Controversy over the planned construction of Lamu coal plant escalated at a stakeholders’ forum in Nairobi yesterday.
The conference at Silver Springs Hotel discussed implementation of the Paris Agreement 2015 in East Africa. The pact seeks reduced carbon emission and backs use of renewable energy to curb global warming.
Civil society organisations said use of coal goes against the agreement on clean energy.
Kenya Climate Change working group chairman John Kioli wondered why Kenya wants to go back to coal yet it has been dumped by other countries.
“We are moving away from fossil oil. Renewable sources of energy must be adopted. These are hydro-power, geothermal, wind and solar power,” he said.
Health experts have repeatedly warned that the Sh200 billion coal-fired power plant will cause massive environmental damage and deadly respiratory diseases. It will greatly increase greenhouse gases, they say.
The conference brought together civil society groups from Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.
Kioli said climate change knows no colour, creed or economic status of anyone in society. More resources should be put in educating people on climate change in the wake of erratic weather patterns, he said.
Kioli said Kenya’s economy is vulnerable to the effects of climate change.
Directorate of climate change deputy director Stephen King’uyu said state-of-the-art technology would be used to ensure minimal negative effects of the coal plant.
“The demand for energy is rising. We have an opportunity to do it differently using a newer and modern approach,” he said.
King’uyu said all sectors of the economy are susceptible to erratic changes in the environment.
One of the ways to tackle climate change is by increasing the tree cover to 10 per cent, he said.
Participants at the conference said not enough funds are given to developing countries to combat climate change.
Key elements in the Paris Agreement are mitigation of effects of climate change, transparency and global stock-taking, where governments come together every five years to set more ambitious targets.
However, the experts yesterday said the rate of implementation was slow as vagaries of climate change take their toll.
The agreement seeks to tame global warming to well below 2°C. To date, 176 parties have ratified the pact of the 197 parties. Read the original article here