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Climate financing commitments bolstered in Africa with the announcement of the Nairobi Declaration at the Africa Climate Summit
September 21, 2023
African leaders call for world to honour commitments to help meet climate targets as GDP is impacted by 5-15%

Continental leaders concluded the three day African Climate Summit at the beginning of September by adopting the Nairobi Declaration to raise $23 billion dollars for green growth and climate  mitigation and adaptation efforts.

Kenyan President William Ruto announced the Nairobi Declaration during the closing preliminary of the African Climate Summit, which was unanimously adopted by African heads of state for a new phase in the global climate action.

The declaration highlights a transformative partnership investing $60 million over two years in expanding grid access in rural Burundi, a $4.5 billion commitment from the UAE to boost renewable energy among others.

“This declaration is our common stand and firm resolution, it reaffirms our determination and sets the future of socio-economic transformation to a distinct and affirmative African character,” said president Ruto.

Ruto noted with concern that Africa is already losing between 5-15% of its GDP growth every year to the adverse impacts of climate change while the cost of adaptation continues to rise along with the cost of living.

“Africa’s low rates of greenhouse gas emissions must not relegate us to the margins and footnotes of the global climate agenda; we must step forward as the cornerstone around which effective climate solutions are built,” said President Ruto.

President Ruto said Africa is a green industrial hub helping other continents in achieving their net-zero by 2050 and as a continent, they must unlock the renewable resources they have for their own good and the entire globe.

Climate financing for Africa

The summit called for richer nations to honour their commitment to fund initiatives which tackle climate incidents caused by their pollution.

The United Nations asserts, Africa contributes less than 4% of the global carbon emissions but it’s the most affected continent by climate change effects on adverse weather conditions such as, extreme drought in the horn of Africa, floods in the West and central parts of the continent.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for renewed effort to combat climate chaos and address injustice of financing, adding, Africa can be a renewable energy superpower.

“Now is the time to bring together African countries with developed countries, financial institutions and technology companies to create a true African Renewable Energy Alliance,” said Guterres.

The Secretary General noted, he will continue advocating for deep reforms in the upcoming G20 advanced economic meeting in Delhi in committing to reach net zero emissions by 2040.

US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, John Kerry, said that the US is committed to provide $3 billion annually for adaptation by 2024 and an additional of $30 million to accelerate climate-resilient food security efforts across Africa.

“First we will provide $20 million to the Africa Adaptation Initiative for the Food Security Accelerator, which will invest in African agricultural businesses and then $10 million will go to the Climate Resilience and Adaptation Finance and Technology Transfer Facility to scale technologies advancing adaptation,” said Kerry.

African Union Commission (AUC) chairperson Moussa Faki challenged Africa heads of state and international partners to focus on the implementation of the declaration for the good of the continent

Head of states, leaders, international organisations, businesses and civil society committed towards adopting a commitment framework as a continent ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP28).

Carbon Market action

Hardi Yakubu, a climate activist at Africans Rising, warned Africa on embracing carbon markets at the expense of sustained demands from those responsible for climate devastation to the continent.

“Polluters must aim for real-zero and not net-zero emissions, why are our leaders not demanding accountability for the mess they created,” Yakubu said.

Mohamed Adow, Director of Power Shift Africa, said carbon markets are injustice to Africa which has so much potential to lead the response to the climate crisis caused by richer nations.

At the start of the conference hundreds of millions of dollars were pledged, including $450 million by the UAE Carbon Alliance, to boost Africa’s carbon credit production 19-fold by 2030. Others who committed money for carbon projects are Britain ($62 million), Germany ($65 million) and Climate Asset Management ($200 million).

The activists warned, new investment in fossil fuels is setting alarming trends of carbon emissions and the match was to end the use of these fossil fuels but there is no slowdown.

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