In September 2023, Dr. Patrick Verkooijen appointed Kenyan President William Ruto to his Global Centre for Adaptation Advisory Board. Additionally, in May 2022, Dr. Verkooijen appointed former Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta as a Global Champion for the Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program.
Amid escalating impacts of climate change, African leaders within the Commonwealth urgently seek action and financial support from developed countries. Professor Patrick, a Dutch national with ties to the IMF and World Bank, particularly in Climate Finance, has mobilized billions of dollars. This funding has been utilized to conserve over 400 million hectares of land in Asia, the Caribbean, and Africa, now under the custodianship of Europeans, Arabs, and Americans.
Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland highlighted the creation of a Climate Finance Act within the Commonwealth, providing member states access to funds for green initiatives. She noted, “With just 7.8 billion dollars, we have already delivered over 316 million dollars to the Commonwealth, with an additional 500 million dollars in the pipeline.” This move aligns with Professor Patrick’s longstanding advocacy, as observed during Kenya’s experience with El Niño rains that began in mid-October.
Professor Patrick Verkooijen, the founder and CEO of the Global Commission for Adaptation (GCA), is a key player in climate discussions. He established the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition, the world’s largest coalition determining carbon credit pricing. Furthermore, he sits on prestigious boards such as the Wangari Maathai Institute.
President Ruto’s role as Africa’s climate advocate, the hosting of the Africa Climate Summit in Nairobi, and his active participation in various climate summits, including those focused on rainforest countries, are all part of his commitment. His emphasis on climate adaptation and finance reflects the influence of Professor Patrick Verkooijen, a prominent figure in climate-related initiatives.
The mention of the University of Nairobi becoming a Centre for Climate Change, receiving foreign grants, and potential implications on intellectual freedom suggests a significant shift in focus. The report by Jesse Abisheck emphasizes the profound impact of Professor Patrick Verkooijen on climate-related discourse in Africa.
Report by Jesse Abisheck