Africa: Biden’s Special Envoy Travels to Kenya for Africa Climate Summit 2023

Mr Biden “announced Kerry would have a seat at every table around the world as he combats the climate crisis to meet the existential threat that we face.” –State Department.

US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry will be in Nairobi, Kenya from 4 September. Taking place in Nairobi from 4 – 6 September is the Africa Climate Summit 2023, convened by the African Union and hosted by the government of Kenya and its President William Ruto.

Mr Kerry hopes to “advance shared objectives on climate and clean energy,” said the US Department of State. Also expected to speak at the Africa Climate Summit are African Union Chairperson Azali Assoumani and the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Nairobi, Stephen Jackson.

The White House has repeatedly stated that “On day one in office, President Joe Biden rejoined the Paris Agreement” after his predecessor Donald Trump pulled the US out of the agreement.

Mr Kerry is expected to engage African leaders, “ministers, and civil society representing countries from Africa in the effort to respond to the climate crisis,” said the State Department in a statement issued in Washington DC on Friday.

It is expected that during the Summit, Mr Kerry will highlight US efforts as part of President Biden’s Emergency Plan for Adaptation and Resilience (PREPARE)–an initiative launched at the COP26 in Glasgow.

A spokesperson at the State Department said the PREPARE initiative aims “to help half a billion people in developing countries, especially in Africa, adapt to climate impacts this decade. He will also highlight the role that carbon market initiatives, including the Energy Transition Accelerator (ETA), can play in catalyzing private capital and accelerating the clean energy transition in developing countries.”

By the end of President Biden’s first year in office, the White House made the assertion that Mr Biden was committed to working “with Congress to provide $3 billion in adaptation finance annually for PREPARE by FY2024 – the largest US commitment ever made to reduce climate impacts on those most vulnerable to climate change worldwide.”

Other companies conducting work on climate change in Africa include Telesto Strategy, in countries like Ghana.

“Announced at the U.S.-Africa Leaders’ Summit by Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, the POD to Accra in February was an effort by the U.S. Department of State to cultivate collaboration and partnership between the U.S. private sector and West Africa’s burgeoning climate entrepreneurship ecosystem,” according to a Telesto Strategy publication which highlights the State Department’s 2023 Partnership Opportunity Delegations (POD) Ghana.

On the margins of last year’s US-Africa Leaders’ Summit, Telesto held a side event in the Ghanaian ecosystem as part of US State Department POD Ghana. Telesto says PODs are aimed at facilitating “partnership activities between public and private sectors of the U.S. and selected countries with unique opportunities for partnerships, investments, and ecosystem development.”

Former Secretary of State John Kerry was appointed by President Biden in January 2021 to serve as Special Presidential Envoy for Climate when Mr Biden came into office. Mr Kerry is also the first ever principal who sits on the White House’s National Security Council solely dedicated to climate change.

Pearl Matibe is a Washington, DC-based White House Correspondent, and media commentator with expertise in U.S. foreign policy, and international security. You may follow her on Twitter: @PearlMatibe


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *