Christian Aid, an International (British) Non-Governmental Organization working in Kenya to eradicate poverty has launched a global campaign on promoting clean and renewable energy dubbed the “Big Shift”. The campaign aims at influencing a shift of investment away from fossils fuels to renewable energy while promoting access to affordable, reliable and sustainable energy.
In Kenya the Big Shift campaign is running under the banner ‘Clean Energy Now’ which is drawn around five key approaches: a cycling caravan across ten counties, community level energy cafes, County energy policy dialogue on the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL), National Clean Energy Summit and media engagement. The campaign has been designed to sensitize the public and encourage the adoption and embracing of clean energy solutions. One of the drivers of development in a country is the availability and access to affordable and reliable energy. However, for sustainability one of the deliberate strategies should be embracing of renewable energy as a solution to the need for energy for commercial (productive) and domestic use.
The Big Shift campaign in Kenya is anchored on findings of an opinion poll survey conducted by Info Trak in January this year on levels of demand for access to energy in Kenya. The survey revealed that Kenyans have an interest in being offered clean energy solutions that are sustainable and affordable. A government that is committed to the provision of energy would be preferred by the people which means that matters on energy are fundamental to the people and can shape the political and also the economic agenda in the country.
The main objective of the campaign will be to sensitize the public to adopt clean and renewable energy while lobbying the government to main stream clean and renewable energy in the development agenda and farther the influencing of development of policy and legislation that creates an enabling environment for adoption of renewable energy.
Kenya having passed the climate change act last year, showed its commitment towards the adaptation and mitigation against the effects of climate change. The adoption of renewable energy is one of the broad approaches to averting the effects of Climate Change.
The Big Shift campaign has come at an opportune time when the country is not only concerned with the development of policy and creation of awareness but also in increasing the level of investment in the green economy. The campaign will act as an eye opener to not only the users/consumers in renewable energy but also to the possible investors in the sector who will have a clear indication of the opportunities in the market for clean energy.
KCIC is keen to follow and get involved in the Big Shift campaign and be part of the policy dialogue that will be geared towards the firming up of the renewable sector through development of enabling policy and legislation as well as sensitizing interested entrepreneurs on the opportunity for KCIC support where there exists innovation in climate smart energy solutions. KCIC is looking at having a national outlook and thus the Big Shift campaign is an opportunity for KCIC to create awareness on the existence of the centre and what it offers.
Christian Aid has led the non-governmental institutions in Kenya in getting involved in the development agenda through climate smart solutions. They have set the pace for other institutions that would be interested to have an impact on climate change to develop a national outlook while at it. The Big Shift Campaign aims at influencing a shift of Kenya’s investment from fossil fuel into renewable energy and delivery of sustainable and affordable energy to poor communities by 2022.
Let’s all be part of the Big Shift; I am part of the Big Shift Campaign.
By Sarah Makena