As COP 27 is held in Sharm-el-Sheikh to discuss the implementation of the Paris Agreement, Japan will work with all its might to combat climate change, mobilizing its finance and technology to achieve its own “net zero by 2050” as well as to support Kenya and other developing countries.
To fulfill developed countries’ collective commitment to climate finance, Japan has so far pledged public and private financial contributions totaling 6.5 trillion yen in 2021-2025.
In August this year, Prime Minister Kishida launched Japan’s $4 billion-scale “Green Growth Initiative with Africa” at the 8th meeting of the Tokyo International Conference on Sustainable Development. Africa (TICAD 8). This initiative will mobilize funding for climate projects in Africa.
Japan and Kenya are cooperating in areas related to climate change. Since the 1980s, Japan has supported the Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI) and the forestry sector. The Institute now plays a key role in the development of improved varieties of trees, especially drought resistant varieties, crucial to Kenya’s tree planting goal.
Also from the 1980s, Japanese support in terms of funding and technical expertise led to the expansion of geothermal energy in Olkaria as well as improved transmission.
According to the 2022 Economic Survey, Kenya’s geothermal energy will account for more than 40% of its total electricity generation in 2021. Looking ahead, climate actions have the potential to promote job creation and economic growth .
The involvement of the private sector is essential to achieve this. Kenya could tap climate finance made available by Japan and various multilateral frameworks.
Kenya is the first country in Africa to benefit from the Joint Crediting Mechanism (JCM) based on a bilateral agreement with Japan. In 2021, solar panels were installed at a salt factory in Kilifi County with funding from Japan, resulting in the first issuance of carbon credits shared between the two governments.
Kenya’s geothermal capacity could be used to produce hydrogen. Toyota Tsusho is conducting a Japanese-funded study on the production and industrial use of green hydrogen. If achieved, it will contribute significantly to zero carbon and the development of new industries.