Kenyan industries hastening swift to energy efficiency

Xinhua News Agency | Sep 16, 2020 at 7:39 PM

NAIROBI, Sept. 17 (Xinhua) -- Kenyan manufacturing entities have accelerated a switch to energy efficiency in key operations alternatives, an official said on Wednesday.

Keriako Tobiko, cabinet secretary in the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, hailed the adoption of clean technologies by industries in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

"A multinational company with various branches in the country has converted their stand-alone coolers to use carbon dioxide," Tobiko said during the commemoration of ozone day in Nairobi.

He said that dairy industries are also using ammonia as their major coolant as a move to converting to ozone layer friendly alternatives.

Tobiko said that Kenya is in the process of ratifying the Kigali Amendment as was adopted in October 2015, to phase out hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), chemicals that are ozone-friendly but are linked to global warming.

"As a country we have made tremendous progress in phasing out Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) especially in the refrigeration and air conditioning sector (RAC)," said Tobiko.

He said that Kenya has put in place an ozone depleting substances regulations and licensing system in line with the Kigali agreement.

"We are effectively monitoring the importation of controlled substances through import licensing under the Montreal Protocol to curb illegal importation of such substances," said Tobiko.

He said that the east African nation was in the process of initiating the development of the National Green Cooling Action Plan (NGCAP) adding that it will expand the green products market in the country.

"The plan will realize high quality and green development of the cooling industry to meet peoples growing demand for better life," said Tobiko who also launched an inventory of green spaces in Nairobi that has been developed by the UN-Habitat.

He said that green spaces raise the visual landscape value and contribute to the overall environmental aesthetics, in turn positively impacting on the overall image of the city.

Cecilia Andersson, Urban Safety expert at the UN Habitat's Global Public Space Program, said that collective action towards climate action is needed to leverage nature-based solutions and protect biodiversity, green and public spaces.

She said that the COVID-19 pandemic should serve as a reminder that public space is a basic infrastructure and an essential urban service.

"The creation, restoration, protection, management and sustainability of green and public spaces require adequate evidence based strategies, policies and dedicated human and financial resources," said Andersson.

She said that recent mapping and assessment of public open spaces in Nairobi revealed that the city had 826 public open spaces.

Andersson said that with 6.56 square meters of public open space in Nairobi city, the figure is below the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendation of nine square meters of green space for better health outcomes.

"This calls for strategic and targeted actions including protecting and revitalizing existing green and public space especially at the neighborhood level," said Andersson.