African climate summit in Kenya aims to catapult continent to green energy leadership

African climate summit in Kenya aims to catapult continent to green energy leadership

The inaugural Africa Climate Summit (ACS) that officially opened in Nairobi on Monday (4 September) has been hailed as an “unparalleled opportunity” to benefit from action to tackle global warming.

The ACS comes ahead of a flurry of diplomatic meetings leading to the November COP28 climate summit in the United Arab Emirates, which will likely be dominated by clashing visions for the world’s energy future.

“Delivering prosperity and wellbeing for Africa’s growing population without pushing the world deeper into climate disaster is not an abstract proposition, or mere wishful thinking. It is a real possibility, proven by science,” Kenya’s President William Ruto said in his opening address.

The three-day landmark summit is billed as bringing together leaders from the 54-nation continent to define a shared vision of Africa’s green development — an ambitious aim in a politically and economically diverse region whose communities are among the most vulnerable to climate change.

African leaders have voiced their determination to wield more global influence and have the world’s biggest greenhouse gas emitters pay their fair share. Therefore, environment ministers, business executives and climate campaigners meeting in Nairobi will discuss how to scale up climate finance and carbon markets, investments in adaptation to rising temperatures, and transformation of food systems.

In her remarks, Kenyan environment minister Soipan Tuya stressed the urgency of the moment. “The climate change debate has entered a new era. It is no longer just about tackling an environmental or development problem, but about addressing climate change in the context of justice,” Tuya said. “If we do not develop adequate response measures to deal with climate change crisis, it will destroy us.”

Share This