The inaugural Africa Climate Summit ended Wednesday in Nairobi with the host President William Ruto expressing confidence that the climate action that has been the clarion call by African leaders for the last three days has been heard far and wide.
And by the time the echoes of that clarion call populate every corner of the globe, African leaders hope there will be a paradigm shift in terms of how the delicate issue of climate financing is handled going forward.
In particular, it is hoped that developed nations will unleash the power of their purse and avail the much-needed resources to developing nations to help them nip the effects of climate extremes in the bud.
“We call upon the global community to act with urgency in reducing emissions, fulfilling its obligations, keeping past promises, and supporting the continent in addressing climate change,” African leaders urged through the Nairobi Declaration.
They are in particular calling for the acceleration of all efforts to reduce emissions to align with goals set forth in the Paris Agreement, the commitment to provide $100 billion in annual climate finance honored as promised 14 years ago at the Copenhagen conference, commitments to a fair and accelerated process of phasing down coal upheld and all fossil fuel subsidies abolished, and the Loss and Damage facility agreed at COP27 operationalized swiftly.
Further, they are calling for climate-positive investments that catalyze a growth trajectory, anchored in the industries poised to transform the planet and enable African countries to achieve stable middle-income status by 2050.
For them, Africa possesses both the potential and the ambition to be a vital
component of the global solution to climate change since it is home to the world’s youngest and fastest-growing workforce, coupled with massive untapped renewable energy potential, abundant natural assets and entrepreneurial spirit.
“Our continent has the fundamentals to pioneer a climate-positive pathway as a thriving, cost-competitive industrial hub with the capacity to support other regions in achieving their net zero ambitions,” they said.
A collective resolution and message that President William Ruto says has been well articulated by the leadership of the continent.
“Africa has spoken. We have articulated clearly the way forward for our continent and the world,” President Ruto remarked as the three-day conference attended by over 15 Heads of State and Government came to a close.
“Our needs, priorities and commitments are clear, and so too are the tasks and responsibilities of the global community. We must seize this opportunity to rewrite the narrative of climate change to include Africa’s leadership, resources and ability to make a difference.”
Already, the fruits of their coming together to champion a common course are beginning to manifest.
Stakeholders in the just concluded first of its kind summit have pledged $23 billion (Ksh 3.4 trillion) to African countries in what is evidently a major boost to the fight against effects of climate change.
President Ruto says the amount will go towards green development, mitigation and adaptation efforts across the continent.
Other notable gains include a $4.5 billion commitment from the UAE to boost renewable energy, substantial contributions from European nations, and significant investments from private sector entities like Masdar, PowerGen, Leapfrog, Cross Boundary and Husk Power, emphasizing renewable energy initiatives.
“The Nairobi Declaration, our common stand and firm resolution, reaffirms our determination and sets the stage for a new phase in the global climate action and sustainable development agenda, giving the future of socio-economic transformation a distinct and affirmative African character,” noted President Ruto who also heads the Committee of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change.
During the three-day summit, African Heads of State agreed to lead the way in finding sustainable solutions to the climate crisis and expressed their intention to collaborate with developed nations while also reminding them of their climate action commitments.