Kenya

Save Lamu et al. v. National Environmental Management Authority and Amu Power Co. Ltd.

Jurisdiction: Kenya


Principle law(s): Climate Change Act, 2016


Side A: Save Lamu et al. (Individual ngo)


Side B: National Environmental Management Authority (Government)


Side B: Amu Power Co. Ltd (Corporation)


Core objectives:

Whether the National Environmental Management Authority violated public participation requirements in issuing a license to construct a coal-fired power plant and whether a coal company's environmental impact assessment adequately considered climate change and other factors


Summary
Kenya's National Environmental Tribunal ("the Tribunal") set aside the issuance of a license by the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) to Amu Power Company for the construction of the Lamu Coal-fired Power Plant ("Lamu Plant"). The Lamu Plant would be the first coal-fired power plant in Kenya. The Tribunal found that the National Environmental Management Authority violated the Environmental Impact Assessment & Audit Regulations ("EIA Regulations") by granting an Environmental Impact Assessment License without proper and meaningful public participation in the process. Additionally, the Tribunal found that the Amu Power Company's Environmental & Social Impact Assessment was incomplete and scientifically insufficient in violation of the regulations. Applying the precautionary principle, the Tribunal found one of the insufficiencies of the assessment was the inadequate consideration of climate change and the Climate Change Act of 2016. 

The Tribunal ordered the Amu Power Company, if it should choose to pursue the project, to conduct a new EIA study in compliance with the EIA Regulations. The Tribunal further instructed the Amu Power Company that the new EIA study must include "all approved and legible detailed architectural and engineering plans for the plant and its ancillary facilities (such as the coal storage and handling facility and the ash pit with its location in relation to the sea shore), consideration of the Climate Change Act 2016, the Energy Act 2019 and the Natural Resources (Classes of Transactions subject to Ratification) Act 2016 in so far as the project will utilise sea water for the plant and/ or if applicable." The Amu Power Company has 30 days to appeal the decision.
Case documents

Related laws and policies
  • This law implements Kenya legislation
    Climate Change Act, 2016

    Passed in 2016 Legislative

    This Act provides a framework for promoting climate resilient low carbon economic development. It aims to (Art 3-2): 'mainstream climate change responses into development planning, decision making and implementation; build resilience and enhance adaptive capacity to the impacts of climate change...

from the Grantham Research Institute
from the Grantham Research Institute
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