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Remarks by H.E. Hon. William Ruto at the launch of African Carbon Initiative (ACMI) at COP27

Joy Waweru | 2 months ago
Remarks by H.E. Hon. William Ruto at the launch of African Carbon Initiative (ACMI) at COP27
Remarks by H.E. Hon. William Ruto at the launch of African Carbon Initiative (ACMI) at COP27

Excellences, Ladies, and Gentlemen,

1. Let me begin by commending the various organizations,

philanthropies and private sector entities involved in the

visionary efforts to establish and the progressive

endeavor in launching the African Carbon Markets

Initiative.

2. I take this opportunity to express Kenya’s strong interest

in a strong partnership with the initiative, motivated by its

desire to unleash the full potential of carbon markets as a

means of supporting climate action, both in Kenya and

across the entire African continent.

3. Africa is already bearing the brunt of climate change,

whose adverse effects now impact every aspect of our

economies and livelihoods. The climate crisis further

complicates national roadmaps toward socio-economic

transformation and impedes the achievement of

sustainable development goals in the continent.

4. As I speak to you, Kenya is in the throes of a harrowing

food insecurity caused by two consecutive years of failed

rains. Most of the country has been affected, and we have

had to provide emergency food relief to 4.3 million

citizens to prevent suffering from hunger and starvation.

Kenya, and by extension the Horn of Africa region is

experiencing the worst drought in the last 40 years.

Prevailing trends in global warming signal that even

more difficult times lie ahead, on account of associated

climatic crises.

5. I stand here to make the strong case that despite all this,

we in Africa and Kenya are more than just climate

victims. I wish to persuade you that our strengths by far

surpass our weaknesses, and that our potential to make

substantial positive global contributions overwhelmingly

exceeds our need for assistance.

6. Our people have the potential to play a unique,

indispensable and globally significant role in the

prevention and mitigation of emissions, protection of

crucial ecosystems and the restoration of precious carbon

sinks. The urgent actualization of these critical

interventions offer humanity its best chance of prevailing

in the existential contest with climate change-induced

catastrophe.

7. The good news is that the world has a golden opportunity

to rapidly achieve these objectives. By developing a

robust, transparent, and sustainable mechanism through

which a carbon credits market can yield attractive income

and development opportunities for communities at the

frontlines in the fight against climate change, we will align

incentives among polluting producers and sequestration

enterprises to achieve net zero industrialization and

shared green prosperity.

8. Kenya is already a leader in the generation of carbon

credits in Africa, accounting for over 20% of Africa’s

volumes over the past 5 years. Although we are just

getting started and the scale remains modest, the

beneficial impact of the nascent carbon credit regime

holds tremendous promise.

9. A portion of the proceeds from these credits have been

invested toward funding clean cooking and solar home

systems. The dividends of the emerging circularity

exemplify the vision of the global conservation movement.


10. I am pleased to share encouraging news of an exemplary

Kenyan project which is the first and largest in the world,

focusing entirely on soil carbon removals through

sustainable grazing management. It is on course towards

its inspiring target of removing up to 50 million tons of

carbon dioxide from the ecosystem over the next 30

years.


11. All evidence and projections indicate that we are still only

scratching the surface of Kenya’s potential. Some

estimates suggest that by 2030, Kenya will be generating

over 30 million tonnes of carbon credits annually, thereby

earning hundreds of millions of dollars as income and

creating hundreds of thousands of green jobs for our

youth.

12. These resources promised under this demonstrably

feasible scenario would accelerate a range of initiatives in

areas such as landscape restoration, expansion of forest

cover, tree growing, clean cooking, and agroforestry.


13. To actualize this vision and unlock potential, we require

carbon markets that work for Kenyan and African

communities.

14. These markets will become reality under frameworks that

prioritize the rapid and significant reduction of transaction

costs. Currently, 80% of the value of some carbon credits

are captured by intermediaries, leaving only a fraction for

the communities undertaking the actual hard work on the

ground.

15. It will also be fundamental for such a framework to

effectively define methodologies and approaches to

properly recognize and reward a broader range of

measures through which Kenya and, indeed, other

African countries, contribute to fighting climate change.


16. It is imperative to also develop modalities for the proper

valuation of existing carbon sinks, before they fall under

imminent threats such as deforestation and other forms of

degradation.

17. We recognize that our expectations are massive. But the

opportunity before us is tremendous. We can, and indeed

must rise to the demands of the moment and seize it with

both hands. Kenya, therefore, looks forward to working

with initiatives such as the ACMI (African Carbon Markets

Initiative) in substantially expanding carbon markets and

carbon credit opportunities in our country and throughout

the African continent.


I thank you all


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