Kenya Electricity Generating Company PLC (KenGen) has joined the UN-backed global campaign to fight global warming. The Kenyan utility is the first public service agency in the country to join the initiative.
The campaign dubbed Business Ambition for 1.5°C, is backed by a global coalition of the United Nations leaders, business organisations and non-governmental organisations (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.
KenGen’s MD and CEO, Rebecca Miano, said the platform reiterates the organisation’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 Miano.
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 organisation 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 catalyses actions aimed at promoting good business practices.
KenGen’s commitment comes at 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 1,818MW has been focusing on renewable energy development including the latest Olkaria 1 AU 6 geothermal project which is envisaged to add 83.3MW to the national grid this year.
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 $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).