In the heart of Nairobi, Kenya, the Africa Climate Summit, commencing from September 4th to 6th, 2023, serves as a resounding reminder of the perilous state of Africa’s environment and the urgent need for collective action. While Africa is responsible for a mere 4% of global greenhouse emissions, it faces the most profound repercussions of the climate crisis.
This summit, the largest assembly of African leaders, international organizations, and climate advocates in the continent’s history, seeks to confront this emergency head-on. As organizers aim to facilitate climate-positive growth and financial solutions for both Africa and the global community, they present a united front as they prepare for the COP28 summit in the United Arab Emirates on November 30. In this article, we delve into some important dimensions of the Africa Climate Summit and why it holds immense significance for the future of the continent and the world.
The summit is set to influence global climate commitments
The summit seeks to wield influence over climate commitments, particularly through the Nairobi Declaration, guiding Africa’s transition to green energy. Data from the Science Direct database reveals that since early 2022, Africa has witnessed 4,000 casualties and impacted 19 million people due to extreme weather events. A 2022 UN report also estimates annual climate change-related losses in Africa ranging from $7 billion to $15 billion.
However, the continent has managed to secure only a fraction of the required funding, with just $28 billion raised so far. This dearth of financial support has raised significant concerns, placing immense pressure on the summit to become a pivotal moment in climate change funding.
Climate change is wreaking havoc on the continent
Africa is currently facing a climate emergency. The effects of climate change, from extreme rainfall-induced flooding in Nigeria to scorching droughts in Northern Africa and recurring cyclones in the southern regions, are wreaking havoc on the continent. These impacts have already resulted in substantial loss of life, property, farmland, and essential infrastructure like healthcare facilities and schools.
This is not a crisis that can be postponed. Immediate and decisive actions are essential to mitigate the catastrophic effects of climate change in Africa. Experts warn that without swift measures to develop climate adaptation and reparation solutions, the continent could face even more devastating consequences.
Global citizen aims to reduce deforestation
Global Citizen is actively involved in addressing the climate crisis in Africa by advocating for critical actions. They emphasize the need to reduce deforestation to protect Africa’s vital forests, which play a key role in carbon absorption and biodiversity preservation. Additionally, they call on leaders to commit to phasing out oil, gas, and coal projects on the continent, prioritizing investments in cleaner, renewable energy sources.
Global Citizen also highlights the enormous potential of solar, wind, hydro, and geothermal power in Africa and advocates for increased investments in these sustainable energy technologies. These initiatives reflect Global Citizen’s commitment to combating climate change in Africa comprehensively, working towards a sustainable and green future for the continent.
Climate change might prioritize Western influence
While the summit aims to address Africa’s climate challenges, some activists are concerned that it might prioritize Western interests, such as carbon markets and sequestration practices, which have been associated with neocolonialism. They argue that these approaches allow developed countries and corporations to continue polluting, disproportionately affecting Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) communities.
Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanisms (CBAM) will target mitigation efforts
Leaders at the summit will also explore the concept of Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanisms, which involve carbon tariffs on carbon-intensive products like cement. This tax would be directed towards targeted mitigation and adaptation efforts. Additionally, discussions will delve into the possibility of a global financial transactions tax to fund climate action.
African nations seek donations to curb greenhouse gas emissions
African nations have remained steadfast in their summit objectives, which encompass urging wealthier nations to uphold the commitment made at COP15 in Copenhagen, a $100 billion per year pledge. This is to facilitate greenhouse gas emission reduction efforts and assist African nations in addressing the climate crisis.
The summit strongly emphasises financing, clean energy
The summit underscores key themes of financing, clean energy, and sustainable resource utilization. African leaders are gathering to tackle pressing climate change issues, including securing more funding to adapt to climate-related challenges, boosting investments in clean energy such as solar and wind power, harnessing Africa’s abundant mineral resources for economic growth and climate action, rectifying climate finance gaps, assessing the effectiveness of carbon markets, and amplifying the voices of youth and local communities in climate discussions.
Additionally, leaders are advocating for a shift toward green energy sources and increased investments in renewables, aiming to collectively combat climate change and forge a path toward a more sustainable and resilient future for the continent. This summit serves as a vital platform for African nations to collaborate and find solutions to the evolving climate crisis.
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