LONDON, November 7 – Minister for Tourism Najib Balala has called on businesses to take action and responsibility for their carbon footprint if climate change was to become a problem of the past.
Speaking at a function held at the Kenya High Commission in London, Balala called on players in all industries to take action to confront the growing threat that climate change brings.
The Minister who is in London in preparation for the World Travel Market unveiled what is believed to be the world’s first, “Low Carbon Village”, which uses a series of low carbon technologies combined into a carbon offset scheme.
The Low Carbon Village project includes locally built energy efficient stoves, biogas plants fuelled by animal waste, and social projects including the installation of solar panels in school buildings and opening up classrooms after nightfall.
Speaking at the unveiling of the Low Carbon Village Project, Mike Rigby, director of CO2balance, emphasised its social aspects, stating that it goes “beyond carbon saving”. He said “as well as offering a carbon offset project we wanted to go further to bring about social and financial benefits. We focused on Africa because places like Europe have the financial ability to reduce their carbon emissions on their own, whereas regions like Africa do not”.
The Minister announced that three hotel groups in Kenya were ready to begin offering carbon offset options for their guests, with the Sands at Nomads, the Heritage Hotel and Fairmont Hotel all declaring that they will be working with CO2balance to reduce the impact of their carbon footprint and will be offsetting the carbon dioxide created as a result of their guests’ stay at the hotels.
Previously Mr Balala met MPs at the House of Commons, hosted by Jeremy Brown (a former British High Commissioner to Kenya) to discuss climate change and the role of Low Carbon Villages and carbon offsetting projects in Africa.