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NEWS: INDC process kicks off in Kenya


Kenya has initiated the process to submit its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) to the UNFCCC. Emelia Holdaway of Ricardo-AEA reports.

Kenya took an important step in February toward developing its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) with an inception meeting held with stakeholders across key government ministries, departments and agencies, civil society and the private sector. Kenya is developing its INDC in advance of the UNFCCC negotiations in Paris later this year. INDCs are countries’ commitments toward meeting the Convention’s aim of limiting greenhouse gas emissions from human activities – to avoid dangerous levels of climate change.

The INDC’s development will be guided by the Constitution of Kenya and national development goals, objectives and priorities as summarised in Vision 2030. It will also take into account the country’s medium term plans (MTPs) and will build upon previous assessments in Kenya’s National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP) and on-going implementation initiatives. The NCCAP was a significant milestone in the development of climate policy in Kenya, linking low-carbon sustainable development with emissions abatement and climate change adaptation action; the product of an intensive and lengthy consultation process across government, the private sector and civil society.

One of the challenges in developing Kenya’s INDC will be the assessment of new developments since the NCCAP was published in 2012. Since then, there have been significant changes in the energy mix in Kenya. These will impact on previous projections of greenhouse gas emissions (notably, the discovery of significant oil and coal reserves in 2012). At the same time, while the implementation of the NCCAP has moved forward, a number of new mitigation and adaptation policies and activities have been initiated.

Another challenge is that, to date, Kenya has not previously committed to any specific climate-related contributions either domestically or internationally. Hence, the process of identifying an appropriate level of contribution for the INDC will be a relatively new one in many respects for Kenya – balancing the need to develop an INDC that is not only fair and ambitious, but one that is realistic and practicable to implement.

This challenge is not unique to Kenya, as all developed and developing countries will be much debating and giving consideration to the contribution level for their INDC over the coming six months.

While the INDC process has just started in Kenya, the project is working at a rapid pace, aiming to produce a draft INDC by June. The release of Chile’s draft INDC for consultation earlier this month created much interest and discussion internationally – Kenya’s INDC may not be too far behind (final INDCs to have been submitted to the UNFCCC are available via its portal).

The project, led by a cross-ministerial task force convened by Kenya’s National Climate Change Secretariat, is being facilitated by Ricardo-AEA, LTS International and Energia, with support from CDKN.

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