Kenya targets 100 per cent transition to green energy by 2020 to address the climate change challenge, President Uhuru Kenyatta has said.
President Kenyatta said renewable energy makes up 70 per cent of Kenya’s installed electric power capacity, with investment scaled up.
He said the aggressive investments to reach this figure have been made simultaneously with Kenya almost tripling the size of its population served by the electricity grid to more than 60 per cent of the population.
“We will do this (100 per cent transition) while we achieve 100 per cent access to power for our population, and sharply lower costs to aid our manufacturing push,” he said on Sunday during a round-table discussion on "Don't drop climate efforts" in a session of the Paris Peace Forum in France.
Speaking alongside Presidents Omar Guelleh of Djibouti and Denis Sassou Nguesso of the Republic of the Congo, President Kenyatta said Kenya’s investment in green energy is proof that doing the right thing is more than a cost but rather a chance to offer immense opportunities for business growth and enhancement of citizens’ quality of life.
The President challenged governments of industrialised countries, especially in Europe where sustainability has been embraced, to support such investments in green energy in Africa. He said doing so would help mitigate and even reverse the effects of climate change while delivering the jobs and opportunities that will strengthen security and stability on the continent, and the world.
“To do even more, we need support from the Green Climate Fund and other mechanisms to enhance our green energy capabilities and accelerate adaptation and mitigation of the impact of climate change,” he said.
He emphasised that Kenya is open for business in the manufacturing of green technologies and will work hard to enable investors in this field to thrive.
President Kenyatta spoke of the need for multilateralism to make its mark in solving major challenges ranging from insecurity, terrorism and the effects of climate change.
He said although African countries were nowhere close to the top producers of greenhouse emissions, they are, nevertheless, champions of sustainability because they know the painful price of inaction in the face of climate change reality.
President Kenyatta took the opportunity to invite leaders to attend the first ever Global Conference on Sustainable Blue Economy from November 26 to 28 that Kenya, Canada and Japan are co-hosting in Nairobi.