighting and appliances and making additional investments in renewable energy, such as geothermal, solar, wind and bio fuel energy.
In the agriculture sector, the report finds that green economy investments would increase the average agriculture yield by about 15 per cent, up from its current baseline. Agriculture accounts for approximately one quarter of Kenya’s national GDP annually and up to 65 per cent of its exports.