The 2023 Africa Climate Summit, which took place over three days in Nairobi, Kenya, ended after marking the triumphant culmination of a significant event.
Leaders and experts from all across Africa came together during Africa Climate Week to discuss and address the pressing issue of climate change. This summit has received international attention and has put the continent at the forefront of the fight against global warming.
During the summit, a remarkable 54 African leaders pledged their support to position Africa as a key player in combating climate change. Additionally, African countries made climate financing deals worth an impressive $23 billion.
The government of Kenya and the African Union hosted this historic event, which is expected to yield a joint Nairobi Declaration. This declaration will outline Africa’s stance on climate finance and emphasise the importance of pursuing sustainable and environmentally friendly growth. It is also anticipated to advocate for the establishment of a global carbon tax system, which will incentivize countries to reduce their emissions.
Despite contributing minimally to global warming, the African continent suffers disproportionately from the devastating effects of the climate crisis. The World Meteorological Organization released a report on September 4, 2023, underscoring this imbalance.
Africa has experienced a significant increase in temperatures in recent decades, leading to severe droughts, floods, and heat waves. These events have not only impacted the environment but have also taken a toll on the livelihoods and well-being of millions of Africans.
Kenya’s President, William Ruto, addressed this issue during the summit. He highlighted the dire energy situation in Africa, stating that nearly 600 million Africans lack access to electricity, while an additional 150 million have to contend with unreliable power. Furthermore, almost a billion people in Africa do not have access to clean cooking energy. These statistics shed light on the urgent need for sustainable solutions and investment in renewable energy sources across the continent.
The Culmination of the 2023 Africa Climate Summit signifies a turning point in Africa’s fight against climate change. The solidarity shown by 54 African leaders and the significant climate financing deals made during the summit demonstrate a shared commitment to tackle this global challenge. By positioning Africa at the centre of the conversation, the continent is equipped to advocate for its unique circumstances and push for global cooperation in mitigating the effects of climate change.
The abundance of renewable resources, coupled with advancements in technology and the availability of climate financing, present tremendous opportunities. By 2030, Africa has the potential to provide reliable and cost-effective energy access to its entire population.
With 60% of the world’s renewable energy assets, including solar, wind, geothermal, and hydropower, Africa holds a significant advantage. Additionally, two-thirds of the world’s uncultivated arable land can revolutionise smart agriculture on a global scale. Furthermore, Africa boasts the largest carbon sequestration infrastructure worldwide.
However, it is regrettable that President Yoweri Museveni did not attend the African Climate Summit. Uganda was the only country without a high-level delegation representing them.
We anticipate that this summit will contribute to fostering positive and impactful outcomes at COP28 in November 2023 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.