Kenyan MPs go for law to minimise carbon emissions

By Mark Oloo (Nairobi) – Kenya could soon be one of the pioneer countries in sub Saharan Africa to enact legislation limiting green house gas emissions.

Yesterday, parliament passed a motion seeking to compel the Government to ratify tight regulations on air pollution in the East African country.

The motion, sponsored by Chachu Ganya, an MP, seeks to among other things raise levies on fuel to discourage use of private cars.

If passed, it will also push for the introduction of electric trains deemed more environment-friendly to offer public transport.

Africa countries have been hard hit by climate change effects evident in diminish rains, increasing desertification and food insecurity.

Prime Minister Raila Odinga says Kenya needs Sh210 billion (US$ 3 billion) a year to implement climate change mitigation programmes.

According to climate change experts, sub Saharan region is particularly vulnerable due to over reliance on rain-fed agriculture.

The push to reduce emissions has come hot in the heels of fears the UN-led global talks on climate change could suffer as search for a deal remains elusive.

In June, the European Union (EU) said it did not expect the 194 negotiating countries to reach a deal at the Cancun climate talks in December.

Developed countries have also been criticized for reneging on their promises to reduce their emissions by at least 2 per cent by the year 2015.