Kenya: Big step towards more accurate emissions accounting in transport sector

Kenya takes a big step towards more accurate emissions accounting in the transport sector. Through support of the BMU-IKI Advancing Transport Climate Strategies Project, the State Department of Transport collected new and improved data on road transport emissions.

Kenya is one of relatively few countries with a sectoral mitigation target in the transport sector: 3.5 MtCO2e should be saved against the baseline in 2030. This represents around 8% of the overall emission reduction target in Kenya’s NDC (42.9 MtCO2e equivalent to 30% against the baseline).

To implement its NDC, the Government of Kenya has passed a Climate Change Act (2016), which requires all state departments to regularly report on their sectoral emissions and climate change actions. Climate actions are set forth in Kenya’s National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP), which has just been revised for the period 2018-2022. The new NCCAP also includes adjusted priority mitigation actions in the transport sector, including for instance the uptake of electric vehicles.

The BMU-IKI funded Advancing Transport Climate Strategies Project supports the State Department of Transport in institutionalising a transparency framework for the sector. Under this cooperation new and improved data on Kenya’s road transport emissions have been collected and analysed. In particular, a nationwide filling station survey was conducted by the University of Nairobi to gather data on average mileages and Kenya’s in-use vehicle fleet – data that is missing in many developing countries. The data was not only used to do a first bottom-up (tier 3) calculation of Kenya’s road transport emissions, but also to (re-)assess the current priority mitigation actions.

The assessment showed that in the year 2015 passenger cars covered the most mileage (41%), whereas heavy goods vehicles (HGV) were responsible for the largest share of emissions (40% or 2.8 MtCO2 vs. 33% from passenger cars). This is due to the higher specific fuel consumption of trucks compared to passenger cars. Light Commercial Vehicles (LCV), including minibuses, were third in line in both share of mileage and share of emissions.

The analysis of the mitigation potentials, covering passenger and freight transport, finds that the highest potential for emission reductions in the transport sector lies in efficiency improvements of freight transport: 0.9 MtCO2e in 2030 (equivalent to an 11% reduction against the baseline) and up to around 3 MtCO2e in 2050. The second largest potential is in electrification of road transport, including passenger cars, motorcycles and buses. This potential, however, strongly depends the share of renewable energy sources in the electricity mix.

The outputs help the Kenya State Department of Transport and National Transport and Safety Authority have a clearer indication of their active vehicle fleet (about 64% of all cumulative registrations 1985-2016) and a much better understanding of where to focus their GHG emission reduction efforts.

Moving forward, it will be essential to build a robust data-sharing platform between different government agencies to allow annual updates of transport data and emissions. This will mean putting more focus on the establishment of a robust data storage and back-up system, as well as enhancing the data collection process.