Kenya loses bid to host climate change centre

Tall buildings conjested in CBD, Nairobi on March 07, 2024. [Stafford Ondego, Standard]

Nairobi has lost a chance to host a climate change hub after the Advisory Board changed the location to Geneva.

Earlier, the United Nations agencies had recommended Nairobi as the optimal location from a shortlist of other cities such as Addis Ababa, Bonn and Geneva.

The decision to change the location has raised concerns among African climate stakeholders who met in Lilongwe, Malawi, during the third African Regional Conference on Loss and Damage.

They have disagreed with the decision to have the Santiago Network on Loss and Damage hosted in Geneva despite a recommendation by UN agencies.

The agencies had proposed Nairobi, a relatively cheap location that also hosts other UN environmental bodies.

The stakeholders were meeting to develop strategies for accelerating access to loss and damage funds.

It was not clear why Geneva, which was ranked low in the analysis, was preferred.

“We are aggrieved that the hosting right for a platform that embodies the struggles of the communities at the frontline of the climate crisis, and whose location should symbolise the very palpable rationale of tackling Loss and Damage has once again been unjustly snatched from a third country through a clandestinely nefarious process of manipulation, carrot-dangling and intimidation,” the leaders said during the conference.

The conference was hosted by the Pan-African Climate Justice Alliance, Civil Society Network on Climate Change and the government of Malawi, in partnership with other civil society groups.

Following the discontentment, the leaders called for the declaration of the Advisory Board Decision in Geneva as null and void while calling upon appointing authorities, especially those from Africa and other developing countries, to investigate the possibility of collusion and manipulation by industrialised countries.

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