EU now commits EUR 4 billion to climate change recovery projects

King Mfumu Difima Ntinu, President of the Union of African Traditional Authorities speaks at the closing ceremony of the 9th Africities Conference in Kisumu. [Michael Mute, Standard]

The European Union has reaffirmed its support for sub-Saharan countries to adapt to climate change.

The European Union’s Ambassador to Kenya, Henriette Geiger, said climate adaptation projects and the development of climate-resilient infrastructure were critical for Africa to prevent further loss of livelihoods due to floods, hurricanes and droughts.

“If we put together all of the European Team’s commitments for Official Development Assistance (ODA) for 2021-2027, they add up to EUR 4 Billion. This will indicatively involve around EUR 700 million in grants and over 3 billion in soft loans.

This number does not include foreign direct investment, which we hope can continue to be increased by utilizing private sector investment,” he said.

Geiger said by signing the Covenant of Mayors (CoM) Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), the EU has progressed from planning to implementation by opening up climate finance at the local level through the work of member state organizations that serve as implementing partners for the initiative.

He spoke on the last day of the 9th edition of the African Conference in Kisumu yesterday.

He revealed that the European Investment Bank (EIB), also called the European Union Climate Bank, currently, EIB Global is building its largest hub outside Nairobi from where it covers the region. Currently has one in Luxembourg.

“Devolution has also been a cross-cutting theme across EU programs and environmental sustainability and resilience, and democratic governance will continue to be a priority,” he said.

In Kenya, the EU and EIB have provided support to districts given the important role of local governments in achieving development outcomes.

Among the support projects Geiger cited is the Turkana windmill park which has become Africa’s largest wind energy generator.

“Renewable electricity production, which has even reached a surplus in Kenya, is a key incentive for cities to switch to electric mobility,” he said.

He announced that after eight years of preparing the institutional, legal and technical conditions for Nairobi’s transition to ‘green public transport’, the EU expects to start by the end of 2022 the procurement of work on Africa’s first electric Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system.

With a EUR 45 million grant to be made by the European Commission this summer, we hope to leverage a total of EUR 300 million to finance the core of BRT Line 3 in Nairobi.

He said GIZ would further develop the institutional framework for electric mobility and together the EU aims to be a necessary contributor to the transition for a cleaner city.

“We hope Nairobi’s transformation will facilitate further development of BRT systems in cities like Kisumu and Mombasa, and more to come,” he said.

He said the Sustainable Energy Technical Assistance (Seta) program is being offered to local governments in implementing policies and regulations, renewable energy plans and projects, access, and efficiency.

He explained that the Green Mini-Grid Facility, increasing access to energy by 100,000 Kenyans facilitated access to health and education services while replacing diesel generators, kerosene lamps and firewood.

“The Go Blue program seeks to open up marine land opportunities in coastal city centers while preserving the coastal and marine environment and promoting good maritime governance,” he said.

Instrument for Devolution Advice and Support (IDEAS) – supports the responsible transfer and sustainable use of resources for Local Economic Development selected through a participatory and consultative process with local communities, the private sector and Civil Society.

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