Ruto: New laws on renewable energy coming soon

President William Ruto has said that the enactment of carbon market regulations activation plans currently being finalized in parliament will be in force in a few months.

The President made this announcement during the opening ceremony of the ninth Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue in Germany, where he was the key speaker.

While praising Kenya for leading towards achieving renewable energy, the President said the country was working towards achieving a 100 percent renewable energy transition by the year 2040.

He called upon global leaders and policymakers to address the issue of carbon emissions as an urgency.

“Today in Africa, we face multiple intertwined crises, being the continent that contributes the least emissions but bears the biggest brunt. We are also the continent with the least energy access, with over 600 million Africans still having no access to energy,” he added.

According to President Ruto, even against this backdrop, the continent also has to provide secure access to clean and renewable ways, while managing economic dependencies addressing massive debts that have completely shifted development models.

But despite all these challenges, he said, Africa has the biggest potential in renewable energy. “Unlike Europe, the continent’s renewable energy potential is great and the untapped solar and wind potential, is rated as superabundant in most African countries,” he said.

He also added that Africa has the most minerals, including those of which the green energy transition depends, as well as the youngest and most rapidly expanding workforce, which makes the continent a force to reckon with.

But even with this, he, however, noted that the small grid size and high energy costs have made it hard to attract energy-intensive industry in the continent and particularly in Kenya in the past, adding that Africa needs the right type and the right amount of investment capital to become the green powerhouse of the world. The president announced that Kenya would be hosting the first Africa climate summit scheduled to take place between September 4 and 6.

Speaking during the same event, German Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said apart from tackling the climate crisis, the massive shift toward renewables is also urgently needed, as it also presents an enormous economic opportunity for the public and private sectors. “Germany will work towards supporting its partners all over the world in taking advantage of this opportunity,” she added. She lauded Kenya for its efforts towards achieving renewable energy, insisting that this was a testament that a complete shift to renewables is possible.

Earlier on, President Ruto had been scheduled to join the minister for a press briefing, but the meeting was however cancelled.

The Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue conference comes just a week after the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change IPCC released a damning synthesis report indicating that the world is on the brink of irrevocable damage, with fossil fuel use indicated as overwhelmingly driving global warming.

At the same time, the report indicates that widespread and rapid changes to the planet is already affecting weather and climate extremes in every region, causing adverse impacts, losses and damages to nature and people, with Africa bearing the biggest brunt.

Kenya is one of the countries gravely affected by these climatic hazards, with parts of the country currently grappling with floods, barely before recovering from the worst drought ever experienced in almost four decades.

The Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue is hosted and supported by the German Government and is a joint initiative of various German green energy entities. Since its inception in 2015, it has become one of the world’s most important forums on the global energy transition.

Under the motto “Energiewende – Securing a Green Future”, in this year’s event, more than 2.000 guests from nearly one hundred countries are expected to attend the two-day conference, as ministers and high-ranking delegations are expected to engage in discussions with representatives from business, science and civil society.

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