On 1 September 2023, President William Ruto assented to the Climate Change (Amendment) Bill (National Assembly Bill number 42 of 2023), which amends the Climate Change Act, Number 11 of 2016. Please see our previous article summarising the Bill here. The Climate Change Amendment Act (Number 9 of 2023), as it is now called, comes into force on 15 September, 2023. The amended Act regulates Kenya's participation in domestic and international carbon markets.
In addition to the amendments that were first published in the Climate Change (Amendment) Bill, the Climate Change (Amendment) Act now includes a provision on punitive measures for any person who:
- willingly conducts unauthorised trade in carbon credits;
- knowingly gives false or misleading information with respect to environmental or financial gains from the carbon market investment;
- manipulates carbon credit measurements in order to claim addition measurements;
- engages in money laundering through carbon trading;
- knowingly sells carbon credits to unauthorised entities; and
- fails to maintain carbon records.
The Act states that such a person will be liable, on conviction, to a fine not exceeding KES500-million (approximately USD5-million) or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding 10 years, or both.
The Climate Change (Amendment) Act modifies the Climate Change Act, 2016, by amending its schedule, which outlines the procedures for public consultation on matters related to climate change policy, strategy, programme, plan, or action. Specifically, it reduces the period for submitting comments or objections following the publication of a consultation notice from 60 days to 28 days.
The Climate Change (Amendment) Act is a welcome addition to the climate change laws in Kenya and will fill the gap that existed in terms of the regulation of carbon trading in Kenya. It is particularly timely as Kenya is hosting the Africa Climate Week which commenced on 4 September 2023.
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