In its current NDC, Kenya aims to reduce emissions by 30% relative to a BAU scenario of 143 MtCO2e by 2030. Kenya strives to be a newly industrialised middle-income country by 2030, as outlined in its key development strategy “Vision 2030”. This development is expected to increase emissions from all sectors, but considerable emissions growth will come from the electricity sector. The current electricity mix is mainly clean (85% of 2019 system capacity provided by geothermal, hydro, wind and solar) with deliberate efforts by the government towards enhancing clean energy development, in particular geothermal power generation, which has grown very rapidly in recent years. However, Kenya also has domestic fossil fuel resources in the form of coal and oil, and plans are being made to exploit both sources, posing a challenge to its clean development pathway. The relative benefits of Kenya exploiting its large endowment of renewable energy resources versus domestic (and imported) fossil fuels need to be understood and communicated to help build support for low emissions development among key public and private actors.
Kenya’s Paris Agreement target is one of the few that the Climate Action Tracker rates as “2°C compatible”. This rating indicates that Kenya’s current policies are within the range of what is considered to be a fair share of global effort; however, these plans are not yet consistent with the Paris Agreement.