Author(s): Johnson, Oliver; Wanjiru, Hannah; Ogeya, Mbeo; Johnson, Francis X.; van Klveren, Marieke; and Longa, Francesco Dalla.

Year: 2017

Type: Discussion brief



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Energy pathways for achieving Kenya's nationally determined contribution on climate change

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Achieving Kenya's nationally determined contribution (NDC) target will require a concerted effort to put its energy sector on a low-carbon trajectory.

This discussion brief examines fundamental questions about development priorities and trade-offs facing Kenya as it debates how to achieve its NDC.

The authors suggest that while many different options are available for low-carbon development of the energy sector, all require extensive financial investment and place significant demands on energy sector governance.  Despite Kenya’s impressive strides toward a low-carbon energy system, conflicts and untapped synergies remain, particularly related to perceived trade-offs between centralized and decentralized energy solutions, and between domestic fossil-fuel and renewable energy resources, the authors write.

The discussion brief argues that increasing public and community resistance present additional obstacles to projects, particularly where local participation in planning and local benefit-sharing is limited or is widely perceived to be limited. Among the key strategies for success put forward are: engaging stakeholders early in the development of projects and interventions; early public dialogue around broader energy development pathways; and transparent benefit-sharing mechanisms that are co-designed with affected stakeholders.

The discussion brief is part of TRANSrisk (Transitions Pathways and Risk Analysis for Climate Change Mitigation and Adaption Strategies),a research project that studies the risks and uncertainties within low carbon transition pathways, and examines how transitions can be implemented in ways that are technically, economically and sociably feasible. The project’s objective is to produce a new assessment framework, and an accompanying toolbox, for policy-makers. The project is funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program.


Download the discussion brief on Kenya's NDC (PDF).