Kenya Launches SLCP Action Plan as Co-Host of Africa Climate Week

by CCAC Secretariat - 5 September, 2023
Kenya is leading on regional climate and air pollution action in Africa through advanced data collection and management.

Co-host of this year's Africa Climate Week and Africa Climate Summit, the Government of Kenya has been an active CCAC partner since 2014 and will this year take a significant step in reducing short-lived climate pollutants SLCPs by launching its National Action Plan to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (NAP). The development of the NAP was a significant project for the CCAC and its implementing partner, Stockholm Environment Institute.   
In co-hosting the Africa Climate Summit, Kenya is also acting as a leader on the continent, calling for climate adaptation, expanded renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, and more climate finance. 

The NAP includes the country's first integrated greenhouse gas, SLCP and air pollutant emission inventory, covering the period 2009-2020. It also assesses how emissions of SLCPs are likely to change between 2030 and 2050 and evaluates the potential to reduce SLCP emissions from key source sectors. Most importantly, the NAP provides an action plan for how policies and measures to reduce SLCPs can be effectively implemented.    

The NAP will contribute significantly to achieving the goals of Kenya's Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC). Kenya's 2020 NDC aims to decrease GHG emissions by 32% of 2010 levels by 2030, focusing on renewable energy, reducing reliance on fossil and non-sustainable biomass fuels, promoting sustainable waste management, low carbon and efficient transportation systems, and climate-smart agriculture.  

The development of Kenya's NAP was made possible by advanced data collection protocols operating in the country and the implementation of SEI's Low Emissions Analysis Platform (LEAP). LEAP is an energy and climate mitigation planning tool that, so far, at least 37 countries have used to help develop their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) submitted to the UNFCCC's Paris Climate Conference in 2015.  

Tools such as LEAP are critical for countries such as Kenya, which have significant SLCP and greenhouse gas emissions deriving from informal sectors, such as household energy and waste management. By helping to more accurately value the contribution of these sectors to a country's greenhouse gas profile, LEAP can enable low- and middle-income countries to access carbon credit, which supports emissions reductions across informal sectors.  
The NAP showed an increasing trend of black carbon emissions between 2009 and 2020, with the significant sources deriving from residential combustion, charcoal production, transport, and waste burning. Targeted action to reduce residential black carbon emissions from cooking is priority number two within the NAP. The use of wood fuel for cooking and other household uses in rural areas contributed to the majority of black carbon emissions from this sector. 

While Kenya generates over 70% of its electricity from renewable sources, over 90% of rural households and about 75% of all households in Kenya cook with wood or charcoal, only about 20% of all households use LPG, while only 3% use electric stoves for cooking. This means electrification of the country can reap enormous benefits for greenhouse gas and SLCP reductions, as well as health, through the reduction of indoor air pollution. 


Kenya has identified potential emissions reductions from energy consumption at several stages. The first is improving the efficiency of charcoal kilns to produce more charcoal per unit volume of wood, thus reducing the final wood requirement for charcoal production. At the consumption level, Kenya has committed to increasing the number of households using improved biomass cooking stoves to 4 million by the end of 2023 and achieving universal access to modern cooking solutions by 2028.  

Kenya's methane emissions have increased even more, nearly doubling since 2009. Agricultural emissions (predominantly enteric fermentation) were the largest source of methane emissions, followed by the waste sector. In 2019, enteric methane emissions from the livestock sector contributed to 52% of total agricultural emissions.  

Kenya's NAP includes measures to improve the efficiency of dairy cattle management across 267,000 households through the formulation of improved feeds and feed additives to reduce enteric fermentation, the development of breeding schemes, and the adoption of biogas technology by 80,000 households and 200 abattoirs. The biogas generated is intended to contribute to clean cooking goals for households in rural areas.   

Ambitious targets have also been set for the waste sector. It's estimated that just 10% of waste in Kenya is recycled or composted, with the rest landing in dumpsites or collecting on roadsides. Kenya's National Climate Change Action Plan aims to implement a circularity approach to waste management through recycling, converting waste to energy and capturing methane gas generated from waste in dumping sites.  
The CCAC supported Kenya in developing its Sustainable Waste Management Act, which includes tax reform to incentivise private investment in recycling and treatment facilities, plans to divide organic and inorganic waste, and public awareness programs to help Kenyans better understand the impact of waste management on their own health as well as that of the environment.  
The Kenya Energy Policy 2014 contains proposals to develop pilot energy generation projects using municipal solid waste equating to 300 megawatts by 2030. The Kenya Electricity Generating Company (Kengen) has conducted feasibility studies on the potential of generating electricity from waste generated by Nairobi County, concluding that one 45-megawatt plant would save more than 1.8 million tons of CO2 equivalent emissions over 20 years. 

Despite being responsible for less than 3% of global greenhouse gas emissions, Africa is expected to be significantly impacted by climate change impacts, emphasising the need for ambitious national and regional mitigation measures. The CCAC will continue working with African state partners to ensure comprehensive SLCP and greenhouse gas mitigation planning leads to real progress toward each nation's NDC targets.  

Pollutants (SLCPs)