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Kenya-UK step up climate change partnerships

Nairobi, Kenya Nov 11- The UK has stepped up climate action in Kenya with new partnerships announced at the COP26 global climate change talks in Glasgow, Scotland.

The partnership ranges from electric vehicles, forest conservation; money to tackle drought among others.

Speaking at a COP26 satellite event in Nairobi Thursday when Kenyan electric boda boda companies supported by the UK showcased their innovations, British High Commissioner to Kenya, Jane Marriott said the partnership is a demonstration of the UKs commitment towards working with Kenya to mitigate the effects of climate change.

“The new Kenya-UK climate partnerships announced at COP26 demonstrate our commitment to supporting Kenya’s future of green jobs that will last-through weather services, forest data and climate finance,” Marriott said.

Kenya and the UK signed a declaration on zero emissions in transport in the ongoing summit.

The event marked the end of a pilot which included 40 riders and bikes from local assemblers, Opibus, Arc Ride, Ecobodaa, Mazi Mobility, Fika and Kini EV, in partnership with Uber and E-Safiri.

This comes as Kenyan e-boda maker Opibus announced it had raised Sh750 million from private investors, with support from the UK’s Manufacturing Africa programme.

As well as lower emissions and health benefits, switching to an electric boda could increase the rider’s earning by up to 35%, according to UK-funded analysis.

She added that the electric bodas are the future of transport as the world works towards reducing the carbon footprint.

“Electric bodas are driving the green revolution in Kenya, and we’re championing them in Nairobi as Kenya continues to lead on climate change,” she said.

Marriot added that the partnerships will bolster the UK’s climate work together with Kenya- supporting institutions, grassroots organizations and scientists to tackle the climate crisis.

The British envoy to Kenya said that the partnership is part of the new UK global commitment to provide Sh 2 trillion of climate finance globally between now and 2025.

This comes as Kenyan e-boda maker Opibus announced it had raised KES 750 million from private investors, with support from the UK’s Manufacturing Africa programme.

As well as lower emissions and health benefits, switching to an electric boda could increase the rider’s earning by up to 35%, according to UK-funded analysis.

Kenyan Cabinet Secretary for Trade and Industrialization, Betty Maina expressed Kenya’s commitment towards reducing the carbon footprint.

“Kenya can be a leader in the world by championing electric vehicles, not only by reducing harmful emissions but also by increasing the number of Kenyan made vehicles. I am delighted that the UK has helped grow this industry in Kenya, as we work together to tackle the impacts of climate change.

Recent studies have shown that sales of electric motorbikes in Kenya is expected to increase to at least 20,000 in 2025.

Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioner to Kenya, Theodora Clarke said the electric boda bodas will create more jobs for Kenyans.

“I cannot underscore enough the importance of today’s launch of electric boda bodas, which has the potential to create 5,100 sustainable jobs and take Kenya a step ahead in achieving net zero emissions,” she said.

COP26 builds on the 22 billion KES of climate investment from the UK in Kenya over the past three years – working with Kenya to adapt, and manage the worst effects of climate change and create jobs in a green and sustainable way.

The new climate partnerships in Kenya include, a new partnership with the UK’s world-leading Met Office to boost weather forecasting and early-warning systems so people living at risk of droughts or floods can prepare in advance of climate shocks.

Another collaboration is the provision of Sh 125 million to improve forest monitoring through cutting-edge satellite data to unlock international payments to tackle deforestation and restore tree cover, working alongside the Kenya Forest Service and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization.

Helping eight at risk counties in Kenya to plan and access climate finance to help respond to extreme weather like droughts and new funding into climate research to identify tangible solutions curb climate change in Kenya and countries across Africa

Last November, UK and Kenya launched a joint Year of Climate Action to drive forward the Kenya UK Strategic Partnership agreed in 2020 during a meeting by President Uhuru Kenyatta and Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

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