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Local communities should also benefit from carbon credit

 193 countries have unanimously approved a landmark decision creation of a global greenhouse gas emissions monitoring mechanism. [iStockphoto]

As governments around the world race against time to shift to a low-carbon economy, the World Meteorological Organisation on Wednesday, announced that 193 countries have unanimously approved a landmark decision creation of a global greenhouse gas emissions monitoring mechanism.

The organisation warned that this came in the backdrop of greenhouse gas concentrations record higher levels more than any time over the last 800,000 years. Kenya is making remarkable progress towards shifting to green energy by 2030.

Notably, the government is taking bold climate-decisions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through accelerate carbon credit investments. While carbon credits trading offer enormous opportunities to both government and the public, local communities are still in their infancy stage in understanding benefits of carbon credits, carbon financing, carbon markets and trading.

To drive equitable benefit sharing on carbon credits trading in Kenya, Laisamis MP Joseph Lekuton has sponsored a private motion Bill, Proposed Carbon Credit Trading and Benefit Sharing Bill, 2023.

The Bill aims to provide a blueprint and holistic regulatory instruments to guide carbon credit trading and equitable benefit sharing in Kenya. It seeks to harness transparency and accountability in carbon credit investments to protect local communities from exploitation, while promoting climate mitigation and adaptation.

The Bill proposes a framework to strengthen policies on climate action and scale up public and private investments in the carbon markets business.

The recent annual State and Trends of Carbon Pricing report released by the World Bank on Tuesday, May 23, shows that revenues from carbon taxes and Emissions Trading Systems (ETS) have reached a record higher of close to USD100 billion.

With countries in Africa paying heavily for climate change despite contributing less than 5 per cent of the global greenhouse gas emissions, we must take the lead to transition to low-carbon economy.

For Kenya to achieve green, inclusive and sustainable development, the government should promote partnership between local communities, county governments, private sector, and other stakeholders to drive support and necessary action.

Pastoralist communities occupy 80 per cent of the total landmass in Kenya, and offer unique opportunities for carbon credit trading and investment. The Lekuton Bill, if adopted into law, will address social economic and structural inequalities, where any decision making process on carbon credit trading must integrate the needs of local communities.

The Bill provides regulation that underpin clean energy standards through strict compliance by all stakeholders in the carbon credit trading. It also promotes inclusion of women, youth, marginalised and indigenous communities in the transition to a low-carbon economy. Through climate justice, it will pave the way for a win-win climate action, climate security and peaceful coexistence with Mother Nature.

-The writer is a youth community leader

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