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EU Commissioner visits Kenya for international climate talks

EU Commissioner for Climate Action

European Union (EU) Commissioner for Climate Action, Wopke Hoekstra arrived in Kenya on Sunday, October 5 to continue preparations for the COP28 UN Climate Change Conference.

The European commissioner’s  marks his first visit to the country as a commissioner prior to COP 28. His arrival comes with Kenya currently viewed as a key partner in the African continent for building momentum towards a successful COP28 outcome.

The commissioner had in June visited the country in his capacity as minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands.

The 28th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP28) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will be held at Expo City, Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Hoekstra, was elected in October, 2023 for the role of EU commissioner for climate action after Frans Timmermans stepped down to contest for Dutch Elections.

After he took over he promised to conclude all of the EU’s pending climate legislation before the 2024 European elections. He has also vowed to introduce new measures to curb climate change, including a tax on aviation fuel.

Hoekstra is busy preparing for the crucial COP28 climate summit in Dubai. Currently, the EU has started a process to establish a 2040 climate target. These will help to put the EU on a path towards climate neutrality by 2050.

Also Read: European Investment Bank Commits $50M to African Climate Summit Initiatives

European Commissioner Schedule in Kenya

European Commissioner Hoekstra will kick off his visit by meeting Kenya’s President William Ruto. However, on the same day he will meet with the Minister of Environment, Climate Change and Forestry, Soipan Tuya.

Likewise, he will also meet with Kenya’s Minister of Finance and Cabinet Secretary, National Treasury and Economic Planning, Njuguna Ndung’u.

At the same time, he will meet with key representatives of civil society and the policy community.

On Tuesday, the Commissioner will visit an EU-funded project supporting regional capacity. The project helps to monitor, analyze, and communicate weather patterns in the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) region in Eastern Africa. These is in cooperation with the support of the World Meteorological Organization.

The EU Commissioner will also deliver a  policy  lecture on Climate action to students at the University of Nairobi. At the University he will outline the EU’s priorities for advancement of the global climate action agenda.

Following the visit to Kenya, the Commissioner will travel to Zambia later this  week.

Also Read: Nairobi Declaration: Africa Climate Summit Ends as Leaders Adopt Resolutions

African Climate Summit : Nairobi Declaration makes strong push for accelerated climate action prior to COP 28

The major event is coming in the wake of African Climate Summit held in Kenya. The leaders drawn from Africa called for an urgent action by developed countries to reduce carbon emissions.

During  the event the leaders proposed a new financing mechanism to restructure Africa’s crippling debt and unlock climate funding.

In a call to action, African leaders attending the inaugural Africa Climate Summit held in Nairobi, Kenya. They stressed the importance of decarbonizing the global economy for equality and shared prosperity.

At the same time, the leaders called for investment to promote the sustainable use of Africa’s natural assets. These will help the continent’s transition to low carbon development and contribution to global decarbonization.

They emphasized the need for concrete action and speed on proposals to reform the multilateral financial system currently under discussion.

The Nairobi Declaration was adopted to be the basis for Africa’s common position. The position will outline Africa’s stand in the global climate change process during COP 28 and beyond.