Joseph Lenku, the governor of Kajiado County in Kenya, has revoked all CO2 credit deals between private entities and local communities, Nation reported. The news, announced on June 7, comes at a time when residents have started earning millions of shillings from the CO2 scheme.
The county government said they made this decision because they observed that private entities are signing “opaque” deals to buy CO2 credits from group ranches and conservancies. The government also said that the legal framework of the CO2 credits market is insufficient, and carbon trade is disadvantageous to local communities.
In an interview for Nation, Lenku said that the National Climate Change Action Plan does not include specifics on how the country should regulate CO2 credits trade. The National Climate Change Action Plan, which is derived from the 2016 Climate Change Act, aims to support the country’s goals of achieving a low-carbon and climate-resilient development.
“For the entities possessing carbon credit agreements, contracts and licenses, as far as the county government is concerned, they all stand revoked,” the Kajiado governor said. “Our people signed the deals without understanding the market. We must renegotiate the deals from a position of knowledge.”
Group ranch leaders anonymously told Nation that they are not yet familiar with carbon trading but have signed deals with brokers. Some of the agreements were rushed, and brokers might be getting more benefits than local communities, one ranch leader said.
Some parts of Kajiado have used earnings from CO2 credit trading to build classrooms and health centers and support community projects.