Kenya - Global Overview

Buildings are an intrinsic part of our lives. The shelter they provide is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and those of us who spend our working lives in offices know that buildings – in the form of a well-designed working environment – also have a significant influence on productivity, health and contentment.

But buildings are also responsible for more than one third of global energy use and are – in most countries – the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimates that emissions from buildings will rise to 11.1 billion tonnes by 2020. The manufacture of building materials contributes a further 4 billion tonnes of CO2 emissions annually, a figure that is increasing with the continuing rise in construction globally, most of it in developing countries.

Buildings contribute to the growing global GHG emissions, which based on present trends, are expected to increase by 1.8% annually between 2004 and 2030. The CSD (2009) reiterates that reducing the energy consumption in buildings is fundamental in achieving a 77% reduction of the planet‘s carbon footprint by 2050, which is the IEA (International Energy Agency) target. Even though the impact that East Africa currently contributes to climate change is comparably small, it is still necessary to do everything possible to take a sustainable development path, especially when considering future economic growth and the growing energy demand. As mentioned power shortage, high electricity costs and the current level of energy wastage are pressing issues in that respect.