Kenya’s economy to decline if climate action is not taken – World Bank

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Kenya’s economy could face setbacks without climate actions designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adjustments to the effects of climate change, the World Bank said in a report released Friday.

According to the Kenya Country Climate and Development Report, inaction against climate change could result in a decline of 3.61 percent to 7.25 percent in real gross domestic product (GDP) relative to the business-as-usual baseline scenario by the year 2050.

“Climate change affects economic growth mostly through the agriculture sector, which contributes about one-fifth of the value added to GDP,” said the report, which presents a set of priority action areas for Kenya to achieve its development and growth objectives in a climate-informed manner.

According to the World Bank, private-sector investment by both corporations and micro-, small, and medium-scale enterprises (MSMEs) in climate action will be vital to sustaining inclusive and climate-resilient growth.

The global lender observed that the absence of climate action could set back projected decreases in poverty and exacerbate potential increases in inequality. “The lack of climate action will be more consequential in rural areas, and most significant in the arid and semi-arid counties.”

According to the World Bank, Kenya stands out among African and lower-middle-income countries due to its well-diversified and low-carbon energy mix, with about 90 percent of electricity generation coming from renewable sources.

The report said that Kenya could meet its growth aspirations in an inclusive and climate-resilient manner by managing its water, land and forests for climate-resilient agriculture and rural economies as well as by delivering people-centered resilience with climate-informed basic services and urbanization.

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