Kenya Electricity Generating Company PLC (KenGen) has joined the UN-backed global campaign to combat global warming, becoming the first public service agency in Kenya company to do so.
The campaign dubbed ‘Business Ambition for 1.50C’, is backed by a global coalition of the United Nations leaders, business organizations and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs).
By committing to this ambition, KenGen is expected to establish emission reduction targets through investments in green and clean energy that will go a long way in limiting the earth’s warming to 1.5°C as per the Paris Agreement of 2015.
Under this arrangement, the company commits to annually disclose its Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions as a way of checking and reducing its carbon footprint.
Speaking soon after receiving confirmation on its admission to the Business Ambition for 1.5°C, KenGen Managing and CEO, Mrs. Rebecca Miano said the platform reiterates the organization’s position as a regional business champion and pacesetter in the Climate Change Action.
“By joining the below 1.5-degree global campaign, we are only reiterating our business as usual. We have shifted our investments to green and renewable energy and harnessing of low carbon sources of energy,” said Mrs. Miano, adding “we have also intensified environment conservation activities and energy efficiency improvement across the company.”
KenGen is a participant member of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC). The Global Compact is a non-binding United Nations pact to encourage businesses worldwide to adopt sustainable and socially responsible policies and to report on their implementation.
The CEO said the organization joined UNGC in May 2019 as a tier II Participant. The Participant tier is ideal for business leaders such as KenGen because it accelerates their sustainability efforts while scaling up their impact across the globe.
The UNGC Kenya is the local network office that spearheads and catalyzes actions aimed at promoting good business practices.
KenGen’s commitment comes as a time when the world is working towards stemming the climate change crisis by setting science-based reduction targets aimed at halving greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and hitting net-zero emissions by 2050.
Data on Climate Action from the 2019 World Meteorological Organization (WMO) report indicates that if governments and businesses do not slow global emissions, temperatures could rise to above three degrees Celsius by 2100, causing further irreversible damage to our ecosystems.
Currently, KenGen produces about 72% of the electricity consumed in Kenya, with over 80% of this being sourced from renewable sources. The company, which has a total installed generation capacity of 1,818 MW has been focusing on renewable energy development including the latest Olkaria 1 AU 6 geothermal project which is envisaged to add 83.3 MW to the national grid this year.
Apart from green energy generation, the company is leading on the Clean Mechanisms Development initiative. Already, six of its power generation projects are registered under CDM’s United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
These projects include; Olkaria II Geothermal Expansion, Olkaria IV Unit 1 & 2, Olkaria I Additional Unit 4 and 5, Redevelopment of Tana Hydropower project, Optimization of Kiambere Hydropower project and Ngong Wind 5.1 MW.
Under the Business Ambition for 1.5 Degrees Campaign, companies will have a role to play in advocating for government policies and goals that are essential to delivering a net-zero emissions economy.
The campaign also encourages governments, businesses and NGOs to build resilience against threats to global warming and unite behind science-based targets to reduce emissions.
So far, Science-Based Targets Organisation indicates over 500 companies, representing more than US$13 trillion in market capitalization, have responded to the open letter from global leaders and signed the Business Ambition for 1.5°C commitment. More than 1400 companies globally are leading the zero-carbon transition efforts by setting emissions reduction targets through the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi)