Kenya mulls new policies to promote green buildings investment

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Spining

Kenya has fast-tracked development of a new policy framework to promote investments in green buildings and enhance the country’s resilience to climate change, officials said on Wednesday.

Oliver Okello, director of state-owned Kenya Building Research Center (KBRC) said the government has partnered with industry to develop policies and regulations that promote greening of the rapidly developing construction sector.

“We are coordinating with private investors to come up with policies, standards and regulations on development of green buildings. Our goal is to mainstream climate resilience in the affordable housing agenda,” said Okello.

He spoke in Nairobi during a forum to discuss policy instruments that are required to promote climate resilience in the construction industry organized by the government and industry partners.

Senior policymakers, industry executives and experts who attended the forum said that Kenya is well positioned to become a hub for investment in green buildings subject to friendly policy and regulatory environment.

Okello said the government will support research, capacity development and public awareness in order to foster climate resilience in the building sector that accounts for 28 percent of carbon emissions.

Njambi Kinyungu, Kenya’s Permanent Representative to the UN Human Settlements Program (UNHABITAT), said that greening the construction sector will strengthen response to climate emergencies that have negatively impacted on livelihoods.

“The building sector should be more inclusive and green to enhance our capacity to respond to climate emergencies in the country,” said Kinyungu.

She said that Kenya has rallied behind international treaties that promote climate resilience in infrastructure and construction sectors that are major carbon emitters.

Elizabeth Chege, Chairperson of Kenya Green Building Society said the private sector is lobbying for policy reforms and tax rebates to stimulate investments in eco-friendly housing schemes.

“Industry requires tax incentives to set up green buildings in our mushrooming urban centers,” said Chege. Enditem

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