This assessment includes our policy analysis from 27 November 2020 translated into our new rating methodology without new analysis of Kenya’s climate policies since then, except the NDC update submitted in December 2020. We will fully analyse Kenya in the coming months and the rating may change.
The CAT rates Kenya’s climate targets and policies as overall “Almost sufficient”. Kenya’s policies and unconditional target meet its fair-share contribution to limiting warming to 1.5°C. However, Kenya’s target with international support is currently only compatible with 4°C of warming or higher and should be strengthened. The strong difference in the two ratings reflects Kenya’s situation as a country with strong development needs and a small historical responsibility, but with relevant mitigation potential on their own territory, which should be exploited to a large extent with the help of international support. Kenya should strengthen its conditional target and specify support needs.
There is significant scope for the government to increase its climate ambitions as sectors are likely to exceed their current climate targets. CAT rates Kenya’s policies and action as 1.5°C compatible when compared to its fair contribution. However, action should go beyond Kenya’s fair share with the help of international support.
Kenya’s energy future is at a crossroads: while renewable energy accounts for 85% of installed capacity, just short of the government’s target of being powered entirely by green energy by 2020, it has still not let go of its coal-fired power plant construction plans, which are currently paused due to tribunal decisions. In 2018, Africa’s largest wind project and the single largest private investment in Kenya’s history, the Lake Turkana Wind Farm came online, while the planned Lamu coal power plant continues to face headwinds from the continued exit of financial sector players. The government’s economic response package to the COVID-19 pandemic does not contain any explicit green measures.
The government announced several measures related to healthcare, social protection and food security to support the recovery of economic activities. The government has not incorporated green recovery measures into the pandemic response measures adopted to date. In fact, some policies have actively undermined climate efforts. The government’s Finance Bill 2020, which is part of the recovery effort, foresees the introduction of taxes on clean cooking and solar energy products; this would significantly water down the gains towards access to modern energy for all.
The full policies and action analysis can be found here.
We rate Kenya’s conditional NDC as “Critically insufficient” when compared to modelled domestic pathways. The “Critically insufficient” rating indicates that Kenya’s conditional target in 2030 reflects minimal to no action and is not at all consistent with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C temperature limit. If all countries were to follow Kenya’s approach, warming would exceed 4°C. Kenya should improve its conditional target and specify support needs to achieve it. Already a small improvement in the target would change the rating to “Highly Insufficient”.
We rate Kenya’s unconditional NDC as “1.5°C Paris Agreement compatible” when compared to their fair share contribution to climate change mitigation. The “1.5°C Paris Agreement compatible” rating indicates that Kenya’s target that it wants to achieve through own efforts is consistent with limiting warming to 1.5°C and does not require other countries to make comparably deeper reductions.
Kenya’s emissions from Land-use, land-use change and forestry have contributed to almost one third of the country’s total emissions over the last 20 years on average. The major reasons for deforestation are the conversion of forest land to agriculture, unsustainable utilisation of forest products (including charcoal), forest fires and shifting cultivation.