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Kenya: Open Letter to Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Energy and Petroleum

Kenya: Open Letter to Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Energy and Petroleum

To Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Energy and Petroleum

Hon. Charles Keter

REF: GPAF/2021/-1

Dear Hon. Charles Keter

RE: STOP COAL EXPLORATION AND MINING AMBITIONS IN KENYA.

This Open letter comes to you from Greenpeace Africa, deCOALonize, the communities of Lamu and Kitui County. We are deeply concerned by the Treasury budget allocation of 1.3 billion shillings to the exploration and mining of coal in Kenya.

The planned investment in dirty coal is of dire concern – in light of Kenya’s admirable position as Africa’s leading nation in renewable energy. The truth is that the challenge Kenya faces is accessibility to electricity supply in urban, peri-urban and rural areas of Kenya – for domestic and industrial consumption.

Coal mining threatens our water resources, and sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides from burning coal causes acid rain, smog and respiratory illnesses. Coal mining and burning is a direct threat to both the lives and livelihoods of Kenyans but also to the world’s climate.

Greenpeace Africa, deCOALonize and the local communities in Lamu and Kitui are certain that mining and investments in coal cause far more problems than coal-fired electricity could ever hope to solve. With abundant renewable energy resources in the country, Kenya should be looking to leapfrog dirty development based on fossil fuels, and instead invest in cleaner, more affordable renewable energy technologies. The communities in Lamu and Kitui advocate for the right to live in a healthy and clean environment powered by just renewable energy.

Despite sustained urging from Greenpeace Africa, deCOALonize and the local communities in Lamu and Kitui to the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum on the consequences of coal mining and processing in Kenya, the Ministry has consistently allocated a budget to coal exploration and mining. It is on this backdrop that we call upon you; To stop the proposed budget allocation on coal exploration and put a stop to coal mining in Kenya.

Re-allocate the funds for coal exploration and mining to just, accessible, affordable and clean renewable energy projects in Kenya that will enable Kenyans to power their livelihoods, build back better from the Covid 19 crisis and build resilience to the already devastating climate crisis.

To put the sovereign rights and wishes of the people of Kenya above all external and selfish private sector considerations and safeguard our nation from unbefitting budgetary allocations.

Yours sincerely,

Greenpeace Africa and deCOALonize Campaign coalition in solidarity with the local communities in Lamu – Save Lamu, and Kitui – Centre for Human Rights and Civic Education.

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