H.E. Hon. Sakaja Arthur Johnson, the Governor of Nairobi City County, Kenya, has been elected as Vice Chair of the C40 Steering Committee, the governing body providing strategic direction for the global network of nearly 100 cities committed to addressing the global climate crisis.

Johnson, who was elected Governor in August 2022, is working to realise a vision of Nairobi as the Green City in the Sun, a nickname derived from the city’s foliage and warm climate. The city is vulnerable to floods, extreme heat and drought. Without adaptation and mitigation efforts, these threats will become more volatile, and urban dwellers will face unprecedented challenges to their livelihoods.

Johnson has committed to implement Nairobi’s climate action plan with the support from C40, and focus on developing a roadmap for the city to reach net-zero emissions, create green jobs and strengthen local resilience. 

Johnson previously served as Senator of Nairobi. During his tenure in Parliament, he served as Chairman of the Standing Committee on Labour and Social Welfare and as Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee on National Security, Defence and Foreign Relations. He also served as the chairperson of the Kenya Young Parliamentarians Association.

Johnson has been nominated among the top 100 Future Leaders: The World’s Most Influential Young People in Government (2018) by Apolitica and awarded Change Maker of the Year 2016 at the African Achievers Award, in recognition of his leadership skills and youth empowerment in Kenya. Johnson was elected to represent the 13 C40 cities in Africa.

In his new role on the C40 Steering Committee, Johnson will be a leading voice encouraging African cities to work together to fast-track climate action. As C40 Vice Chair, Johnson will support the building of a community of practice that will share knowledge and experience, and to secure the funding needed to build climate resilience and address loss and damage associated with global heating. 

C40’s member cities represent 700 million citizens and one quarter of the world’s economy. Through collaboration and innovation, the mayors of C40 Cities are determined to deliver on the Paris Agreement’s highest ambition and keep global temperature rise to below 1.5 degrees, and to do so in an equitable way. 

Johnson said: “There is a new urgency. We need to put our heads together and figure out how to make our cities more resilient. We need to sit together to share expertise, experience, and finances so that the most vulnerable among us, and the environment are protected. And we need to do this now.”

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