Kenya loses second bid to host climate change hub


Delegates follow the proceedings at Kenyatta International Convention Centre on September 4, 2023 during the Africa Climate Summit 2023. 

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Kenya has for the second time in four months lost its bid to host the Loss and Damage hub for government climate negotiators in Nairobi, the Santiago Network advisory board revealed.

It means that Kenya will miss out on the billions it makes from hosting other related agencies such as United Nations (UN) Africa headquarters and United Nations Environment Programme.

“The board decides to select Philippines (a global south country like Kenya) as the host country of the board for the fund subject to the country meeting the commitments made in its proposal,” the board announced in an official meeting on Tuesday.

The Santiago Network secretariat to ensures the coordination and collaboration of the Santiago network's work with relevant United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)-constituted bodies.

In March this year Kenya opposed the decision by the board, which saw government climate negotiators from mainly developed countries settle on Geneva, instead of Nairobi, as the headquarters of the loss and damage hub.

Ali Mohammed, the special envoy on Climate Change at the Office of the President of Kenya confirmed that the board had informed him of its decision.

Mr Ali, who’s also the chair of the Africa Group of Negotiators said it was not clear what the board considered to arrive at their decision.
“This assessment just put Philippines on top,” he noted saying Kenya will challenge it with the support of other global south stakeholders.

However, a senior official attending the board meeting from a global north country disclosed to the Nation that Nairobi has prominently been in the news in the last few weeks over deadly anti-government protests over President William Ruto’s finance bill 2024.

“We have seen unspeakable police brutality, abductions and police using live ammunition on peaceful protesters, no one wants to establish such a crucial fund in such an environment,” he told the Nation.

“A very big global adaptation meeting was supposed to happen in Nairobi soon, but for the same reasons the UN cancelled,” he added.

Since COP28 last year in Dubai, this has been a thorny issue that was about to disallow the operationalisation of the Network.

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