Incorporating Just Transitions in Kenya’s Low-Carbon Economy Development Path

16 November 2022

Mulwa Richard, Musembi Elly, Maina Margaret

Despite its low contribution to global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, Kenya bears a disproportionate burden of climate change impacts, which have been exacerbated by COVID-19. These impacts are disrupting the country’s economic performance, as seen in sectors such as agriculture, tourism, forestry, water, and transport. In many cases, the catastrophic effects of climate change are most disruptive to vulnerable groups, such as the poor, women, and children. While a transition to a low-carbon and resilient society can ease some of these effects, the costs associated with the transition may
be unequally distributed, compounding the challenges that marginalized communities face. An inclusive, equitable, and just approach is therefore needed to reduce distributive and procedural inequality, as well as enhance the co-benefits of a transition to net- zero in Kenya. This process, which leverages the transition to a low-carbon society to tackle historical injustices and ongoing inequalities, is referred to as the just transition.

For Kenya, the transition will need to ensure that the transformation from a carbon-intensive economy to a green economy does not unfairly disadvantage those relying on extractive and carbon-intensive industries. Addressing historical injustices, reducing poverty, closing the gender gap, and uplifting marginalized communities will also be key.

Sustainable Development Goals
Publication reference
Mulwa, R., Musembi, E. & Maina, M., (2022) Incorporating Just Transitions in Kenya’s Low-Carbon Economy Development Path,Climate Strategies, UK. Available at
Publication | 17 November 2022