Kenya has become the first country in east Africa to launch a climate change calculator with the aim of measuring the country’s carbon footprint.
Funded by the UK’s International Climate Finance and developed by engineering consultancy firm Mott MacDonald, Imperial College London and climate change consultancy firm Ricardo as part of the UK government’s International 2050 Calculator Program, the Kenya Carbon Emission Reduction Tool (KCERT 2050) will enable the east African country to track emissions from the energy sector and formulate reduction mechanisms to fast-track the country’s transition to net-zero.
With Kenya targeting to achieve net-zero emissions from the energy industry by 2050, the KCERT 2050 will enable the government to develop and implement policies and energy efficiency models.
By leveraging the tool, regulators, energy producers and consumers in Kenya are expected to have a better understanding of energy emissions as well as the role they themselves can play to fast-track the country’s decarbonization efforts.
The artificial intelligence and machine learning-enabled digital platform “will support and stimulate the decarbonization debate in Kenya, helping to break down silos and generate the consensus across government departments needed to effectively combat, mitigate and adapt to climate change,” stated Dr Onesmus Mwabonie, a Research Fellow at Imperial College London’s Centre for Environmental Policy.
With Kenya also targeting to achieve universal access to electricity across its entire population by 2022 from 75% in 2018, the tool will enable the country to balance fossil fuel and renewable energy development taking into consideration the impacts each energy resource has on the environment.
Despite Kenya’s energy mix dominated by renewable energy solutions – predominantly geothermal and hydropower – fossil fuels including coal continue to produce high emissions across the country’s energy industry. With the new tool, critical opportunities have arisen for Kenya to identify and further reduce emissions across these industries.