, NAIROBI, Kenya, June 28 – United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon on Saturday lauded Kenya’s efforts on the renewable energy front, terming it a world leader.
Ban urged the rest of the world to follow Kenya’s example by growing their renewable energy alternatives to power their development agenda in the post 2015 era.
“I was able to see for myself a few years ago when I visited Ol Karia Geo Thermal power plant. I was so much impressed and you have very advanced solar energy sources and you’re also investing in wind power,” he said.
Ban was speaking following the conclusion of the inaugural United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) held at the UN headquarters in Gigiri at which sustainable development took centre stage.
“We cannot continue to model our development on that of the first world which relied mainly on fossil fuel. Development and the Environment need not be mutually exclusive. We must begin to look to clean energy sources as Kenya is doing with solar and wind farms,” United Nations Environment Programme Executive Director Achim Steiner concurred.
Ban was speaking after engaging with Energy Cabinet Secretary Davis Chirchir and Safaricom Chief Executive Officer Bob Collymore on ways of further expanding Kenya’s green capabilities.
“This has been quite an inspiring experience for me to learn from CEOs who are working on the ground,” he said.
But even as he praised Kenya’s green energy efforts, he cautioned Kenya against complacency and called for the same effort to be employed in the prudent management of the world’s energy resources.
“If we are more innovative and if we improve more, then we can save a lot of energy which can be supplied to many other people who need it,” he said.
Clean energy, he added, was also imperative to stem climate change and the seven million pre-mature deaths caused annually by air pollutants.
A communiqué issued at the conclusion of the UNEA meeting in Nairobi stated that delegates had unanimously agreed to encourage governments to set standards and policies across multiple sectors to reduce emissions and manage the negative impacts of air pollution on health, the economy, and overall sustainable development.