On Monday in Nairobi, Kenya’s Pres. William Ruto and the African Union kicked off the first African Climate Summit. The summit will convene with representation from more than a dozen African nations seeking to have more involvement in climate change advocacy and policy.
On Monday in Nairobi, Kenya’s Pres. William Ruto and the African Union kicked off the first African Climate Summit. The summit will convene with representation from more than a dozen African nations seeking to have more involvement in climate change advocacy and policy.1
The goal of the summit is for the African continent to showcase the continent's leadership in green power production. Proper investment and financial diplomacy through debt forgiveness will be emphasized.2
Africa is home to 1.2B people residing across 54 countries with diverse strengths and vulnerabilities while being rich in natural resources and sources of renewable energy. Ruto said that the summit will show that Africa is "a critical player in solving the world’s climate crisis."2
During the opening day of the agenda, some attending countries expressed frustration that they are being asked to develop their nations using cleaner technologies while wealthy nations remain the largest polluters.3
As a means of collecting funding from rich carbon emitters, the Africa Carbon Markets Initiative was launched at COP27. The market uses carbon credits to fund climate activities, with the oil-rich United Arab Emirates committing to buy $450M in credits.4
According to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, in 2020, $83B in climate funding was provided to poorer nations — a 4% increase from the previous year. Even with funding increasing, pledges amounting to $100B annually are still reportedly needed from wealthy nations to maximize climate implementation initiatives.5
Establishment-critical narrative, as provided by Amnesty International. While the summit's goals are laudable, there has been too much emphasis placed on carbon markets. While these markets seem like a positive way to invest in climate change, they simply reinforce the inequities already in existence between the wealthy carbon-emitting nations and poor, vulnerable nations. Continuing to increase emissions and shifting the climate responsibility to projects completed in Africa is a negligent and short-term solution to the global climate crisis.
Pro-establishment narrative, as provided by IFAW. Africa is stepping into the spotlight as a critical driver in climate change conversations. The continent is home to a large swath of the world's biodiverse landscapes and a large portion of the world's most vulnerable populations. With Kenya leading, the consortium of nations will not only show the world that Africa is not the problem but a key piece of the solution — and a center for the future of climate change action.