Developing a Green House Gas Inventory for Kenya: The Journey & Lessons Learnt

  • October 24, 2019
  • Posted by: ajamah

By Michael Olendo

Since June 2018, the Vital Signs program of Conservation International and partners in government, civil society and academia have been involved in a data-intensive process of developing a greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory for Kenya and the process is almost complete. This was done in the context of the Capacity Building Initiative for Transparency (CBIT) project funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to strengthen the capacity of the country’s institution to meet the transparency requirements of the Paris Agreement. 

To start with, we set up institutional arrangements to facilitate effective data sharing and developed specific data sharing agreements with relevant departments as per the intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) categories.This involved over 35 government staff from the relevant departments whose capacity was built on the whole process of GHG inventory development. To ensure sustainability and better uptake, we did this through "learning by doing" method.

Emissions trends:

According to the new GHG inventory we’ve developed, emissions across all the tracked IPPC categories shows an upward trend at 3.2% relative to the previous inventory. Emissions from land-based sectors contribute the highest emissions at 69%, followed by energy at 25% and the industrial processes contributing 5% of total emission recorded.

Opportunities for abatement and alignment to Kenya's Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) commitments

Kenya seeks to cut its GHG emissions 30% by 2030. Looking at the GHG inventory trends and policy push, there exists opportunities for GHG abatement as follows:

  1. Based on the envisioned public transport policy of Bus Rapid Transport (BRT), enforcement of emission standards for all vehicles and review of importation of the second-hand vehicles to cap the age of vehicles at 5 years, use of standard gauge railway for cargo and passenger transport, Kenya’s transport sector can reduce its emission to approximately ca 2.8 MtCO2e
  2. The current push to reduce(subsidize) the cost of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) for low income households to reduce dependence on wood fuel and other biomass for cooking has the potential to reduce approximately ca. 5.22 Mt CO2e of emissions.
  3. The opportunity of co-generating heat and power in the agriculture sector has the potential to reduce emissions by   1.64 MtCO2e
  4. Forest conservation initiatives; agroforestry, conservation tillage and sustainable forest management has the potential to reduce emissions by 38.1MtCO2e

The GHG inventory provides the road map to create and implement the above abatement opportunities.

Lessons learnt in the development of GHG inventory

  1. Effective Institutional and data sharing arrangements are critical ingredients and should be set up correctly since GHG inventories are an iterative and data-intensive process.
  2. There is limited capacity and knowledge on the GHG inventory process and development. We therefore resorted to the "learning by doing" approach. This has anchored the skill set and knowledge in the relevant institutions and has set up the government well for the next GHG inventory iteration 

For more, email Michael Olendo                                                                                                                                                             


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