The government has announced plans to introduce new regulations for the carbon market.

The Climate Change (Carbon Markets) Regulations 2023 will provide guidelines for traders involved in the carbon market, a trading system where individuals buy and sell carbon credits. These credits are permits that allow the owner to emit specified amounts of carbon dioxide into the air.

Environment Cabinet Secretary Soipan Tuya revealed that the regulations aim to address the effects of climate change and ensure compliance with international standards. She stated, “The draft regulations are a crucial step in our commitment to tackling climate change and selling carbon credits.”

Under the proposed regulations, carbon market projects will be required to undergo environmental and social impact assessments, with severe penalties for those operating without licenses in Kenya. The regulations include a hefty Ksh500 million fine, 10 years imprisonment, or both for offenders.

Tuya emphasized the importance of the regulations, stating, “Any person who undertakes a carbon market project without the approval of the Cabinet Secretary commits an offence.”

Furthermore, the regulations will establish a framework for credit projects and programs, requiring all participants to apply for licensing from the Designated National Authority (DNA) established by the regulations.

The government will also establish various institutions, including the Sector of Carbon Registries, the National Carbon Registry, the Carbon Assessment Technical Committee, and the Climate Change Directorate, to provide guidance in the sector.

The Cabinet Secretary also highlighted the government’s intention to trade carbon credits for internationally transferred mitigation outcomes, subject to approval by the Cabinet and recognized international bodies.