Kenya launches National Cooling Action Plan
On 14 June 2023, Kenya’s Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, and Forestry officially launched the National Cooling Action Plan for Kenya (NCAP) which includes a review of the Kenyan regulatory framework, an assessment of the country’s cooling sector as well as a short- and medium-term action plan.
Kenya’s National Cooling Action Plan is in line with the country’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 32% or 143 Mt CO2 eq by 2030, relative to the business-as-usual scenario, as outlined in its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC). In Kenya, only 12.8% of households currently own a refrigerator, while 15% of residential and 30% of commercial buildings are equipped with air conditioning. However, the demand for cooling is expected to rise with the expansion of the national grid, economic growth and increasing average temperatures. The resulting greenhouse gas emissions from the RAC sector are estimated to reach 4.75 Mt CO2 eq in 2030.
The government is committed to ensuring food security, affordable housing, growth in manufacturing, and affordable healthcare for all, as part of the Kenya Vision 2030 strategy. Cooling is a key factor for theses development aspirations through reliable agricultural cold chains, refrigeration to preserve vaccines and medical supplies, and affordable and energy efficient cooling appliances.
Kenya’s National Cooling Action Plan focuses on the following key areas:
- Enhancing the performance and efficiency of energy-consuming cooling appliances
- Transitioning the cooling sector to refrigerants with minimal environmental impact
- Increasing access to energy-efficient cooling solutions with a low environmental footprint
- Improving access to agricultural cold chains to support a resilient agricultural sector and reduce food waste
Kenya’s commitment to reducing energy consumption from cooling appliances is supported by a series of national policies and regulations. For instance, in 2019 and 2020, mandatory minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) were enacted for air conditioners and household refrigerators.
Kenya National Cooling Action Plan is available on the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, and Forestry website or on FRIDOC.
 Kenya’s updated Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC). (2020). https://unfccc.int/sites/default/files/NDC/2022-06/Kenya%27s%20First%20%20NDC%20%28updated%20version%29.pdf
 Kenya’s National Cooling Action plan: https://www.environment.go.ke/wp-content/uploads/2023/06/230607_NCAP-for-Kenya22high.pdf
 Lisa Kahuthu. (19 June 2023). CLASP. https://www.clasp.ngo/updates/kenya-launches-first-national-cooling-action-plan/