he Northern and Central Corridor have taken an enormous step towards reduction of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) after the industry stakeholders validated a report on a model for the estimation of emissions.
This model has been developed with support from TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) and will support Northern and Central Corridor Authorities Transport Observatory reports in regularly reporting on performances related to GHG emissions and help identify possible mitigation potentials in climate change.
TMEA has worked with the Northern and Central Corridor in transport observatories programme to collect and manage freight transport related information, and in 2018 included a climate change tool to monitor Green House Gas (GHG) emissions and pollution along the corridors.
Key partners involved in the development of the international standards-based tool were Climate Care and Meghraj Capital consultants.
Speaking during the virtual event held last month to validate the report, TMEA’s Chief Technical Officer, Ms Allen Asiimwe, said that the model would be vital in addressing issues of climate change in the region.
“With the region having traded under AfCFTA in January 2020 and the trade volumes projected to rise, GHG emissions are also expected to increase. The model is, therefore, an opportunity to establish baselines for member countries in the region on transport-related emissions,” she said.
The Central and Northern Corridors aim to reduce GHG emissions by 20% and 15% respectively, considering 2020 and 2021 as the baselines.
“The program seeks to raise awareness on pollutant impacts and mitigation strategies; advocate for more sustainable freight transport systems and modes; and streamline transport activities through routes optimisation, loads consolidation, and reducing empty trips,” Mr Omae Nyarandi, the Northern Corridor Secretariat Executive Secretary said.
The Northern Corridor Secretariat prepared a baseline for the port of Mombasa in 2017 and that of the corridor in 2018. US $200 million had been set aside to support regional governments and the private sector to gain new technology to support the Green Freight Programme.
The present study uses a bottom-up approach for estimating GHG emissions from freight transport. In this approach, critical data like truck traffic, the actual weight of the truck, fuel efficiency of the truck, and percentage of empty trips are collected from the ground (either monitored at ground level through corridor observatory or through a survey) for estimating GHG emissions.
The present study found that for 2018, GHG emissions of Northern Corridor were at 1.73 MMtCO2e, out of which CO2 emissions account for about 98.75% of total GHG emissions, followed by N2O emissions and CH₄ emissions which are comparatively tiny.
And the total estimated GHG emissions of Central Corridor are 1.23 MMtCO2 e, wherein CO2 emissions account for about 99% followed by N₂O, and CH₄ emissions, which are comparatively minimal. In both corridors, CO2 emissions accounted for major emissions compared to other GHGs.
The study identified Mombasa-Nairobi, Mombasa-Busia, Mombasa-Malaba, Nairobi-Busia, Busitema-Kampala, Mbale-Goli, Mbale- Elegu, Luwero-Elegu, Luwero-Goli and Mubende- Kasindi routes in Kenya and Uganda as the most GHG intensive making up 95% of total GHG emissions of the Northern Corridor. In the Central Corridor, Dar es Salaam to Goma, Dar es Salaam to Kigali, and Dar es Salaam to Bujumbura routes contributed 98% of GHG emissions.
The report on the freight transport sector tool, however, reveals that there is a need for countries to develop more detailed national and transport and trade sector-specific climate policies, strategies and institutional arrangements to guide the implementation on financing, capacity building, technology development, monitoring and evaluation, Denis Maina and Mikko Leppanen of Climate Change and Environment at TMEA, says in an article published in its website.
“TMEA is committed to partnering with like-minded organizations in developing the monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) system to be more accurate and responsive, in designing actions to reduce GHG emissions and to build climate resilience,” the duo said, adding that the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) presents a new boost for collaboration, and one that the region should keenly eye.
Another trend is that the markets are increasingly demanding locally produced Green low-carbon products in line with the customer attitudes, preferences, and consumption in those markets. Thus, to remain competitive, there is a need for Eastern Africa to reduce the carbon footprint of its products and diversify more into Green and environmental goods and services.
To fight climate change and support the Eastern African countries and the region TMEA has planned a 10-year action programme for strengthening green growth, climate resilience and reduction of GHG emissions in the freight transport, logistics and export sectors along key corridors in Eastern Africa for sustainable trade. TMEA will implement this programme through a mix of grant and blended finance from development finance and the private sector.