By Duncan Mboyah

The warming planet can only be cooled if there is a decisive cut in the use of coal products, natural gas, crude oil and petroleum products.

This is according to a report that also warns that the planet is still warming up.

The report ‘Imperative of Cutting Methane from Fossil Fuels’ says cutting the use of Methane must go hand- in-hand with the removal or reduction of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere in latest efforts aimed at limiting the global warming to 1.5 °C.

“Without targeted action on methane, even with deep reductions in fossil fuel use, the increase in the global average surface temperature will likely exceed 1.6 °C by 2050,” the 16-page report warns.

Unep, the Climate and Clean Air Coalition and the International Energy Agency published the new report.

This come even as World Meteorological Organization revealed that September was the hottest on record.

WMO said the month broke the record as an extended streak of extraordinary land and sea-surface temperatures and is an ominous signal about the speed with which greenhouse gases are changing our climate.

“The year 2023 is now on track to be the warmest year on record, with June, July, August and September all breaking monthly temperature records.”

The new report says more than 75 per cent of methane emissions from oil and gas operations and half of emissions from coal today can be abated with existing technology, often at low cost.

“The oil and gas sector has the greatest share of ready-to-implement and cost-effective technical opportunities to reduce methane emissions. Cuts in methane emissions from fossil fuel operations will likely need to provide half of the reduction in total methane emissions from human activities needed to 2030 to limit warming to 1.5 °C,” part of the report says.

Net zero emissions will require a significant reduction in fossil fuel use, according to the report. This means cutting greenhouse gas emissions to close to zero.

The report calls for halting of new conventional long lead time oil and gas projects that are approved for development after 2023 if net zero is to be achieved by 2050.

The report was released even as countries adopt renewable energy as part of efforts aimed at cooling the warming planet.

Kenya has already embraced a number of electric vehicles as part of the plan. The country according to the report has huge renewable resource potentials.

The Global Wind Energy Council produced “The Status of Wind in Africa” report to take stock of wind energy’s footprint, the role wind currently plays and its bright future prospects across the Continent.

The Status of Wind in Africa report highlights 83 installed wind farms across Africa that are providing Gigawatt (GW) of clean electricity.

These wind farms are mostly located in Egypt, Morocco and South Africa (main markets), Ethiopia, Kenya and Tunisia (secondary markets).

The report shows that there has been a steady increase in the installed capacity of wind in Africa since the year 2000.

This growth has seen annual installations of 800 MW and above during 2018, 2020, 2021 and 2022. 2014 represented the highest installation at 1132 MW.

It shows that the leading country by installed capacity is South Africa followed by Morocco and Egypt.

Ethiopia and Kenya complete the top five countries in terms of installed capacity.

Kenya is endowed with favorable wind speeds with 73 per cent of the country experiencing wind speeds of 6 m/s or higher at a hundred meters above ground level, according to Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Agency.

The new report says there are 140 projects planned across Africa, a move likely to increase the capacity by more than 900 per cent, providing another 86 Gigawatt (GW) of installed capacity in the near future.

The report shows that the development of the wind energy sector in Africa presents opportunities to impart socioeconomic benefits to households, communities, and countries.

These benefits include employment opportunities, leading up to and during the roughly 25-year lifetime of a utility-scale wind asset, clean power for households and industrial consumers, direct (foreign and local) investments , including in supply chain facilities.

The report says the 310MW Lake Turkana project in Kenya, Africa’s largest wind farm to date, employed 2,500 during construction and employs 329 for operations.