6 February 2009 – Kenyan companies appear to be losing out on the global carbon emissions trade, with a recent survey by the Business Daily showing that no company in Kenya has so far earned a cent from the carbon market despite Sh8.8 trillion (US$11.1 billion) changing hands in carbon emissions exchanges last year.

This figure from New Carbon Finance was an 84% jump from the 2007 global carbon market worth, and could reach Sh11.2 trillion (US$14.1 billion) this year.

Responses from senior executives in Nairobi indicate that while the awareness of carbon market is fast catching up, access to information on carbon trading is still lacking. However, this could change with the arrival in Nairobi of two carbon market consulting firms, J.P. Morgan ClimateCare and Co2 Balance, which are already working with some local companies to boost development of the carbon trade.

Some of the companies engaged in carbon market projects include KenGen, Green Belt Movement, Mumias Sugar Company, and East Africa Portland Cement. But the earliest any of them can earn some money from the trade could be 2012, when the Kyoto Protocol expires.

This delay has been attributed by Fredrick Njau of the Green Belt Movement partly to failure by local banks to understand the carbon market, spawning hesitance to fund carbon market projects.