William S. Ruto, President of the Republic of Kenya, visited the floating headquarters of the Global Center on Adaptation, GCA, in Rotterdam today to participate in a Strategic Dialogue on the Africa Climate Action Summit.
The Africa Climate Action Summit is being co-hosted by the Government of Kenya and the African Union Commission on 4th to 6th September 2023, and is co-convened by the African Development Bank and GCA. The visit follows a meeting between Professor Patrick Verkooijen, CEO of GCA and President Ruto in Nairobi in February 2023 where they discussed driving the implementation and financing of climate adaptation through the Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program, AAAP.
GCA, as the only international organisation focused exclusively on climate adaptation, is working closely with the Government of Kenya to mobilize financial commitments for adaptation during the Africa Climate Action Summit. The Strategic Dialogue discussed developing Adaptation Country Investment Compacts and other mechanisms to determine the adaptation investment needs and financing opportunities for each country. The Summit will coalesce partners, including international financial institutions and the private sector, around accelerating adaptation financing and climate action leading into the United Nations Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit and COP28.
The President, who is the Chair of the African Union’s Committee of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change, was welcomed to the city of Rotterdam and the GCA Headquarters by GCA CEO Professor Verkooijen; the Mayor of Rotterdam, Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb; Jan Peter Balkenende, Prime Minister of the Netherlands (2002-2010) and GCA Executive Board Member and Feike Sijbesma, Board of Trustees, World Economic Forum, GCA Co-Chair.
Ban Ki-moon, 8th Secretary-General of the United Nations and GCA Co-Chair; Josefa Leonel Correia Sacko, African Union Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy and Sustainable Environment and Kevin Kariuki, Vice-President of the African Development Bank joined the Strategic Dialogue virtually to discuss the Africa Climate Action Summit. The discussion highlighted the importance of rich nations coming forward with commitments to honor the pledges made at COP26 in Glasgow to double adaptation financing by 2025 and how the Summit can help deliver the priorities of African governments to advance the “Green Agenda for Africa” including opportunities in green industrialisation.
Speaking during the dialogue, William S. Ruto, President of the Republic of Kenya, said: “The world is now edging close and closer towards the brink of a climate disaster whose warning signs so far are the most catastrophic environmental and atmospheric phenomena humankind has ever encountered. The GCA exists to remind us of these fundamental truths, and to mobilise and empower effective responses in ways that are both reassuring and inspiring.”
Patrick Verkooijen highlighted the importance of the Africa Climate Action Summit to mobilize climate finance for adaptation:
“African countries are at ground zero of our climate emergency – they are already losing up to 15% of GDP growth due to climate change even though they are responsible for only 3% of global emissions. They must be given the chance to survive and thrive even as they suffer the impacts of a crisis they did not cause. Africa has the solutions but it needs climate finance and investment. I commend President Ruto for his leadership in hosting the Africa Climate Action Summit and look forward to the real and tangible commitments it will deliver”